Mar 05, 2013

Student Team Selected for National Public Policy Challenge Competition

After a competitive process full of talent and creativity, NYU Wagner has selected a student team to compete in the annual Public Policy Challenge, hosted by the Fels Institute of Government at the University of Pennsylvania. NYU Wagner’s finalists, Christine Han, Anna Swanby, and Rachel Szala, will compete in Philadelphia from March 15-17 against other student teams from universities around the country.

The Fels Public Policy Challenge invites students to develop a policy proposal to address an issue of public importance. Wagner’s winning team developed a tool called CluedIn, which would reduce the achievement gap by increasing knowledge of, and access to, afterschool programs. CluedIn connects parents, students, and teachers to share knowledge, give feedback, improve the quality of information, and increase choice. Ultimately, the tool aims to lower school absence, reduce substance abuse, and allow government agencies to better allocate resources.

There were two student teams contending for the final spot, who also developed innovative and entrepreneurial solutions to pressing social issues. Alisa Ahmadian, Ben Nemeth, and Natalie Relich created Second Stem, a partnership between consumers, farmers, grocery stores, and food banks that would reduce waste and provide food to populations in need. Grace Cheong, Iris Dooling, Hallie Martin, Bridget Mercier, and Gretchen Upholt designed Recordsync, a web-based application that would better link mental health records to the background check system for gun purchases, with the goal of reducing gun violence.

Congratulations to all three teams for these creative and inspiring ideas. And best of luck to Christine Han, Anna Swanby, and Rachel Szala at the national finals!

To attend the Fels Public Policy Challenge, please RSVP here.

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