Students – Make an Impact — TAKE the CHALLENGE! Info Sessions

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The Baker Center is excited to announce our second annual student policy challenge for the 2014/15 school year. We have expanded our challenge, using the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute Penn Policy Challenge as a model, and renaming our Challenge, the Howard Baker Public Policy Challenge in honor of the late Senator. This year, we invite undergraduate and graduate students from all disciplines to compete on teams, developing policy recommendations and action plans to combat REAL local and state issues. Through semi-final and final competitions in November and February we will determine one winning team and two runners-up to be awarded $3,000 and $1,000 cash prizes, respectively, to further their policy initiatives. If invited, the winning team will compete in the Penn National Challenge in March 2015 for even larger prizes. Students will be placed on teams with a faculty mentor based on common interests and complementary skills.

The goal of the Howard Baker Public Policy Challenge is to provide first-hand experiences in the public policy process and engage students in their community. (This is experiential learning at its best!) Students will utilize research and critical analysis skills to determine the best policy to combat a specific issue. Teams must then develop an action plan that takes stakeholders, community leaders, budget, and jurisdictional restraints into consideration. Participants will also build valuable networking and leadership skills that can be carried into the professional world. We will lead two workshops during the challenge, teaching students about the public policy process and effective communication skills.

All students are encourage to apply online here  to participate in this one-of-a-kind opportunity. The deadline to sign up is Sept. 12. This program will strengthen knowledge of state and local government and politics, public policy and administration, organizational behavior, and public finance. In addition, teams will work with local stakeholders and focus on specific subject areas, such as sustainability and environmental policy, public health, or education policy and learn invaluable skills in the policy process, teamwork, leadership and presentation skills.

Two information sessions will be offered – Wed., August 27, 3:30 pm and Tuesday, Sept. 2, 5:15 pm in the Toyota Auditorium.  An overview of the policy challenge is available here Policy Challenge Overview-Students  You can view a video of the 2013 Penn National Challenge winner here.