Kevin Craig '24 Wins Franko-Maisel Prize for Public Policy

Congratulations to Kevin Craig ‘24, winner of the 2024 Franko-Maisel Prize for Public Policy! Each year, the Goldfarb Center awards this prize to an outstanding Colby senior who has demonstrated a commitment to public affairs and plans to pursue a career related to public policy. The Goldfarb Center selected Kevin as this year’s recipient due to his commitment to the Colby community as well as his dedication to public service, as shown through engagement in campus affairs, internship experience with Congresswoman Pingree’s office, and aspirations to launch a career combining politics and journalism.

The Goldfarb Center is proud to recognize Kevin’s talents and support his pursuit of a career on Capitol Hill where his unique perspective will be an asset. Read more about Kevin’s accomplishments and plans here.

Overture Vol. 4: Hot Off the Press

Volume 4 of Overture, Colby’s student-led journal of international affairs has just been published. This year’s journal features award-winning content from Anavi Khanna ’27, Sanjay Krshna Rameshkumar ’27, Catherine Tan ’26, Nicholas Lacascia ’25, and Parth Parth ’25. Sydney Pascal ’26 did a great job in her first year as Editor-in-Chief. Catch up with all of the scholarly insights students as well as faculty captured in this year’s publication here

Freedom of Expression Policy Publication Released

The Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs would like to once again congratulate all of the participants in this year’s Freedom of Expression Symposium. 

The finalists who competed in the oral presentation component of the competition have lifted up actionable policy solutions to the current discussion about misinformation in politics. We’ve compiled their policy proposals into a publication that you can access here. We hope you will find these proposals to be as compelling and creative as our panel of distinguished judges! 

'24/'25 Student Advisory Board Nominations Open on April 1

The Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs Student Advisory Board is a group of 6-15 students who, with the support of Goldfarb Faculty and Staff, develop and exercise leadership skills by fostering student engagement in public affairs and Goldfarb Center events.

Service on the Advisory Board is open to any Colby student in their sophomore, junior, or senior year and any field of study, and the Goldfarb Center actively seeks student representation from outside the division of social sciences.

Nominations for the ’24/’25 academic year open on April 1. Find the link to the nomination form here. The nomination period closes at 11:59 on Tuesday, April 9, 2024.

Grappling with the Effect of Misinformation and AI in Elections

As we navigate through the unprecedented landscape of the 2024 election cycle, it’s imperative to understand the role of misinformation and artificial intelligence. The Goldfarb Center hosted an incredible panel to discuss recent technological advancements and their impact on electoral processes. Featuring leading experts such as Patrick Conlon of Alethea, Colby Professor Sonya Donaldson, Ph.D. Commissioner Ellen Weintraub of the FEC, and Ben Wizner of the ACLU, the discussion provided invaluable insights into the complexities surrounding these critical issues. Watch here.

2024 Freedom of Expression Symposium Winners

The Goldfarb Center extends its congratulations to all of this year’s Symposium winners and participants. Tommy Lowell ‘26 placed first in the competition for his proposal to hold social media companies accountable for harm caused by the use of bots that spread misinformation on these platforms. Zani’ah Brown ‘24 placed second with her comprehensive proposal to stop misinformation spread through multiple means, including enhanced media literacy education, cybersecurity coordination, and government funding for local newspapers. 

Saathvika Diviti ‘25, Erik Holm, ’25, and Louis Weiner ’24 shared third place honors:  Saathvika proposed  to stop the spread of health misinformation through the establishment of a specialized oversight body to verify the health claims of politicians; and Louis and Erik ‘25 proposed the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act): a pitch to legislators to regulate the acquisition and utilization of user data by social media and tech companies. Find out more about this year’s competition and watch a recording here

Goldfarb Students in Spain: Seeing Policy Put into Practice

This year, the Goldfarb Center launched an innovative “ESG” Jan Plan. The program, in collaboration with Assistant Professor of Economics Yang Fan and Avangrid’s VP of Sustainability Laney Brown ’90, provided four students with a unique opportunity to engage in on-campus study and a week-long immersion at Iberdrola’s hub in Bilbao, Spain, gaining first hand insights into Environmental, Governance and Social practices. 

The program concluded with students presenting their capstone project to Avangrid executives and Colby faculty. Learn more about the experience here.

