Two MIT seniors named Rhodes Scholars

Total number of MIT Rhodes recipients has reached 61

Danielle Grey-Stewart ’21 and Ghadah Alshalan ’21 have been named Rhodes Scholars for 2021.

The Rhodes Scholarship awards over 100 fully-funded scholarships for one to three years of graduate study at Oxford each year, including 32 scholarships for U.S. citizens. Sixty-one MIT students have received the scholarship since it was first awarded in 1904. 

Grey-Stewart was named a U.S. Rhodes Scholar. Alshalan was awarded the Rhodes Scholarship for Saudi Arabia. Up to three Rhodes Scholarships for Saudi citizens are awarded annually.

Danielle Grey-Stewart:

Grey-Stewart is a senior majoring in Course 3. Grey-Stewart’s current research focuses on “functionalized nanothread synthesis” in the laboratory of Professor Julia Ortony in the materials science and engineering department, according to MIT News. In the past, she has also conducted research on photoinitiator nanoparticles in the department of chemistry and biodegradable architectural materials in the MIT Media Lab Mediated Matter Group. 

Outside of class, Grey-Stewart chairs the MIT Undergraduate Association Committee on COVID-19, writes articles on COVID-19’s impact on sustainability for the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative Rapid Response Group, and participates in the MIT Student Advisory Group for Engineering. She has also taught STEM classes to students in France through MIT Global Teaching Labs and worked with community health partners in the Navajo Nation through the Priscilla King Gray Public Service Center.

Grey-Stewart will pursue an MPhil in nature, society, and environmental governance at Oxford. In an email to The Tech, Grey-Stewart wrote that her research interests “are still pretty broad, spanning from electronic characterization of nanomaterials to science policy as a whole.” She wrote that her interest in materials science “stemmed from [her] classes and research experiences” while her interest in policy comes from her experience “working in the PKG Center” and her “desire to understand how I can use my background in engineering in public service.”

Grey-Stewart encourages all MIT students to “explore new fields through their electives. There are a lot of awesome classes here; I wish I had taken more time to really look through the options outside of my major and HASS concentration.”

Ghadah Alshalan:

Ghadah Alshalan is a senior majoring in Course 8 with a minor in Course 6. Alshalan is currently “developing computational models relevant to quantum nanoelectronics” with Professor Pablo Jarillo-Herrero in the department of physics, according to MIT News. In the past, she has conducted research at the Research Laboratory of Electronics, the MIT-Harvard Center for Ultracold Atoms, and the University of Hamburg Center for Quantum Technologies in Germany. 

Alshalan has been a teaching assistant for the physics department. In high school, Alshalan was Saudi Arabia’s first female medalist at the International Physics Olympiad.

Alshalan has also served as president of the MIT Arab Student Organization and participated in committees for the MIT Muslim Student Association and the MIT Arab Conference.

Alshalan will pursue a master’s research program in condensed matter physics at Oxford.

Alshalan did not respond to The Tech’s request for comment.