(Left) Tanisha Morrison: Masters of Public Administration student in the Inspection and Oversight Program; (Middle) Monica Zambrano Saquicela: Maters of Public Administration student in Public Policy and Administration Program, the 2018 NASPAA Simulation regional winner; (Right) Tyresa Jackson: Masters of Public Administration student in the Public Policy and Administration Program.
Three Masters of Public Administration (MPA) John Jay College of Criminal Justice students were selected to participate in the 2018 Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) Student Simulation Competition held on Saturday, February 24, 2018. As participants, students worked in small groups to address hypothetical scenarios of a global pandemic by using data developed from the simulations on fictitious countries. Interestingly, it was later revealed, the information used in the simulation was based on real countries, like Kenya. In total, there were approximately eight-rounds of the competition that were split between the morning and the afternoon–three rounds (in the morning, and then in the afternoon) were used to construct the simulation and the last round was used to develop a policy analysis based on the data gathered during each simulation. From John Jay College, City University of New York (CUNY) the following MPA students participated in the simulation: Monica Zambrano Saquicela, Tanisha Morrison, and Tyresa Jackson.
Overall, this event experience enhanced our critical thinking abilities, public speaking, and our ability to interpret data. Further, we were able to network with fellow MPA students from colleges and universities in the Northeast, including Columbia University, Metropolitan College of New York, and the University of Connecticut. The most interesting part of this event was learning how to navigate a simulation program and developing policies based on the information collected during the simulation.
From my perspective, the most valuable piece taken away from the 2018 NASPAA Simulation was learning how to make decisions and solve problems with limited information and time. Participating in the simulation demonstrated that policy is constructed under imperfect conditions with significant constraints. This enhanced my ability to think in a fast and precise manner, when working under a tight deadline. Furthermore, for the future, I would like to once again participate in the NASPAA Simulation and apply the skills I have learned during the 2018 NASPAA to a future competition.