Panel Discussion: Rethinking Rural: Celebrating Place, Bridging Divides

Thursday, March 7, 2024 | 7:00 PM| Ostrove Auditorium, Diamond Building

Downeast: Five Maine Girls and the Unseen Story of Rural America. Dee Davis is the President of the Center for Rural Strategies and the Publisher of The Daily Yonder. And Tony Pipa is a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution where he leads the Reimagining Rural Policy Initiative. Co-sponsored by the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs, the Government Department, and the Center for the Arts and Humanities.

Panel Discussion: Rethinking Rural: Celebrating Place, Bridging Divides
Panel Discussion: Misinformation and AI in the Upcoming Election

Panel Discussion: Misinformation and AI in the Upcoming Election

Monday, March 4, 2024 | 7:00 PM| Ostrove Auditorium, Diamond Building

The 2024 election cycle is reshaping our political landscape. Please join the Goldfarb Center and Davis Center for AI for an extraordinary panel discussion moderated by Professor Sonya Donaldson and hear from leading experts on how misinformation and AI are impacting the upcoming election.

If you are planning on attending, we ask that you please register. The event will also be live-streamed and recorded.


Sunday, March 3, 2024 | 4:00 PM | Ostrove Auditorium, Diamond Building

Join us for the 2024 Freedom of Expression Symposium to hear student policy proposals aimed at combatting misinformation in politics. At this event, students who have advanced to the semi-final round of the Goldfarb Center’s annual policy competition will give oral presentations to a panel of distinguished judges for a chance to win a first place cash prize of $2,000. An appetizer reception will follow, and all are welcome to attend.

Sunday, March 3, 2024 | 4:00 PM | Ostrove Auditorium, Diamond Building​
The Second Amendment & Supreme Court: Where are we today?​

The Second Amendment & Supreme Court: Where are we today?

Friday, February 23, 2024 | 12:30 PM | Bobby Silberman Lounge, Cotter Union​

The Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs welcomes you to join us to discuss the history of Supreme Court decisions related to the Second Amendment and where it leaves us today for gun safety policies. The discussion will also focus on the connection between the role of gun safety policies and prevention of domestic violence. We are joined by two amazing experts: Margaret Groban and Bill Harwood.

Margaret Groban is a former Assistant U.S. Attorney, National Domestic Violence Organizer, and Adjunct Faculty at the UMaine School of Law. Bill Harwood  is an Adjunct Professor of Law at the UMaine School of Law.

Please RSVP here. Pizza provided!

Hill to Hill JanPlan Concludes

Hill to Hill is a wrap! After a month in Washington, D.C., our ten exceptional students have returned.

Our student cohort embarked on Jan Plan internships across Washington, D.C., aligned with Goldfarb’s key areas of focus: policy, politics, persuasion, and the press. Their experiences have been nothing short of extraordinary. You can learn more about our student’s experiences below on our Instagram or through the student blogs.

Huge shoutout to our DC Colby alumni and host employers for being the backbone of this program. Together, we’re creating an incredible Colby network in DC and building a tremendous program for students.

Call for Policy Proposals

Now accepting student policy proposals for the 2024 Freedom of Expression Symposium. The theme of this year’s symposium is “misinformation in American politics” and we welcome proposals that address a broad range of policy issues related to combating this rising concern.

Competitors selected as semi-finalists receive $300 and the chance to present at the symposium on March 3rd. The first place winner will receive $1,700; second place $1,200, and third $700.

Learn more about the competition and how policy briefs should be structured here. The submission deadline is Tuesday, February 20, 2024 at 9 p.m. There will also be several opportunities to get support with writing and presenting your proposals in February. Stay tuned to learn more.

Weekly January Dispatches from DC

Hill to Hill is back and better than ever! The 2024 cohort of Hill to Hill students are spending their JanPlan interning at various sites in Washington D.C. They are gaining incredible insights into the sociopolitical fabric of the city, gaining new professional skills, and furthering their academic understanding of the world of policy making and public affairs.

As part of their internship, Hill to Hill students are capturing and sharing insights as blog posts. Visit this page throughout the month of January to learn in real time what the cohort is learning and doing through the Goldfarb Center’s signature JanPlan internship program.

Ten Highlights from 2023

It has been a transformative year at the Goldfarb Center, made possible by the incredible support of the Goldfarb community. Your collective enthusiasm has been the driving force behind the Center’s success this year and we couldn’t be more grateful.

Please join us in reflecting on the past twelve months and all we have accomplished together. Read the ten highlights from 2023 here.

