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2022 Commission for Disability Undergraduate Student Award

The Commission for Disability Undergraduate Student Award honors an undergraduate student who is a champion for support and recognition of people with disabilities.

Madison Allen

Madison Allen Smiling at the camera outsideMadison Allen is a senior majoring in nuclear engineering/medicine and double minoring in physics and jazz saxophone. She is a cancer survivor of bilateral retinoblastoma (cancer in both eyes), which has left her visually impaired. She does not allow her disability to be an insurmountable obstacle to achieving her goals.

What does being a Volunteer mean to you? How has UT empowered you to make a difference in a way you might not have imagined elsewhere?

I am extremely thankful to be recognized as a Tennessee Volunteer. The university as a whole has been very impactful in assisting me with my studies in becoming a nuclear engineer and nuclear medicine researcher, which is very important to me. This helps me fulfill my strong desire to succeed in not only achieving my educational goals, but shooting above and beyond the boundary line.

Fortunately through many prayers and modern medicine, I’m thankful that I can be recognized as a cancer survivor of a rare type of childhood eye cancer, bilateral retinoblastoma (cancer in both eyes). It has left me visually-impaired, but I do not let my disability get in the way of striving for my future goals. Along this journey, the UT Students with Disabilities Services has also been a huge support to me in providing me with classroom accommodations in order to eliminate my educational barriers stemming from my disability. This is necessary and crucial to my educational success as it  allows me to have equal access and opportunity.

UT has been a huge support to me in helping pave the way for my future success in my career in nuclear medicine and radiation therapy treatment. Being a UT student has ignited my drive to never let any obstacle stand in the way of achieving and surpassing my highest goals and aspirations. Overall, UT has helped mold me into the leader I am today and has shaped the overall person who I have become. Making an impact and helping others helped me to grow as a person. I hope to continue to inspire others throughout my life’s journey and continue to be a positive influence and role model for future generations.