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KU graduate Ashlie Koehn is named as a Schwarzman Scholar

Thursday, December 01, 2016

LAWRENCE — Ashlie Koehn, a University of Kansas graduate, is among 129 men and women named to the second class of Schwarzman Scholars, which provide for a year of graduate study in China.

The scholarship provides funds for one year at Tsinghua University in Beijing, earning a master’s degree in public policy, economics and business or international studies.

Koehn credited her success to her KU mentors and her friends and family who had been with her through good times and hard times alike.

“I know this scholarship will open new doors and opportunities,” Koehn said. “I'm particularly grateful for the support of everyone who has helped me along the way, and I'm eager to find out how this new journey unfolds."

Koehn, 26, graduated from KU in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree with majors in economics and international studies and a minor in environmental studies. She was among 2,747 applicants for the award.

Koehn is the only student in KU’s history to have won the Truman, Udall, Boren and Gilman scholarships, which she won in a two-year timespan. Koehn studied abroad three times, including a year studying Russian and economics in the Kyrgyz Republic. She also studied in Geneva, Switzerland, and in Germany with a KU environmental studies program.

Before and during her undergraduate career, she served as a staff sergeant and intelligence analyst in the Kansas Air National Guard.

Passionate about the intersection of climate change and international trade and finance, Koehn aspires to be an environmental economist. She currently works as an economist at the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

She joins a class of Schwarzman Scholars from 30 countries and 75 universities, with 45 percent of the scholars coming from the U.S., 20 percent from China and 35 percent from the rest of the world.

“Ashlie’s accolades and achievements are impressive, yet they are combined with a wonderfully down-to-earth, open personality,” said Anne Wallen, assistant director of national fellowships and scholarships at the KU Honors Program, which oversees the application process for the Schwarzman Scholars and other awards. “She is devoted to service, and has a wonderful ability to be a leader and a change agent, and I know she will make a very positive contribution to the next cohort of Schwarzman Scholars.”

Koehn is the daughter of Rodney and Carolyn Koehn of Burns. She graduated from Fredric Remington High School in Whitewater.

About Schwarzman Scholars
Schwarzman Scholars was inspired by the Rhodes Scholarship, which was founded in 1902 to promote international understanding and peace, and is designed to meet the challenges of the 21st century and beyond. Blackstone Co-Founder Stephen A. Schwarzman personally contributed $100 million to the program and is leading a fundraising campaign to raise an additional $350 million from private sources to endow the program in perpetuity. The $450 million endowment will support up to 200 scholars annually from the U.S., China, and around the world for a one-year Master’s Degree program at Tsinghua University in Beijing, one of China’s most prestigious universities and an indispensable base for the country’s scientific and technological research. Scholars chosen for this highly selective program will live in Beijing for a year of study and cultural immersion, attending lectures, traveling, and developing a better understanding of China. Admissions opened in the fall of 2015, with the first class of students in residence in 2016.


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9 to 1: Average ratio of KU honors students to faculty advisors
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60% of University Honors Program students study abroad
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