Student Trivia Night with the Goldfarb Center

Tuesday, December 5, 2023 | 7:30 PM| Cotter Union Colby Pub

Join the Goldfarb Student Executive Board for a fun night of trivia and camaraderie celebrating the end of the semester. Trivia topics will include Goldfarb events, policy, politics, and some random questions, too! We are offering BIG prizes (gift cards of up to $50 to all of your favorite Waterville restaurants!) and there will be plenty of food to go around! Bring your friends and your brains! *You do not need to be 21*

Student Trivia Night with the Goldfarb Center​
Conversation with the Colby Justice Think Tank Fellows​

Conversation with the Colby Justice Think Tank Fellows

Tuesday, November 28, 2023 | 4:15 PM| Ostrove Auditorium, Diamond Building

Join us to hear from twelve incarcerated and formerly incarcerated Fellows from Colby’s Justice Think Tank as they share their collaborative research and lived experience on how to build a more restorative response to harm than punitive incarceration. A reception will follow. 

Co-sponsored by the Goldfarb Center, Colby College Libraries, the Government Department, the Classics Department, and the Anthropology Department. The Think Tank is funded by the National Alliance for Higher Education and supported by Colby Across the Walls

Understanding Question 3: Maine's Pine Tree Power Referendum

Friday, October 27, 2023 | 1PM | Diamond Building Room 122

Have you been driving around Waterville and seeing signs asking you to vote YES or vote NO on Question 3/Pine Tree Power? Are you not really sure what that means but want to figure it out? Then please join us for a lunch event all about Maine’s Ballot Referendum Question 3. We will be joined by Maine’s Public Advocate, William Harwood, who will walk us through this ballot referendum question and answer any and all questions you might have. the Public Advocate’s office is responsible for representing consumer interests in regards to Maine utilities and has, notably, not taken a stance on Question 3. This means that Harwood is a valuable resource for understanding and explaining this referendum question and will lead us in an engaging conversation.

Your RSVP is appreciated to ensure enough pizza is ordered for everyone.

Co-sponsored by the Goldfarb Center and the Government Department. Contact Willa Spalter or Zane Schiffman with any questions.

Understanding Question 3: Maine's Pine Tree Power Referendum​
Lovejoy Award Ceremony​

Lovejoy Award Ceremony

Friday, October 20, 2023

The Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award of Colby, established in 1952, is awarded to a journalist who continues the Lovejoy heritage of fearlessness and commitment to American freedom of the press. The award is granted annually to a member of the press, regardless of title, who, in the opinion of selection committee members, has contributed to the country’s journalistic achievement. This year’s award winner is Evan Gershkovich, an American Journalist currently detained in Russia. 

The presentation of the Lovejoy Award will take place at 4pm on Friday, October 20 at Colby’s Gordon Center for the Performing Arts and will include a discussion of the winners’ work with the Wall Street Journal’s World Coverage Chief Gordon Fairclough and Lovejoy Selection Committee Member Mindy Marqués Gonzales, vice president and executive editor at Simon and Schuster and former editor of the Miami Herald. President Greene will offer remarks and present the award. Evan’s parents, Ella Milman and Mikhail Gershkovich, will accept the Lovejoy Award on his behalf. The public is invited to attend the free event.

William R. and Linda K. Cotter Discourse and Deliberation Series

Working to Recognize Wabanaki Tribal Sovereignty: A conversation with tribal and Maine legislative leaders

Tuesday, October 3, 2023

For more than 40 years, legislation in the state of Maine has prevented the Wabanaki Nations — the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, Mi’kmaq Nation, Passamaquoddy Tribe, and Penobscot Nation — from exercising their inherent tribal sovereignty.

Please join Maulian Bryant LL.D ’22, Penobscot Nation Ambassador; Aaron Dana, Passamaquoddy Tribal Representative to the Maine House of Representatives; Rachel Talbot Ross, Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives (D-Portland); and Rick Bennett, Maine State Senator (R-Oxford) as they discuss how this has resulted in decades of social and economic impacts to the Wabanaki people and how they are building a movement for tribal sovereignty in Maine.

Learn more about this issue, the history of Wabanaki sovereignty in Maine, and the unique and precedent-setting approaches the Maine legislature and Wabanaki tribal leaders are using to address both by visiting the website for the Wabanaki Alliance.

