Ismail is the daughter of Mohammad Ismail and Shafqat Nassim of Anniston. She is a summa cum laude graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham with dual Bachelor of Science degrees in chemistry and biology.
The P.E.O. Scholar Awards was established in 1991 to provide substantial merit-based awards for women who are pursuing a doctoral level degree at an accredited college or university.
The P.E.O. Sisterhood, founded in 1869, at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, is a philanthropic educational organization interested in bringing increased opportunities for higher education to women. There are approximately 6,000 local chapters in the United States and Canada with nearly a quarter of a million active members.