Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Students win policy competition

Five people with trophy

La Follette students from left to right: Jiaqi Lu, Selina Eadie, Miriam Palmer, Norma-Jean Simon and Andrew Walsh.

A team of five La Follette School students has won first place in a regional public affairs competition and now moves onto national competition.

Miriam Palmer, Selina Eadie, Andrew Walsh, Norma-Jean Simon and Jiaqi Lu won the contest at the Midwest regional competition for Policy Solutions Challenge USA, held the weekend of March 1-2 at Ohio State University's John Glenn School of Public Affairs.

The national competition will be in Washington, D.C., on March 22-23.

The five presented their strategies for combating childhood obesity, using policy and cost-benefit analysis to support their recommendations, according to their faculty adviser, David Weimer.

"I am very proud of the hard work and preparation the students put into this exercise," says Weimer, who attended the competition. "Their success says much about their ability as well as the talent the La Follette School attracts."

At the contest, the students first presented to the judges and took comments. Using those insights, the students then gave a public presentation the next day. "We also submit a 10-page written paper, which we can revise after the regional competition and submit the revised version within a week," Palmer says.

Policy Solutions Challenge USA is a national competition among teams of students from U.S. schools of public policy, public affairs and public administration to develop innovative solutions to the most important policy problems facing the country.

Gifts to the La Follette School from alumni and friends will help defray the students' travel expenses.