Rhodes Scholarship Recipient — Gal Rubin

Meet Gal Rubin from the Class of 2023 | Written by Helen Prykhodko | Dec 13, 2022

Gal Rubin, a member of the Minerva Class of 2023, will pursue a graduate degree at Oxford University after receiving the Rhodes Scholarship. At Oxford, Gal is planning to pursue a MSc in International Health and Tropical Medicine, followed by an MSc in Clinical Embryology or Public Policy. The Rhodes Scholarship is the world’s most prestigious award that recognizes exceptional individuals by providing them with the support they need to achieve their goals and scale their positive impact. Gal’s post-graduate education will continue to open doors to a platform and network of individuals who can collaborate on her endeavors in the public health sector.

‘Doctor to the bone,’ is how the Rhodes Scholarship evaluation committee describe her during one of the interviews where she spoke from the heart about her passion and work ethic. Devoted to medicine, Gal has pushed to be in a scientific environment since high school, setting herself beyond the boundaries of her peers. She decided to take a non-linear path to become a doctor. Instead of sitting in the library for six years to study anatomy, Gal chose to begin by exploring the world at Minerva University, developing the mindset and global outlook she thought a true doctor should have. She admits, “As a doctor, I want to care for communities and not just individual patients.”

Throughout her four-year undergraduate experience, Gal has mastered skills like proactivity and perseverance, seeking to create meaningful connections in every rotation city and take full advantage of the Minerva network. ‘You have limited time in the city, and you want to make the most out of it,’ she confessed which prompted her to approach local organizations. She credits this approach to the early mentorship she received from Provost Chandler, who encouraged and assisted her in pursuing opportunities that interested her. Such bold communication enabled Gal to tap into unique opportunities to work with patients she deeply loved interacting with and cherished meaningful experiences with. Despite challenges posed by the global pandemic, Gal worked closely with healthcare experts worldwide and collaborated on research projects to get to know the field more intimately. Some of the papers she co-authored during her undergraduate years were published in world-renowned journals.

Many project opportunities came to life during Gal’s global rotation at Minerva University. During her first year, she worked in the private healthcare sector on a cardiac health app alongside one of the companies Minerva partnered with in San Francisco. She later published her first research paper after volunteering at a high-risk pregnancy clinic in Arizona. “Minerva sets you apart by providing a few semesters of coding,” Gal admits that her coding skills and multidisciplinary background allowed her to stand out in the clinic and be a valuable asset to the research team.

Gal’s passion for public health research extended into Minerva's classrooms. Professor Diamond, one of the world's leading public policy experts, guided Gal with her Capstone project. Seeing Gal’s potential, Diamond nominated her for the scholarship himself. “I was thinking I would be going straight to med school after Minerva,” says Gal, “but as I explored more, I realized what other previous Rhodes Scholars had done who were interested in public health, and it could be a strong start to my career.” All faculty jumped in to support her decision and guided her throughout the application process and provided her with recommendation letters.

Now, Gal is finishing her Capstone on maternal health. She uses Professor Diamond’s causal inference method to discover the relationship between time and baby delivery to find the optimal timing for women suffering from high blood pressure. Stratifying women from the data by race, ethnicity, and age, Gal aspires to touch upon intersectional concerns to find out what contributes to healthcare discrepancies.

As Gal continues her public health research and data analysis integration, she hopes to impact women’s health globally. During her years at Oxford, she strives to dive deeper into other pregnancy topics, aiming to contribute to “a cultural shift in our understanding of women’s role in reproduction.” But first, start local – at home – to make a difference that emerges worldwide.

If you were inspired by Gal’s story and are seeking a college experience that will teach you valuable pragmatic skills that will enable you to change the world, start your Minerva application today.