LSU PAI's Kristen Smith Runner-Up at NASPAA Competition

hess and smith

LSU PAI students Mason Hess and Kristen Smith

March 2, 2016

BATON RO​UGE - LSU Master of Public Administration students Kristen Smith and Mason Hess recently traveled to Georgia State University to participate in the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration (NASPAA)'s Second Annual Student Simulation Competition on Global Climate Change. The two were just a pair of 375 graduate students from around the world competing at eight regional sites.

Smith's team, hosted by Georgia State, finished runner-up to the team hosted by Maastricht Graduate School of Governance in the Netherlands.

Each team had to create a comprehensive policy solution to limit global warming limits to 1.9 degrees Celsius by the year 2100. Student competitors met for the first time on the morning of the competition, many of them without a background in climate change or environmental affairs. The winning and runner-up teams crafted not only technically desirable, but also feasible approaches. As the judges noted, it was a tough combination to achieve on such a complex issue as climate change.

"This competition demonstrates the tremendous learning opportunities afforded by using simulations to immerse students in situations where they are able to immediately see the complexities and systemic aspects of public policy and management challenges," said Laurel McFarland, NASPAA executive director. "We were thrilled to see students engaging in the competition from all backgrounds and with varying levels of knowledge. This shows that the skillsets and competencies learned by public affairs and public policy students are universal in how they prepare students to tackle the largest problems facing the world."

NASPAA is the global standard in public service education with a twofold mission to ensure excellence in education and training for public service and to promote the ideal of public service. It is the membership organization of graduate education programs in public policy, public affairs, public administration, and public and nonprofit management. NASPAA is also the recognized accreditor of master's degree programs in these fields. Its more than 300 members are located across the U.S. and in 21 countries around the globe.​

About the Public Administration Institute

The Public Administration Institute at LSU’s E. J. Ourso College of Business offers a 45-hour degree program that emphasizes management, public policy and financial skills for those leading public agencies, nonprofit, and health care organizations and for-profit organizations that interact with governmental agencies. PAI’s faculty members are student-oriented and nationally recognized for their expertise in their fields. For more information, visit our home page or call 225-578-6743.


Angela McBride
LSU E. J. Ourso College of Business