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Home » Discover Rackham » 2018 Cohort of Ma Scholars Announced

The Rackham Graduate School is pleased to announce the second cohort of Ma Scholars. This need-based funding is awarded to graduate students from Asia who wish to pursue careers in public service, particularly those in the Schools of Social Work, Education, and Nursing. With the addition of these three students, six students have benefitted thus far from the generosity shown by Karl Ma through his gift of $2.5 million to establish the Karl C.K. Ma Endowed Graduate Scholarship Fund at Rackham.

We would like to extend our congratulations to the following awardees:

Pinghui Wu


“The scholarship will play an important role in my last year of Ph.D. study; it will give me the support needed to focus on my dissertation.”

Pinghui Wu (Taiwan) is a Ph.D. Candidate in Social Work and Economics. Her research interests focus on the effect of changes in the economic environment, in particular the growth of trade competition and automation technology on the employment prospect and well-being of workers.

Her current research project examines 1) how individual worker's adjustment and response to trade competition is affected by their geographic location and occupation; 2) the role of unemployment insurance in the mental health and substance use behavior among unemployed workers; 3) a historical analysis of the geographic integration of the U.S. labor market.


Seoyoon Woo


“By receiving this scholarship, not only can I reduce my financial burdens and concentrate on studying, but I also am deeply inspired to help others by giving back to future nurses.”

Seoyoon Woo (Republic of Korea) is a Ph.D. Candidate in Nursing. Her long-term research interest is understanding health-related experiences in the elderly with chronic conditions and developing useful tools and intervention programs to improve their physical and psychological well-being. Her dissertation focuses on developing and evaluating the stigma scale for people with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). The first paper of the dissertation, a systematic literature review, found that there are no well-established stigma measures for this population. Based on the findings from the first paper, the two that follow will address scientific gaps by developing a COPD stigma scale and evaluating psychometric properties. A reliable, valid, and usable stigma scale for people with COPD will serve as a guideline for screening and counseling, and thus facilitate engaging in management and treatment among people with COPD.


Heeyun Kim


“This support encourages me to continue the commitment to reaching my goal and inspires me to resemble your passion to serve the public.”

Heeyun Kim (Republic of Korea) is a Ph.D. Candidate in Higher Education. Her broad research agenda aims to design and evaluate higher education policies based on a thorough understanding of their mechanisms. Through academic training and large-scale studies in multiple disciplines, she engages in interdisciplinary thinking with expertise in education, public administration, and economics to examine critical factors influencing the policy process. In the long-term, she hopes to identify effective interventions to improve two distinct but interrelated areas: student access and success in higher education.