MPA student Sam Malloy among global winners of the 2018 NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition

Sam Malloy, a second year Glenn College MPA student is part of a three-person team that has won second place globally in the 2018 NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition — the largest-ever student simulation competition in higher education. Malloy and his teammates — Kerry Edinger, University of Oregon, and Jil Heimensen, Portland State University — will each receive $500 from the University of Virginia's Batten School’s Center for Leadership Simulation and Gaming (CLSG) and NASPAA.

This year’s competition connected more than 500 students from 159 universities and 27 countries through computer-based simulated game play at 15 global host sites.

The teams were evaluated on simulation scores, negotiation skills, and presentations made to regional site judges, who selected 22 regional winners. Malloy's team had previously taken first place at the regional event held at the University of Washington in March.

A panel of prominent “super judges” then determined the global winners: one first-place team from San José State University, Malloy's team tied for second place with a team from Arizona State University, and one third-place team. A full list of winning teams, including the special category winners, is available on the NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition website.

The simulation, developed by experts at the CLSG and backed by extensive real-world data, placed competing students in leadership roles within a fast-paced environment where they worked together to minimize the impact of a deadly infectious disease. Students worked in teams representing four fictitious countries and assumed a variety of high-ranking roles, from the prime minister to minister of public health, as they navigated difficult policy decisions and their potential outcomes.

“This is the only global simulation in public policy education I know of that brings grad students together from all different countries to address a common policy problem and learn from each other,” said NASPAA Executive Director Laurel McFarland. “Our hope is they will graduate and go out into the real world in a year or two with a heightened understanding of global health insecurity and a desire to contribute to its eradication wherever they might end up working.”

In the coming months, the CLSG will devise a classroom version of the simulation and make it available free of charge for the next three years. NASPAA will distribute the free classroom version to its 300 member schools.

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