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About the recognition

Harold L. and Carol K. Kohn and the Kohn Charitable Trust generously fund two Ford School Rackham Master's Awards, one of the Ford School's and the University of Michigan's highest honors. They are awarded to graduate students underrepresented in the public policy field and with outstanding qualifications and tremendous promise. Kohn Scholars receive two years of full tuition, a stipend, and health and dental care.

We recognize that scholarship at a university is a team effort between faculty and students and that it is a process of training and developing scholarly independence."
Hal and Carol Kohn

Funding for the Kohn Scholars is part of a $17 million gift from the Kohns and the Kohn Charitable Trust to establish the Kohn Collaborative for Social Policy. This transformative gift also includes five Kohn professorships that will build on and expand the school's expertise and impact in social policy.

Meet the Kohn Scholars

Brooke Tran


Brooke Tran

Informed by my identities as a first-generation student from a low-income, refugee/immigrant community in southern California, my undergraduate research investigated cultural capital and educational persistence and tracking. My inquiries were also shaped by numerous student-centered roles: AmeriCorps Academic Mentor, Undergraduate Admissions Campus Events Manager, Resident Assistant, and Student Body Vice President. Prior to starting graduate school, I served as a racial equity council member for NewSchools Venture Fund and interned for the California State Senate in the district I grew up in. I am excited to pursue a career in social policy in the areas of education equity, urban and regional planning, or anti-poverty programs after I obtain a Master of Public Policy. I received a Bachelor of Arts in English with minors in data science, sociology, and film studies at the University of the Pacific (Stockon, CA).
Lizett Aguilar


Lizett Aguilar

My name is Lizett Aguilar and I am currently a student in the Masters in Public Policy program at the Ford School. I was born and raised in Southern California’s Central Valley and received my Bachelor’s degree in History with minors in Chicana/o Studies and Labor and Workplace studies from the University of California, Los Angeles. After graduating, I worked as a Paralegal at the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles. In this role, I assisted tenants facing housing issues and evictions amidst the socio-economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. My time in this role reaffirmed my commitment to public service and inspired me to obtain a graduate degree to foster the skills needed to uplift and advocate for disenfranchised communities like the one I grew up in. I look forward to continuing my career in public service and impacting social policy in the United States following my time at the Ford School.


    Marco Ramirez



    Marco Ramirez

    My name is Marco Ramirez, and I received my B.A. degree in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley in 2018. Shortly thereafter, I was a recipient of the 2018-19 John Gardner Public Service Fellowship and placed at the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) in San Francisco. At KFF, I worked as a member of their Program for the Study of Health Reform and Private Insurance. I have since worked on health policy at the state level with stints at Covered California—the state agency that manages California’s individual market—and Public Consulting Group (PCG) where I advised state research work regarding Utah's section 1115 Medicaid waiver. My passion for public service stems from my desire to improve the lives of my community and I believe health policy is the perfect vehicle to accomplish such.