Future Leaders in Policy Competition

Students across the State University of New York (SUNY) are engaging in research that addresses important social challenges, including inequity, climate change, criminal justice reform, and public health. As New York State leaders tackle these issues, it is important to identify innovative ideas generated by those who will be impacted by these policies for decades to come. In 2021, the Rockefeller Institute and SUNY introduced the inaugural “Future Leaders in Policy” competition which showcased the best of SUNY undergraduate and graduate research related to public policy from a range of fields, including unemployment, emergency housing, mental healthcare, child care, and renewable energy. The competition gave participants opportunities for professional skills development and networking.

The “Future Leaders in Policy” competition culminated in a virtual event held on April 16, 2021. Finalists prepared a 10-minute presentation of their research followed by a five-minute Q&A with a panel of “judges” made up of leaders in New York State government. Judges selected three winners who were invited to develop their work for publication by the Rockefeller Institute. Upon publication approval of their final research, researchers/teams will be awarded a prize of $500.

The winners’ presentations are embedded below:

Kaley Donaldson
Buffalo State College
Prevalence and Impact of Diaper Need in Erie County, New York

Gabriella Mayers
Stony Brook University
Addressing the Racial Disparities and Homophobia in Mental Healthcare

Stephanie Taboada
Stony Brook University
Potential of Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) to Decarbonize New York’s Energy System

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