Mark Jbeily, a Plan II Honors and Naval ROTC senior at The University of Texas at Austin, has been named a 2015 British Marshall Scholar.
The Marshall Scholarship will fund Jbeily’s pursuit of a Master of Philosophy in International Relations at the University of Oxford in England. The scholarship, which is awarded to no more than 40 students each year, covers university fees, cost of living expenses, books, thesis research and travel, as well as fares to and from the United States.
Jbeily, a midshipman in UT Austin’s Naval ROTC, will be commissioned as a naval officer upon his graduation next spring before heading to Oxford.
“Study at Oxford will build on work begun at UT and prepare me for the practical security challenges I will face as a naval officer and strategic planner,” says Jbeily. “While in England, I want to gain a better understanding of how security policy is developed. As we face emerging threats like terrorism and climate change, I hope to develop new models of security cooperation that will foster a closer accord between our nations.”
Following his studies at Oxford, Jbeily will attend Naval Aviation training in Pensacola, Florida. After completing his training, he hopes to be placed with a Strike Fighter Squadron flying the F/A-18 Super Hornet. Long term, Jbeily aspires to serve as a naval liaison assigned to the National Security Council, where he would be responsible for developing high-level strategic guidance for his country.
Larry Carver, director of the Liberal Arts Honors Programs, has been working with Jbeily since his sophomore year.
“Mark is a superb student and just a great leader,” Carver says. “He goes into everything with great energy, imagination and good will.”
Jbeily has achieved a lot since enrolling at UT Austin. In the summer of 2013, he studied Arabic in Morocco for two months through the Department of Defense National Security Education Program. Next, he spent the fall 2013 semester in Washington D.C. through the Bill Archer Fellowship, where he undertook a 15-hour course load while interning full-time at the White House Office of Cabinet Affairs. In spring 2014, he was also a finalist for the prestigious Truman Scholarship. This spring, Jbeily will serve as NROTC Battalion Commander, the highest-ranking student officer.
“Receiving the Marshall Scholarship has been both a tremendous honor and a humbling experience,” Jbeily says. “I see the scholarship as an investment toward future achievement rather than an award for past success. This award wouldn’t have been possible without the world-class education I received from The University of Texas and I am proud to represent the Longhorn community in England.”
The Marshall Scholarship, now in its 61st year, is funded substantially through the government of the United Kingdom. The intention of the Marshall Scholarship is to “strengthen the enduring relationship between the British and American peoples, their governments and their institutions,” according to the Marshall Scholarship website. It was founded as a tribute to the Marshall Plan, which was named for former U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall and through which the United States provided aid to rebuild Europe after World War II.
This is the third year in a row a UT Austin student has been awarded the Marshall Scholarship. UT Austin students have received the award 11 times in the past 14 years.