Public Administration Students Compete to Stop Simulated Pandemic

Christina Bastien and Devon Camarota at the 2018 NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition

Christina Bastien and Devon Camarota at the 2018 NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition

April 19, 2018

BATON ROUGE – LSU master of public administration students Christina Bastien and Devon Camarota represented the university at the 2018 NASPAA-Batten Student Simulation Competition held Feb. 24 at Georgia State University in Atlanta. Students were tasked with fighting a pandemic using computer-based simulated game play.

The competition uses an elaborate simulation to place students in leadership roles within a time-sensitive, fast-paced environment where they must collaborate to minimize the impact of a widespread infectious disease. The event is a partnership between the University of Virginia Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and the Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA). 

“I am extremely grateful to have been selected to participate,” said Bastien, who hails from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. “It gave me an idea of what it takes to make policy decisions at the global level and how those decisions can be beneficial or detrimental to a population. I was able to apply what I learned in the classroom to a somewhat real-life scenario. The competition challenged me to work with a group of individuals and reach agreements before making decisions that could hypothetically kill people. I wish every MPA student could experience this simulation.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed the NASPAA simulation,” said Caramota, a native of West Grove, Pa. “It reminded me of a Model United Nations conference in high school, but at a more professional level. The simulation game was thrilling. The cooperation between teammates who had only met that morning was a great challenge. I am grateful to have been nominated by the MPA faculty and am proud of the effort I put forth. I highly recommend the experience to future MPA students.”

This year’s competition drew more than 500 graduate students representing 159 universities and 27 different countries. Competitions were held at 15 global hosts on two dates. Regional judges evaluate teams on simulation scores, negotiation and teamwork skills and their presentations.

The winning team, announced on April 16, includes:
Brian Cauley, San Francisco State University
Mariana Duenas, Golden Gate University
Jessie Escobar, University of San Francisco
Jessika Hall, Naval Postgraduate School
Victoria Padilla, California State University, Chico

For a full list of winners,  visit the NASPAA results page .

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, financial and public policy expertise for those leading public agencies; federal, state, and local governments; nonprofit and health care organizations and for-profit organizations that interact with governmental agencies. For more information, visit our home page or call 225-578-6743.


“Like” us on Facebook (LSUOursoCollege) or follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@lsuoursocollege).​


Angela McBride

LSU E. J. Ourso College of Business