Graduate students propose how they would prioritize federal spending
In this period of fiscal crisis, how would the next generation of government leaders allocate taxpayer dollars?
That’s the challenge that was posed by GovLoop, the leading social network for government, and the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (NASPAA), in an essay competition that will award scholarships to three graduate students interested in pursuing a career in public service.
Throughout October, graduate students in public administration, public policy, public affairs, law, and other fields submitted proposals in response to a scenario in which the government had only $100 million to spend.
GovLoop and NASPAA received essays from 170 students, representing over 70 schools from around the country--both public and private, traditional and online, large and small.
Using rigorous criteria, panels of academic professionals and peer judges from GovLoop and NASPAA evaluated each essay based the degree to which it was innovative, realistic, and cost-effective. The judges narrowed the competition to a Finalist pool of the top 15. Some of the proposed funding priorities include:
- investing in expanded broadband access for homes, small businesses and rural communities
- funding a land banking program to reverse inefficient land use patterns
- eliminating “food deserts” through a revolving fund that supports urban agriculture operations in low-income areas
- improving primary and secondary education and creating a “national vocational university”
Finalists represent a broad spectrum of schools, from New York to Texas to Hawaii, and fields of study, as well as a range of ages and past experience, including an international student. Between now and November 21, GovLoop’s 50,000 members will review and vote on the essays, ultimately leading to awards of $2,500, $1,500, and $1,000 for the three essays with the most votes. Members can vote on essays at www.govloop.com/scholarship-2011. A list of the Finalists and their respective schools follows:
The 15 Finalists are:
- Lee Blum, New York University – School of Law
- Mauricio Cifuentes, Texas A&M University – Bush School of Government
- Brian Footer, New York University – Wagner Graduate School of Public Service
- Margaret Healy, Pacific Coast University – School of Law
- Alex Luboff, Indiana University – School of Public and Environmental Affairs
- Neil Reilly, New York University – Wagner Graduate School of Public Service
- Elizabeth Selbst, Duke University – Sanford School of Public Policy
- Jay Sher, The George Washington University – Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration
- Kevin Sonoff, Indiana University – School of Public and Environmental Affairs
- Peter Thomas, University of Southern California – School of Policy, Planning and Development
- Towner, University of Southern California – School of Policy, Planning and Development
- Daniel Turner, Rutgers University – Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy
- Mark Van Horn, University of Southern California – School of Policy, Planning and Development
- Danny Vasconcellos, University of Hawaii at Manoa – Public Administration Program
- Evan White, University of California, Berkeley – Goldman School of Public Policy Boalt Hall School of Law
The finalists’ profiles and essays are available at: www.govloop.com/scholarship-2011.
GovLoop (www.govloop.com) is the premiere knowledge network connecting nearly 50,000 members of the government community as a powerful online platform where people that work in and around government solve government problems, collaborate with peers, research the latest trends, find and contribute best practices and learn about the latest solutions.
The National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration (www.naspaa.org) serves as a resource for the promotion of excellence in education and training for public service. It is an institutional membership association of 280 schools of public administration, public policy, public affairs, and public management, both in the U.S. and internationally. NASPAA is also the accreditor of master’s programs in the field in the U.S.