Aguilar named as Kohn Scholar

January 3, 2023

The Ford School recognizes Lizett Aguilar (MPP ‘24) as the 2022 Kohn Scholar. She joins 2021 Kohn Scholar Marco Ramirez (MPP ‘23). Kohn Scholars are chosen for their outstanding qualifications and commitment to public service and advancing social policy. The fellowship is a Ford School Rackham Master's Award, 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.

Aguilar was born and raised in Southern California’s Central Valley. She received her 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, she worked as a paralegal at the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles. In this role, Aguilar assisted tenants facing housing issues and evictions amidst 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,” Aguilar said. “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.”

Ramirez is in his second year at the Ford School and was named the inaugural Kohn Scholar in 2021. He believes health policy is the best vehicle to improve the lives of community members. Previously he worked with the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Program for the Study of Health Reform and Private Insurance in California as a John Gardner Public Service Fellow. He also worked for Covered California—the state agency that manages California’s individual market—and Public Consulting Group (PCG) where he advised state research on Utah's section 1115 Medicaid waiver.

Funding for the Kohn Scholars is part of a $17 million gift from Harold L. and Carol K. Kohn and the Kohn Charitable Trust to establish the Kohn Collaborative for Social Policy. This transformative gift includes five Kohn professorships to dramatically expand the school's expertise in and impact on domestic social policy.

Read more about the Kohn Scholars.