Angie Sohn ’23 Wins Franko-Maisel Prize

She sees public policy work as a way to promote the common good

Angie Sohn '23 is the winner of this year's Franko-Maisel Prize for Public Policy.
By Abigail CurtisPhotography by Benjamin Wheeler, second photo courtesy of Angie Sohn
June 14, 2023

Angie Sohn ’23, who has a sustaining passion for fostering global dialogue, won this year’s Franko-Maisel Prize for Public Policy awarded by the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs. 

The government major with a minor in East Asian studies from Fairfax, Va., plans to use her $5,000 award to offset housing and living expenses when she attends graduate school to attain a master’s degree in public policy.

“The prize money will serve as an immense financial support for me as I begin my path into higher education and public service,” she said. “I look forward to a career in diplomacy where I can actively contribute to efforts such as peace-building, uplifting marginalized populations, and promoting cross-cultural empathy.” 

The Franko-Maisel Prize recognizes an outstanding senior who intends to pursue a policy-related career. The cash prize is made possible by longtime faculty members Patrice Franko, the Grossman Professor of Economics and Global Studies, and Sandy Maisel, the Goldfarb Family Distinguished Professor of American Government, Emeritus. 

Angie Sohn ’23 at Colby’s 202nd Commencement.

Sohn’s interest in, and passion for, public policy is apparent. She is one of two 2023 Colby graduates to win a prestigious Fulbright Fellowship, which aims to foster cultural and diplomatic exchanges between the United States and the world beyond (Chloe Simms ’23 is the other Fulbright Fellowship winner). Additionally, Sohn received a highly competitive Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Graduate Fellowship, which is funded by the U.S. Department of State and which has a 6-percent acceptance rate. 

“As a Pickering Fellow and future diplomat, I intend to advocate for underrepresented communities in order to foster a more inclusive and nuanced foreign policy space,” she said. 

She’ll spend her Fulbright year in Taiwan, where she will take a post as an English Teaching Assistant. When she returns, she will solidify her specific plans to study for a master’s degree in public policy through the Pickering Fellowship. After that, she’ll have the opportunity to complete five years of service as a foreign service officer. Sohn is the first Pickering Fellow from Colby. 

Sohn, who has studied Korean, Mandarin, Japanese, and Spanish, is the child of Korean immigrants. She became interested in public policy work in high school, when she volunteered with nonprofit organizations that supported resettled North Korean refugees. She’s held internships at the Wilson Center’s Korea Center, USAID, and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and she studied abroad her junior year at Korea University. All of those opportunities have been meaningful in shaping her interests in global affairs.

“As a first-generation student, I am thankful for the many sources of support I have received that have helped me along my journey,” Sohn said. “I hope to dedicate myself and my career to paying this generosity forward.” 

Her ultimate goal is a career in diplomacy and public policy.

“Public policy excites me due to the opportunities to think analytically about complex issues and collaboratively work to promote the common good,” she said. “Through working in the public policy space, I hope to leave a positive impact on peoples’ lives.”