Rice University Student, Alumna Named Marshall Scholars
Rice University senior Kareem Ayoub and Rice alumna Jessica “Jecca” Steinberg are among the 40 students across the U.S. who were named Marshall Scholars this year.
The Marshall Scholarship, founded by an Act of Parliament in 1953 to commemorate the humane ideals of the Marshall Plan, allows distinguished American students to pursue two years of graduate study at any institution in the United Kingdom. Scholars are selected on the basis of academic merit and leadership and ambassadorial potential.
Ayoub will use the scholarship to complete a Master of Science in neuroscience at Oxford University and a Master of Research in experimental neuroscience. Upon return to the U.S., he plans to pursue an M.D./Ph.D. in neurosurgery and to promote a collaborative scientific culture internationally.
At Rice, Ayoub is a Century Scholar currently majoring in bioengineering. He has conducted extensive research in neuroimaging at Baylor College of Medicine since his freshman year. Focused on creating better pre-surgical planning for children with epilepsy, he has co-authored several publications and collaborated this past summer with researchers at the Oxford Functional MRI Brain Centre through funding from Rice’s Wagoner Foreign Study Scholarship. Taking his passion for science outside the lab, Ayoub founded RicEmpower, a science outreach organization that partners with K-12 schools to inspire the next generation of scientists and physicians.
Steinberg will use the Marshall Scholarship to pursue a Master of Science in global health and development at University College London and a Master of Arts in health management, planning and policy at the University of Leeds. Upon return to the U.S., Steinberg will pursue an M.D. As an obstetrician, she plans to offer comprehensive, patient-focused health care in urban environments.
Steinberg graduated magna cum laude in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in biological sciences. On campus, she conducted research and served as an EMT and Rice health adviser. She also worked extensively on projects outside of the university; she participated in a service trip to Guatemala, interned at Centre Las Libres in Guanajuato City, Guanajuato, Mexico, volunteered with women’s health organizations in Houston and taught a course titled “Poverty in Houston” for Rice students.
Steinberg currently serves as the program coordinator of Community Bridges, which she developed during her senior year in collaboration with Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research, Center for Civic Engagement and Office of the Dean of Undergraduates. The program partners select undergraduates with organizations in Houston’s Fifth Ward so the students can take their skills outside the classroom for credit while helping the partner organizations address poverty-related issues.