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Making the case: four Jackson School students are finalists in nationwide policy competition

May 1, 2018

NYUPCC Jackson School student team
The UW Jackson School student team: (L to R) Angela Chen, Sneha Indrajit, Nabilla Gunawan, and Katarina Schrag at New York University, April 28-29, 2018.

Three Jackson School seniors and one junior are already bridging the gap between their research skills and the real world of policymaking by taking (and testing) their skills across the country. This past weekend, on April 28 & 29 in New York City, the team of four became one of only five university teams out of 100 teams to be selected for the final round of the national New York University Policy Case Competition. Their topic? Cybersecurity: Privacy and Data.

The four undergraduate international studies majors — Angela Chen, Nabilla Gunawan, Sneha Indrajit and Katarina Schrag — won their category of Technology, in the second round on April 28, and then as finalists competed against University of California – Los Angeles, University of Chicago, Syracuse University and Columbia University on April 29. The team of graduate students from UCLA won the Competition.

The Jackson School team was the only one representing Washington state. “These four women capture the strength of the Jackson School’s training in policy analysis,” says Jessica Beyer, lecturer and International Policy Institute Cybersecurity Co-Lead. “Their success is a testament to their quick intellect and excitement about learning.”

Jackson School student team at NYUPCC 2018

The UW Jackson School student team at the NYU Policy Case Competition, New York City, April 28, 2018.

All four students completed Task Force, a Jackson School capstone course focused on researching, analyzing, and proposing solutions to a policy problem in teams. Three were in Task Force on U.S. Migration Policy led by Associate Professor Kathie Friedman, while one investigated the future of U.S. foreign aid under the guidance of Lecturer Mark Ward, who has a 30-year career in the Foreign Service, including overseeing aid programs. The Donald C. Hellmann Task Force Program is supported in part by a generous gift from a donor and several U.S. Department of Education-funded Title VI Centers including the Center for Global Studies and the Center for West European Studies.

Two of the students, Indrajit and Gunawan, are currently working with Beyer and Jackson School Professor and Director of the Center for Studies in Demography & Ecology Sara Curran on Applied Research Projects. These experiential learning opportunities, which pair select Jackson School students with external clients to address specific research needs, are a key feature of the School’s International Policy Institute Partnership Innovation Lab, funded by Carnegie Corporation of New York. Indrajit has also been researching pressing international cybersecurity policy issues for the past year as an International Policy Institute Cybersecurity Policy Fellow, also led by Beyer.

Schrag has held a Middle East Center Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship (Arabic) in 2015, while Angela Chen is a recipient of an Unidas Seremos Scholarship.

The NYU Policy Case Competition is sponsored by a range of media, education, tech, nonprofit, government and business organizations, including Google, Wired, The National Review, The Wall Street Journal, Goldman Sachs and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The winning team goes to D.C. on an all-expense paid trip and presents their policy paper to a policymaker.

This publication was made possible in part by a grant from Carnegie Corporation of New York. The statements made and views expressed are solely the responsibility of the author.