Rice University senior named Marshall Scholar

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December 5, 2017

Brown College senior Jackson Neagli is one of 43 students across the U.S. selected for a 2018 Marshall Scholarship.

Jackson Neagli

The scholarship, founded by an Act of Parliament in 1953 to commemorate the human ideals of the Marshall Plan, allows American students to pursue two years of graduate study at any institution in the United Kingdom. Marshall Scholars are selected on the basis of academic merit, leadership and ambassadorial potential.

Neagli, who is majoring in both Asian studies and policy studies, will graduate this month. He plans to use the scholarship to pursue two master’s degrees in Chinese law and Chinese studies at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).

The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, is one of the premier places in the world to study Chinese law and society, which made it a clear first choice for me,” Neagli said. “Something that particularly sets SOAS apart is the fact that some of the courses I plan to take on Chinese law will be taught by SOAS law school faculty.”

Neagli traced his interest in Chinese language and culture back to the second grade, “when my family moved to Hong Kong, where we lived for a number of years. When we moved back to the States, I kept up my study of Mandarin through middle and high school, and eventually at Rice. Rice is really where my casual interest in Chinese studies became my highest academic priority,” he said, noting that Chinese studies started to blend in with his other interests.

After he concludes his studies at the University of London, Neagli plans to return to the U.S. to attend law school. Neagli hopes to one day work at the U.S. Department of State, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission or a nongovernmental organization to help foster Sino-Western cooperation on international legal agreements.

“My long-term career goal is to utilize the Chinese studies knowledge I began developing at Rice, and will expand at SOAS, as a mediator between Sino-Western legal actors,” Neagli said. “With the academic understanding of Chinese law, society and culture that I will gain at SOAS, I will be equipped to be an effective intercultural communicator with not only an understanding of language, but also cultural norms and conventions.”

Neagli, from Houston, is the founder of the undergraduate journal Rice Asian Studies Review and a recipient of a grant from Rice’s Chao Center for Asian Studies. In 2016, he conducted research in Washington, D.C., as an intern for Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. This year Neagli was selected as a Rice University Law, Justice and Society Scholar and served as an intern for Judge Lee Rosenthal in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

Neagli will head to the University of London next fall. He plans to spend his time until then brushing up on his Mandarin, interning as a paralegal, coaching lacrosse and finding opportunities to volunteer in his hometown.

“After graduation, I plan to continue my research with Dr. Steven Lewis at the Baker Institute, which involves analyzing the potential environmental impacts of advertising trends in several Asian cities,” Neagli said. “I am also in the process of contacting several pro-bono legal service providers, for whom I hope to work as a paralegal on causes that I find meaningful. I have already begun working alongside my father and his employer’s law department on pro-bono cases to assist Hurricane Harvey victims completing their FEMA appeals.”

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