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Blakely in top five teams in international competition

Published October 6, 2019

Caitlyn Blakely, who is pursuing her Master of Public Administration at the University of Louisiana Monroe,  participated in the NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition on Global Migration. The competition was hosted in 11 sites around the globe, with more than 660 students participating. 

Caitlyn Blakely at UT Austin. 

Blakely attended the competition hosted by the University of Texas in Austin.

Open to MPA students, the simulation used a web-based experiential learning tool to address global migration and how it impacts host countries. Students took on roles such as Prime Minister, Minister of Labor or Minister of Health and Human Services and worked in teams to manage migrant influx. Through the process they were able to see how their decisions not only affected their own country, but neighboring countries as well.

The simulation challenged participants to weigh human rights, integration, and GDP growth against budget restrictions and political resistance. Teams were evaluated on simulation scores, negotiation skills, and presentations made to the regional site judges.

“This competition gave me a whole new perspective on the decisions that impact a whole county. I was able to put my knowledge from my courses into action and see the results almost immediately” said Blakely.

Twelve teams of five participated at UT. Blakely's team included students from Arizona State University, Texas State University, University of Arizona and University of Colorado Denver. 

Blakely and her team made the top five finalists and were able to present their simulation to all the participants, judges, and guests.

“I am excited that one of our MPA students was able to participate in the simulation competition. It provides an experiential learning opportunity that will lead to deeper understanding of global issues. Students are able to apply their coursework in a meaningful and engaging way,” said Dr. Leigh Hersey, MPA Coordinator. “I hope more of our students are able to participate in the future and that one day we can host the simulation on our campus.”