Weill Scholars and Youth Policy Fellow

About the recognition

Joan and Sanford Weill generously support three Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy master's students through the Weill Scholarship and the Youth Policy Fellowship.

Joan and Sanford Weill
Joan and Sanford Weill

The Weill Scholars recognizes two Rackham Master’s Awards recipients for their outstanding qualifications and promise for future contributions. Rackham Master's Awards are one of the Ford School's and the University of Michigan's highest honors. With it, students receive two years of full tuition, a stipend, and health and dental care.

The Youth Policy Fellow is chosen for their scholarly excellence strong interest to make an impact in youth or education policy. The Fellow will work closely with Professor Brian Jacob and complete an internship with a Youth Policy Lab partner organization.

Weill Scholars

Paolo Mutia has experience in science communication and inclusive, collaborative decision making in the nongovernmental sector. Mutia built coalitions of Virginians that helped pass the Virginia Clean Economy Act, the state’s first major step towards climate action. Mutia’s leadership roles in the nongovernmental sector focus on inclusive, collaborative decision making. With skills in campaign management, communicating with specific stakeholder groups, and a technical background in environmental health and science, Mutia uses an interdisciplinary approach to engage with communities and help them develop environmental policy. Mutia is pursuing a Master of Public Policy and Master of Science in Information at the University of Michigan. Between his studies at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and the School of Information, he is interested in what public policy looks like that centers justice and equity at the forefront in the age of information technology and the rapid development of new technology. Mutia enjoys designing, building, and enhancing technology that are inclusive and equitable for everyone, especially for historically marginalized groups in environmental sustainability.

Anna D. Nguyen is a dual-degree student in the Master of Public Policy program at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and the Master of Science in Information program at the University of Michigan School of Information. Born and raised in Syracuse, New York, Anna graduated from Syracuse University in 2019 with a BS in Public Health and Policy Studies. Her experiences as a McNair Scholar at Syracuse University and a Public Policy and International Affairs Junior Fellow at the Ford School reaffirmed her passion for public policy, education, and health equity. Prior to attending the Ford School, Anna worked for the City of Syracuse as a city planner. In this role, she collaborated with residents to plan revitalization efforts of housing and commercial corridors. Using data to assess housing stock in under-resourced communities formed her belief that data science is essential in policy development. Anna’s passion in linking inclusive policy development and data science to increase accessibility of information grew from her policy interest in the causes and consequences of urban poverty. In her free time, she enjoys painting, roller skating, and watering her house plants.

Youth Policy Fellow

Sharon Ceron Espinosa (MPP ’23) earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from California State University Channel Islands in 2015. She developed an interest in education policy through her experience as a Peace Corps Education volunteer in Ethiopia from 2016-2018. In addition to teaching English to 9th and 10th grade students in the region of Oromia, she developed programming that focused on promoting gender equality and youth empowerment. She most recently served as a Fulbright Teaching Assistant in Atlacomulco, Mexico. As a part of the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, she taught primary and secondary school students and led professional development workshops for local English teachers. Sharon is passionate about supporting historically underserved students and creating a more equitable public education system. 

Past Weill Scholars and Youth Policy Fellow

  • Max Hill
    Max Hill

     

    Maximilian (Max) Hill (MPP '22) is a native of the San-Fernando Valley in Southern California. He attended Grinnell College in Iowa as an undergraduate, receiving a bachelor's degree in political science with a concentration in statistics. His interest lies at the intersection of fiscal and housing policy, ultimately hoping to combine the two to focus on the fourth sector development. Max currently resides in Ann Arbor and, in his free time, enjoys an amalgamation of fitness, anime, a little bit of sewing, and reading literature on history, politics, and theology.
     

     

    Fanta Conde
    Fanta Conde

     

    Fanta Condé (MPP '22) is a native New Yorker with ancestral roots in West Africa. Prior to joining the Ford School, Fanta worked as a development and education coordinator at the Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative (BCDI) where she focused on curricular vision and execution for the Economic Democracy Learning Center. Additionally, her work focused on strategy development to overcome the traditional frameworks of philanthropy/institutional giving, and to encourage valuable partnership between organizations and grantmaking institutions. Previously, she was a fellow at the Sustained Dialogue Institute — a conflict resolution, and international peacemaking organization. Fanta holds bachelor’s degrees in political science and philosophy from Pennsylvania State University.

    Fanta has broad social policy interests which include public education reform, fostering dialogue for peacebuilding, exploring sustainable poverty solutions for disadvantaged communities, and intersections of philanthropy. She is currently a Research Assistant at the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP). In her freetime, Fanta is a skincare enthusiast, a lover of small town travel, and an admirer of art history.

  • Heather Berg
    Heather Berg

    Heather Berg (MPP/MBA '23) received her Bachelor of Arts in leadership and public policy from the University of Virginia. A first-generation college student, she has dedicated her career to addressing systemic inequities in the education system. Heather began her career in the classroom, teaching 5th grade students at a Title I school in Nashville, Tennessee. She then served as a fellow for the Education Committee of the Council of the District of Columbia, where her policy recommendations on reducing suspensions and expulsions in Washington, DC schools were ultimately adopted and passed as law. Heather has also spent two years conducting K-16 research for an education advocacy nonprofit. She is passionate about building fair, equitable school systems that advance outcomes for at-risk students.