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AAP Public Management Students Competed in NASPAA-Batten Student Policy Simulation Competition

By Lauren Vessey and Jim Ong


Imagine this year’s flu scaled into a pandemic like that of a hundred years ago. Governments would need to safeguard their citizens through enacting swift policies with split second decisions. As students in the AAP Public Management Program, we tested our quick analysis skills by participating in the 2018 NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition February 24th, where the topic was pandemic crisis management.


A total of 563 students in 117 teams competed globally at 16 sites. This daylong competition featured four computer-based simulation rounds, and two policy memo-writing rounds. The simulation rounds required teams to represent a different fictions country’s government, and then interact directly with the simulation itself and three other teams on site. Teams rapidly decided policies as new events arose and other teams implemented their own policies. Additionally, the memo rounds had teams compose policy recommendations based on previous simulation round.

Lauren Vessey’s team advanced to the semi-final round, after scoring well on all the simulation and memo rounds. The semi-final round required a short, taped policy presentation the team's decision-making process and policy recommendations.


We both found this an enriching experience that complements our Johns Hopkins degree. “This valuable real-world simulation marries classroom theory with applied decision making, both of which are prized by employers,” Lauren Vessey commented. Jim Ong added, “The NASPAA competition is a state of the art policy simulation that exposes students to real-world situations. I highly recommend it.” Students interested in next year’s competition consult the following website in the fall at: https://studentcompetition.naspaa.org

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