NASPAA Student Simulation Follow Up with Jon Quigley

You may remember the NASPAA Student Simulation Competition that was held back in February. One of our MPA students, Jonathan Quigley, participated in the competition! We followed up with him about his submission, what the competition was like, and more!


1) What exactly is the NASPAA Student Simulation Competition? Tell us a little bit about this year’s competition’s focus, which was global warming.

The NASPAA Student Simulation Competition is an annual competition that includes hundreds of public policy, public affairs, and public administration students in locations all across the world. Each region has two teams that compete to win the region and move on to a international competition. This event is designed to gain practical experience and network with like-minded peers from across your region. The 2016 competition was a simulation on climate change. The simulation was designed off of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference held in Paris in December 2015. The goal of the simulation was to try to use various factors that influence climate change to lead to a 2 degrees Celsius increase in pre-Industiral Revolution temperatures by 2100 instead of the current projections which vary between 4 and 5 degrees Celsius increases by 2100.

2) What was your submission for the competition? What made you want to participate?

I was fortunate enough to work with a wonderful team to create our simulation using the software provided to us by Climate Interactive. I was on the Population & Consumption portion of our team which focused on how much GDP growth and population can be controlled. We learned quite quickly in the simulation that population controls do little to stop climate change, but can severally anger the countries in which they are imposed. We also learned that limiting GDP growth has massive effects on the populations’ happiness and on climate change outcomes by 2100. Other areas of focus were Fossil Fuels, Alternative Energy Sources, Carbon Taxes, Agriculture and Land Use, and Research and Development.

Upon learning of the competition and my personal interest in climate change and environmental conservation and preservation, I applied to be a part of this wonderful competition! My motivation lies in my love of the outdoors, parks, and knowledge that climate change is one of the most important, challenging, and dangerous threats to our species and this planet.

3) How has your experience with this competition benefited your career in public administration?

The NASPAA Simulation was an amazing experience! I met public policy, public affairs, and other public administrations from all over the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. I met such a wide and diverse group of peers that I connected with and helped me think of climate change and the complex quagmire that is climate change in ways I never thought to view this threat from before. Not only did I network with people that I could be working with in the future, it also made me realize that the talent pool entering our field is diverse, adept, and hard working. This gives me great hope for the field of public administration as all of us at Villanova graduate and enter the field with other brilliant administrators, policy makers, and the public sector as a whole.

Great work, Jon! MPAers, you could participate in next year’s competition and gain great academic and professional experience! Details for the 2017 competition will be out in the next academic year.