School of Graduate Studies

School of Graduate Studies
School of Graduate Studies

Queen’s Students Compete at the Canadian Association of Programs in Public Administration’s Annual Case Competition

Master of Public Administration   

by Amelia Ritchie, March 2022

MPA student team

On February 26th, 2022, Master of Public Administration (MPA) graduate students Indra Nyanvumba, Miranda Landry, Judy Ng, Farah Mtaweh, and Brian Jadd competed at the Canadian Association of Programs in Public Administration’s (CAPPA) Annual Case Competition. Alongside learning valuable skills like teamwork, narrative style, and dedication, which they know will translate into the real world of public policy administration, the case comp team also felt such pride in representing Queen’s at the competition.

CAPPA’s competition is about taking a real world policy issue and trying to come up with recommendations to senior members of the government to solve those greater issues. This year, Queen’s competed against thirteen other schools across Canada on the topic of encampments and houselessness. The preparation process for the team of five began with try-outs in mid-September and throughout the school year, the team completed multiple mock trials and simulations of the competition.

The team member’s reasons for participating in the case competition varied, from being a fun experience and representing the school, to challenging themselves in doing something that they wouldn’t have done in their undergrads and getting out of their comfort zones. Their reasons also included a love of competing and policy studies, an understanding of the value of getting to work closely with professors and in getting feedback from people in government before starting a career, and taking the opportunity to do one last case competition before moving on to the real world.

When asked what it was like to represent Queen’s in this capacity, the team shared how wonderful it was to pay back their professors and their program. They tried to reflect what their professors have been developing in them since the competition preparation started, and they loved being able to showcase their skills and utilize their policy muscles. Furthermore, they were glad that the competition allowed them to show the strength of the Queen’s MPA program.

The team learned a lot during the process. They pointed out that the feedback they received from their professors about narration, and how they structure and convey what they know, was invaluable. Throughout the process, they also learned that being humble and taking everything in, as well as recognizing that there’s always more to learn, allows one to gain so much insight. Along those lines, they also learned a lot of dedication; this was of great importance because they felt they would not have presented as well, or connected as well with each other, if they hadn’t wanted to win, to compete, and to do their absolute best.

The team communicated that the competition went well, and that they are very proud of themselves. They wanted to give deep thanks to their coaches Dr. Wenjue Knutsen and Eugene Lang, and all the faculty members that helped them along the way. They also want to encourage next year’s cohort to sign up for the competition, as they felt that it was a truly valuable experience. Overall, this competition was a chance for them to showcase their skills and learn new ones, give appreciation for what they have learned in their program, and gain real world experience that they will carry with them beyond the MPA. Keep an eye out on CAPPA’s Case Competition Page for the soon-to-be-posted recording of the Queen’s team’s presentation!

To learn more about the graduate programs in Public Administration go to their website.