The heart of NYU Wagner's programs is our faculty. An amalgam of full-time, clinical/research/visiting, and adjunct professors, they are outstanding teachers, expert researchers and committed practitioners.
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.
Gara LaMarche, a senior fellow at NYU Wagner, was the recent co-sponsor of a highly successful conference at New York University on philanthropy and the new, post-2012 election landscape of policymaking and politics.
Foundation executives, individual donors, and civic leaders came together to examine what philanthropy’s evolving relationship with public policy and government means in the context of the rapidly changing political scene. Participants engaged on such issues as K-12 education, health care reform, and poverty. Among the questions examined were:
- How is America’s polarized political culture changing philanthropy?
- How has the political culture shaped the types of projects we fund, demands on grantees and partnerships with government?
- How successful or challenging have philanthropy’s investments been in the realm of policy change and with government? At the start of this new political cycle, what should we do now (or not do) given the ongoing polarization?
The Feb. 12 event was titled “Money and Power in Post-Election America: Where is Philanthropy?” It was co-hosted by NYU, Duke, and Philanthropy New York.
Lauren Bush, an NYU Wagner MPA-PNP second-year student and Wagner Review staff writer, is set to testify at a public meeting of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration today (2/28/13) as the FDA considers draft regulations for implementing the landmark Food Safety and Modernization Act. Her appearance arises in part from her research for an op-ed for the Review. Lauren is the Events Chair on the Wagner Food Policy Alliance board. Beyond her involvement with the Alliance, she has spent the last three years as an advocate for food safety reform.
Higher education professionals know they need to use social media. But what about the analytics? Does one need fancy software? Is it necessary to pay the big bucks for a company to get this done?
Amanda Alampi, an MPA student at NYU Wagner who also works as a social media strategist at Sunshine, Sachs & Associates, is heading to the SXSW Edu Conference in Austin, Texas, to address these questions and lead a March 4th workshop on the new data landscape for higher education professionals.
It will be titled “Big Data, Big Problems? Beginner Guide to Analytics.”
Amanda’s also planning to deliver a TEDx talk in the spring. More details to come!
A regionally diverse team of Wagner students — David Margolis (West Bloomfield, MI), Jacqueline Burton (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.), Laura Manley (Westfield, MA), and Ellen Nadeau (Clearwater, FL) — has been selected to advance to the prestigious Hult Prize regional finals on March 1st and 2nd.
The Hult Prize, in its fourth year, is the world’s largest student competition and crowdsourcing platform for social good. Recently, it was recognized by former President Bill Clinton and TIME magazine as one of the top five new ideas for changing the world. In partnership with the Clinton Global Initiative, the Hult’s crowd-sourcing platform identifies and launches social ventures aimed at some of the most pressing global challenges. Student teams compete for the chance to secure $1 million in start-up funding to launch a sustainable social venture.
The 2013 Hult Prize focuses on global food security, and how to get safe, sufficient, affordable, and easily accessible food to the more than 200 million people who live in urban slums. This focus was personally selected by President Clinton, and it has inspired the Wagner team.
The Wagner students are developing an initiative called Rootstock -- a digital service-learning platform that unites students from various disciplines and countries to collaborate on global food security issues, and implement their learning directly in the field. The pilot curriculum is about urban agriculture.
The regional competitions take place in Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai, and Shanghai. The Wagner team will compete in San Francisco.
If selected, the students will attend a summer business incubator for their project. A final round of competition will be hosted by the Clinton Global Initiative at its annual meeting in September, where the winning team will be selected and awarded the grand prize by President Clinton.