Five McCourters competed in the virtual 2021 NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition, two students placed in the top five winning teams.
On February 27, five McCourt students competed in the virtual 2021 NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition, a partnership between the University of Virginia Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA)
The day-long event convened graduate students in public policy and related fields from across the world to develop a comprehensive response to a simulated policy challenge. Developed by the Center for Leadership Simulation and Gaming, this year’s simulation theme centered around COVID-19 pandemic response and management. Students teamed up to put together a policy memo and presentation applying their skills and experiences from inside and outside of the classroom.
Two McCourt students –– Abdul Halim Zaazaa (MPP’22) and Digvijay Ghotane (MSDSPP’21) –– placed in the top five winning teams.
“Preparation and background data were very important to our team’s approach,” explained Zaazaa, whose team took second place. “The experience gave me a sense of how decisions are made at a governmental level and the different perspectives that should be taken into account.”
Ghotane’s team placed fourth in the web-based experiential learning simulation. His team’s main priorities included building up a strong healthcare infrastructure and garnering public trust.
“My advice to students who enter this competition in the future is to go in with an open mind and prioritize listening and inclusion,” said Ghotane.
Both students highlighted that the most rewarding part of the experience was working with brilliant people around the globe and making new connections.
The NASPAA Simulation Competition was first designed in 2015 to support and encourage experiential learning in the classroom, especially in the realm of public policy and administration education. Each year, thousands of students from NASPAA’s global network participate in the competition examining different multifaceted policy challenges including topics like global migration, sustainable cities, food security, and more.