The Creator's Game: The indigenous roots of the game called "Lacrosse"​

The Creator's Game: The indigenous roots of the game called "Lacrosse"

Monday, October 2, 2023

The game of Lacrosse is one of the Haudenosaunee’s most revered traditions, a celebration of health, strength, courage, leadership,  and fair play, and spirituality as a “medicine” game. 

Join Michael-Corey Francis Hinton, citizen of the Passamaquoddy Tribe (Sipayik), and partner with the law firm of Drummond Woodsum as he discusses the history of the Creator’s Game and how its traditions and values impact indigenous and non-indigenous communities today. 

This event is sponsored by Colby Athletics, the Center for the Arts and Humanities, and the Goldfarb Center and is part of the Play Seminar Series, which is co-sponsored by the Departments of Cinema Studies, English and Creative Writing, Government, Sociology, Spanish, the Latin American Studies Program, and the Oak Institute for Human Rights. 

Reception and Panel Discussion with Ghetto Gastro

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Ghetto Gastro, a globally-recognized collective of chefs, is made up of curators and cultural practitioners who use food as a tool to tell stories about the Bronx, where they come from, and the cultures that inspire them. Their work reflects the ethos and spirit of working across disciplines, geographies, and cultures for the sake of community empowerment, community building, and social justice.

Ghetto Gastro’s visit to Colby’s campus represents a campus-wide co-sponsorship of this momentous event, including the Colby Arts Office, Campus Dining, Campus Life, SGA, the Center for the Arts and Humanities, the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs, the Department of African American Studies, and the Lunder Institute for American Art as partners.

A pre-panel reception starts at 6PM with appetizers, cocktails, and mocktails inspired by the Black Power Kitchen. The panel discussion begins at 7PM and will be moderated by Erica Wall, Director of the Lunder Institute for American Art. The reception resumes following the panel with a celebratory battle of the DJs. 

Applications for Hill to Hill Program Open on September 25

Hill to Hill, the Goldfarb Center’s signature JanPlan internship program in Washington D.C. is back from its pandemic hiatus! Applications open on Monday, September 25. Applications are due on Wednesday, October 4, 2023 at 11:59PM. 

This internship program is open to any student at Colby and we encourage you to apply. Reach out to Erica Buswell, [email protected], with any questions or make an appointment to talk, or attend Goldfarb office hours on Wednesday’s from 11:30-1:30 during the application period.

Visit our internships and programs page to learn more and apply.

The International War Against Democracy: Current Threats and Building a Stronger Future

September 12, 2023

Democracies worldwide are under sustained attack. At the heart of all democracies are their institutions, with the justice sector at its core, buttressed by media, civil society and others which reflect the voice of those nations’ peoples. These institutions are the focus of anti-democratic forces’ efforts, in all parts of the world, including the US. To defeat these dictators, autocrats and other anti-democratic leaders and movements requires urgent action at all levels: locally, nationally and through multilateral coordination. Drawing on his decades-long career as a diplomat and public servant, Ambassador (retired) Robert Gelbard ’64, LL.D ’02 shares his call to action and offer insights into preserving a future for global democracy. 

Robert S. Gelbard is a former U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia, East Timor and Bolivia. In addition to his ambassadorial postings, Mr. Gelbard has served in several senior Foreign Service positions under Presidents Clinton, George H. W. Bush, and Obama, including as President Clinton’s Special Representative for the Balkans. A decorated public servant, and Peace Corps volunteer, the Ambassador has had a long and distinguished career in diplomacy and democracy-building. He is also a former Colby Trustee

Linda Cotter Speaker Series

Unlivable: How a changing climate will force a global migration

August 9, 2023

Climate change is making the same parts of the world that are the most populated hotter and drier, leading to growing food scarcity and widespread economic impact that is together expected to drive large-scale migration over the coming decades. In this talk, we’ll look at the climate-driven migration already underway, consider how it affects the U.S. border and security, and also what a hotter climate means for where people live inside the U.S. Abrahm Lustgarten shares his perceptions on this critical issue.

Co-hosted by the Mid-Maine Global Forum and the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs, the Linda Cotter Speaker Series honors Linda Cotter, founder of the Mid-Maine Global Forum and late wife of former Colby College president William Cotter.

Evan Gershkovich to Receive Lovejoy Award for Courage in Journalism

Colby is pleased to announce that Evan Gershkovich, the American journalist who has been jailed in Russia for nearly 150 days, will receive the 2023 Elijah Parish Lovejoy Award for Courage in Journalism. Gershkovich, who writes about Russia for the Wall Street Journal, has been detained in Moscow’s Lefortovo Prison since his arrest in late March.

