ATLANTA – Graduate students at Georgia State University were members of the first runner-up team in the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration’s (NASPAA) Second Annual Student Simulation Competition.
They competed against 19 other teams that drew 375 graduate students from 135 universities throughout the United States and Europe to develop projections and create a comprehensive policy solution to contain global climate growth to under 2 degrees Celsius through the year 2100.
Georgia State was one of eight regional sites in the U.S. and Europe that held the competition in late February.
Students Christabel Ghansah, Aaron Lichkay, Afroze Charania, Alan Tipert, and Kelly Parry from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies were in winning team, Making Energy Great Again, which also included students from a dozen universities including the Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Tennessee, University of Georgia, Florida State University, Louisiana State University, Savannah State and University of South Florida.
Joseph Hacker, a clinical assistant professor of public management and policy at the Andrew Young School, was joined by faculty from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, School of Government and the Bush School of Government and Service at Texas A&M University in judging the teams at Georgia State.
The students were forced to face the complexity of climate change, he said, and while doing so, thoroughly impressed the judges with their work.
“From a judging point of view, you couldn’t help but be enthusiastic. The material students worked with was extremely complicated, and they jumped in and really made it happen,” he said.
Students were introduced to a new simulation developed by Climate Interactive called En-ROADS, which focuses on how changes in global factors such as energy efficiency, carbon price and fuel mix impact changes in carbon emissions, energy access and global temperature.
In addition to developing projections, the teams wrote two policy briefs to explain the threats to their global climate projections, identified stakeholders and addressed obstacles necessary to overcome to achieve their target over the next 85 years.
“The schedule was aggressive and our students excelled,” said associate dean Cynthia Searcy, who directed, organized and oversaw the competition.
The Andrew Young School’s master of public administration is a NASPAA-accredited program.
Click here for more information about the competition.