Apply     Visit     Give     |     Alumni     Parents     TCNJ Today     

HSS Public Policy Case Competition

From Wikipedia
An image of Demosthenes, an orator from Ancient Greece (Source:

The Demosthenes Prize

Public Policy Case Competition

The School of Humanities & Social Sciences at The College of New Jersey

The School of Humanities and Social Sciences is pleased to sponsor the Demosthenes Prize. This is an annual team-based competition that is open to all TCNJ students. The Demosthenes Prize aims to foster intellectual collaboration, strengthen skill in verbal communication and argument, and promotion serious discussion of critical public policy issues. In this competition, the winning teams will be awarded $300 and be lauded on the HSS webpage.

The topic of this year’s competition is “Renewal in Lean Times.” Participating teams are asked to submit a proposal of no more than 2,000 words, together with no more than 3 exhibits, in response to the following prompt:

New Jersey, one of the wealthiest states in the country, is facing a number of long-term challenges that threaten to limit the state’s ability to provide an atmosphere of opportunity for its younger citizens. These challenges include a drastically underfunded pension system, a rapidly-aging transportation infrastructure, vulnerability to climate change, drastic inequalities in access to education and health, consistent complaints about a poor business environment, and the reputation as having one of the most corrupt governments in the country.  Moreover, policies to solve such problems face tight funding constraints, given the already-high tax burden, rising fixed costs, and the fact that credit agencies have downgraded the state’s debt eight times in the last six years.  New Jersey needs innovative policies to address these issues with few resources to draw upon. Student teams will propose a policy to be adopted by the New Jersey state government or by New Jersey municipal governments that addresses one (or more) of the issues outlined above.

Overview of Rules and Procedures:

.    Students must work in teams of 3 and at least 1 member of each team must have a major in a department or program within the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.

.    Teams must register for the competition by 5pm on Wednesday, March 4, 2015 online at:

.    All submissions must be sent electronically as PDF documents to by 5pm on Wednesday, March 25, 2015.

.    A panel of faculty members will select the top 3 proposals and notify participating teams by 5pm on Friday, March 27, 2015.

The top 3 teams will offer 10-15 minute presentations, based on their proposals, in a public forum on the TCNJ campus that will take place6:00-8:00pm on Thursday, April 2, 2015.  Each team member must play an active role in the group presentation.

Here are the guidelines for the proposal: Policy Case Proposal Guidelines (Word doc).

A panel of judges, comprised of public officials and/or faculty members, will select the winning team.  The panel will place high value on presentations that demonstrate cost-effectiveness, creativity, analytic rigor, and skill in written and oral communication.

Any questions should be sent to Prof. John Sisko, Faculty Fellow in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, at


This competition is modeled after the Penn Wharton PPI Public Policy Case Competition