Franko-Maisel Prize for Public Policy

In 2020, the center launched the first Franko-Maisel Prize for Public Policy to recognize an outstanding Colby graduate who has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to public affairs and who plans to pursue a career in public affairs upon graduation.

The prize, which is up to $5,000 as a cash award, is determined by the Goldfarb Center’s Executive Director and a committee of faculty who have been engaged in public affairs. The award is based on applications that showcase a senior’s public affairs engagement at Colby, plans for the future, and how this award will impact the student’s ability to fulfill those plans.

The Franko-Maisel Prize is possible because of a generous gift from Patrice Franko, the Grossman Professor of Economics and Professor of Global Studies, and Sandy Maisel, the Goldfarb Family Distinguished Professor of American Government. 

Professors Sandy Maisel and Patrice Franko
Professors Sandy Maisel and Patrice Franko

Professor Maisel was the founding director of the Goldfarb Center in 2003 and Professor Franko was the director from 2016-2019. The gift is further testament to their decades of commitment to public affairs programming and Colby students.

More information on the application process for seniors will be shared in spring 2021. The winner will be announced each June after graduation. Questions regarding the Franko-Maisel Public Policy Prize should be sent to Kimberly Flowers, Executive Director of the Goldfarb Center, at [email protected]

Prize for Public Policy Winner: Gal Cohen
Gal Cohen '20 received the first Franko-Maisel Prize

First-Ever Franko-Maisel Prize for Public Policy Winner: Gal Cohen

We are pleased to announce that the first-ever Franko-Maisel Prize for Public Policy was awarded to Gal Cohen. She is a 2020 Colby graduate who majored in Global Studies with a concentration in International Relations. Gal, a dual U.S./Israeli citizen, is the first in her family to graduate from college. She plans to relocate to Washington, DC to start her career in public service to directly affect and improve public policy.

Gal has done impressive work already. During her time at Colby, Gal demonstrated her commitment to human rights by leading the Amnesty International chapter and serving as a student leader and community advocate for the Oak Institute for Human Rights. She worked as a Sexual Violence Prevention educator and mentor and had internships at two prominent think tanks: the Center for European Policy Studies in Belgium and the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC. Gal also contributed to the grassroots mobilization of at-risk female asylum seekers in Thailand for healthcare reform; partnered with community leaders in Nicaragua’s poor indigenous communities to advocate for equal access to state-funded resources; created campaigns to raise awareness of corruption in the Israeli government; and lobbied Israeli officials and international health organizations to improve policies and access to healthcare in the West Bank and Gaza.

As she wrote in her application, Gals’ career goal is to “create better policies for better lives.” She has certainly earned the honor of being named the first Franko-Maisel Prize winner, and the Goldfarb Center looks forward to watching Gal continue to advance the hallmarks of good public policy.