ATLANTA –Georgia State University graduate student Holly Smith with teammates William Crabtree (University of North Carolina-Charlotte), Matthew Higgins (University of Arkansas, Little Rock) and Amy Schreiner (University of Alabama) were named winners of the Southeast Regional competition for the 2018 NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition.
Georgia State’s Anna Sexton and Austin Dyer from the Andrew Young School were on the runner-up team. Smith, Sexton and Dyer are all candidates for the Master of Public Administration degree.
Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies hosted students from 13 universities across seven states, with Atlanta one of 16 host sites across five continents on February 24, 2018. During the competition, teams of more than 560 graduate students from 159 universities in 27 countries were connected globally through computer-based simulated gameplay. They were evaluated on simulation scores, negotiation skills and written and oral presentations made to regional site judges.
This year’s simulation, “Pandemic Crisis Management and Global Health Security,” placed the students in leadership roles within a fast-paced environment where they had to work together to minimize the impact of a fictitious, yet deadly, infectious disease that threatened humanity. The simulation was based, in part, on the influenza outbreak of 1917.
Laurel McFarland, executive director of the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA), came to Georgia State to observe the competition.
“Computer-based simulations offer an incredibly powerful learning opportunity,” said McFarland. “Their content mirrors MPP and MPA competencies. All skills are used in the course of the competition. And they empower students to make decisions and see the consequences of their actions very quickly.”
Professionals from the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CARE® USA and the School of Public Health at Georgia State University judged the regional competition. Joseph Hacker, a clinical associate professor of public management and policy at the Andrew Young School, served as the site leader.
Next, a panel of prominent “super judges” will determine the global winners. Each member of the winning team will receive a prize of $1,500. Students in second place will receive $500 each.
The 2018 NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition is a partnership between the University of Virginia’s Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and NASPAA. The simulation was developed by experts at the Batten School’s Center for Leadership Simulation and Gaming. NASPAA is working with the Batten School to redevelop each of the six-hour simulations used in the NASPAA-Batten competitions for classroom use.