Ma Fides Talania, NYU Wagner, Named Global First Runner-Up of the 2021 NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition

The Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) and the University of Virginia Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy have announced the “All-Star”winners of the 2021 NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition. Ma Fides Talania, who is working toward her MPA at NYU Wagner, belonged to the Second Placed Team at the All-Star Round Championship on April 17.

This year, over 400 students from 120 universities in 30 countries took part in the NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition. Participants competed virtually at one of the four virtual competitions hosted on February 27 and March 6, 2021. A total of four regional teams, the competition “All-Stars”, competed for the championship on April 17, 2021. The competition—a partnership between the University of Virginia Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and NASPAA—annually connects public policy students from a vast network of universities worldwide through simulated gameplay. Developed by experts at the Batten School’s Center for Leadership Simulation and Gaming (CLSG) and backed by real-world data, the simulation places students in leadership roles within a time-sensitive, fast-paced environment where they must work together to minimize the impact of a deadly infectious disease. 

Ma Fides’ teammates included Darshan Parikh, Virginia Commonwealth University, Adam Thorp, University of Missouri, and Tiffany Turner, University of North Carolina.

“Simulation-based learning is incredibly valuable, as it applies theory to practice, and goes beyond conventional modes of learning,” said NASPAA Simulation Education Director Supriya Golas. “Through these simulations, students can take what they’ve learned in the classrooms and apply it to simulated real-world experiences. We hope these tools will prepare students for the next major global event, whether it’s a pandemic or climate crisis.” 

A total of 100 participating teams were evaluated on simulation scores, teamwork, organization, policy decision making, and policy presentations. The winning team from each moved on to the global “All Star” round in which a panel of prominent judges identified the global champion.

In the coming months, the CLSG will develop a classroom version of the simulation which will be available free of charge for the next three years. NASPAA will distribute the free classroom version to its 300 member schools.