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

Social Sciences4 MIN READ

The prize money will help jumpstart his next chapter working for the congressional press corps in Washington, D.C.

Kevin Craig ’24 received the Franko-Maisel Prize from the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs for his dedication to public service, engagement in campus affairs, and aspirations to launch a career combining politics and journalism.
By Laura MeaderPhotography by Ashley L. Conti
May 21, 2024

Dedication to public service throughout his Colby career has reaped a significant reward for Kevin Craig ’24, who won the Franko-Maisel Prize for Public Policy awarded by the Goldfarb Center for Public Affairs.

The $5,000 prize makes his move from Waterville to Washington, D.C., less daunting, said the Spanish and history double major who has already used part of the prize to secure an apartment in the nation’s capital. His goal is to work in the congressional press corps, uniting his interests in journalism and politics.

“This is the biggest weight lifted off my shoulders,” said Craig, a first-generation, low-income student and QuestBridge Scholar. “Being the recipient of the Franko-Maisel Prize goes a long way toward helping establish the financial security that I’ve been hoping for.”

“I can’t understate how much of a difference this prize makes. It’s absolutely life-changing,” said Kevin Craig ’24 of the $5,000 Franko-Maisel Prize that will help him jumpstart a career in Washington, D.C.

The Franko-Maisel Prize recognizes an outstanding senior who intends to pursue a public 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. 

“Kevin Craig stood out as an exceptional candidate deserving of this prestigious award. His dedication to public service, through his engagement in campus affairs, internship experience with Congresswoman [Chellie] Pingree’s office, and aspirations to launch a career combining politics and journalism, truly exemplifies the spirit of the Franko-Maisel Prize,” said Alison Beyea, executive director of the Goldfarb Center.

“We are proud to recognize his talents and support his pursuit of working on Capitol Hill, where his unique perspective will be an asset.”

Craig developed his interest in journalism and politics as a high schooler in Corpus Christi, Texas, where he was involved with speech and debate teams. His first foray into politics was through a congressional internship in the office of Representative Scott Peters (D-California) during his sophomore year at Colby. A Colby alum who was chief of staff for the congressman at the time facilitated the internship, and a Sandy Maisel Student Internship Grant funded it. Craig used that experience to secure a position later in the Waterville district office of Representative Chellie Pingree (D-Maine).

Kevin Craig used a Sandy Maisel Student Internship Grant to support a congressional internship in the nation’s capital during his sophomore year. (Photo courtesy of Kevin Craig)

His journalism experience began while working summers with Hearst Television in Portland, Maine, which operates the TV station WMTW. His internships there were funded by the Emma Bowen Foundation, a talent pipeline that aims to build a more diverse media ecosystem by supporting students from marginalized backgrounds. Craig also received support from a second Sandy Maisel Internship Grant, a Goldfarb Center-funded program.

“The thread through all this is storytelling and communication,” said Craig. “It’s something I honed as a journalist-in-training getting to travel across the state and tell stories of the people that live here and then connecting that to the political world.”

On campus, Craig has been involved in residential life as an area residence director, belongs to the Colby Mock Trial and Debate Teams, and served as president of the Bridge, Colby’s all-inclusive, LGBTQIA2S+ student-run club.

“I can’t understate how much of a difference this prize makes. It’s absolutely life-changing,” Craig mused while awaiting final job offers in Washington. “I wasn’t expecting this honor, but I’m deeply, deeply grateful to professors Franko and Maisel for investing in this.

“It feels really good to have been recognized for what I have done, and that’s helping me be proud of the experience that I’ve had at Colby.”