The presentation of the Lovejoy Award will take place at 4pm on Friday, October 20 at Colby’s Gordon Center for the Performing Arts and will include a discussion of the winners’ work with the Wall Street Journal’s World Coverage Chief Gordon Fairclough and Lovejoy Selection Committee Member Mindy Marqués Gonzales, vice president and executive editor at Simon and Schuster and former editor of the Miami Herald. President Greene will offer remarks and present the award. Evan’s parents, Ella Milman and Mikhail Gershkovich, will accept the Lovejoy Award on his behalf. The public is invited to attend the free event.

2022-23 Annual Report

As summer comes to an end and Colby begins a new academic year, we are excited to give you a flavor of what we have been up to, share Executive Director Alison Beyea’s reflections on her first six months, and engage the community around what’s coming next.

Read the Goldfarb Center’s 2022-23 Annual Report here.

‘23 Franko-Maisel Prize Announcement

We extend our hearty congratulations to Angie Sohn, winner of this year’s Franko-Maisel Public Policy Prize. Named for two, long-serving Colby Faculty Members – Patrice Franko and Sandy Maisel – the Franko-Maisel Public Policy Prize is awarded each year to a graduating senior who exemplifies a commitment to public affairs and is planning to pursue a career in public policy. As an aspiring public servant and diplomat, Angie will be pursuing a master’s degree in international relations and will then join the US Foreign Service as a Pickering Fellow. In her application, Angie described her vision to “help transform the diplomatic corps to be truly representative of our nation’s diversity, and in doing so contribute to shaping a stronger and more nuanced foreign policy apparatus.” Read more about Angie’s plans for her future in Colby News.

Throughout her time at Colby, Angie has demonstrated a deep commitment to public affairs and policy both on and off-campus. We wish her all the best of luck in her future endeavors.

Overture Vol. 3

Volume 3 of Overture, Colby’s annual Journal of International Affairs, is now out! Published with support from the Goldfarb Center, this year’s edition includes content authored by Colby students covering issues such as gender-based violence and the cartel landscape in Central America, IMF loan interventions, sovereignty in post-war Europe; nuclear-test-ban treaties; and extra-territorial sanctions. Dig in and read all of the content here. Thank you to editor Joshua Brause ‘23 for supporting the publication of the Overture Journal since its inception.

2023 Freedom of Expression Symposium Winners

Congratulations to this year’s Symposium winners and participants! Michelle Bechtel, Justin Kim, and Helen Wang placed first in the competition for their proposal to address the shortage of rural physicians by removing barriers to and adding incentives for increasing residency positions in remote communities. Sophie Peterson placed second with a proposal to improve healthcare access for marginalized patients through the use of community health workers. Susie Swan placed third with a proposal to address the overwhelming number of opioid overdose deaths through the protected expansion of harm-reduction programs such as syringe distribution programs. Saathvika Diviti, Anna do Rosario, Cliona Kenney, Sonia Marnoto, and Saia Patel were also selected to compete in this year’s competition. Read all of the inspiring policy ideas presented at this year’s competition here.

Event: Policy and Practice Solutions for Addressing Childcare Shortages

On May 31, 2023, the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs partnered with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston to host “Policy and Practice Solutions for Addressing Childcare Shortages,” a half-day event bringing together stakeholders on the leading edge of identifying solutions to Maine’s childcare crisis, one of the more vexing public policy issues of the day. The convening highlighted the relationship between childcare access challenges and the workforce, private sector opportunities to shift the current policy landscape on this issue, and practices being utilized by several Maine-based companies to support working parents. In addition, the event also sparked an original student-faculty research project led by Professor Nick Jacobs in collaboration with Claudia Miner ‘23; Gabriel Rivas Orellana ‘23; and Zoe Onyango ‘25. Read more about the event in Colby News.

Letter from the new ED

In the U.S. Congress and the United Nations, at local school boards and throughout state legislatures, we face an array of daunting public policy challenges. War in Ukraine. Climate Change. School Curricula. Voting Rights. And the list goes on. From the global to the local, the outcomes of these public policy debates will impact generations to come. As a college community, how can we advance conversations and find solutions to the challenges we face at the state, national, and global levels? Read more here.