UT student named Rhodes Scholar

UT student named Rhodes Scholar

UT senior Lindsay Lee was named a Rhodes Scholar on Saturday. UT senior Lindsay Lee was named a Rhodes Scholar on Saturday.

6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A University of Tennessee student earned one of the highest international awards there is.

UT senior Lindsay Lee, 21, was named a Rhodes Scholar on Saturday. She'll get to study at Oxford University in England with all expenses paid. Only 32 Americans are chosen out of 857 candidates.

"I didn't really want to apply. I still felt like it was such a long shot, and it really was," Lee said.

Lee was born and raised in Oak Ridge. She says her Tennessee roots helped her become a Rhodes Scholar.

"A large part of why I've been able to get this far is because of the support system I have," Lee said.

Along with majoring in math and Spanish, Lee spent countless hours preparing to be a candidate.

"I keep a very meticulous planner. I try to not procrastinate," Lee said.

She's not just a top student at UT, she's also a proven leader. Diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at age three, Lee started Campus Disability Advocates with a goal of giving a voice to people with disabilities. Her UT advisors say she never lets her own disability keep her from chasing her dreams.

"You sort of forget that she has a disability. I think they chose her for her mathematical mind, not because she uses a wheelchair," UT Professor Adam Cureton said.

"She's a maverick, in a very 'Lindsay' kind of way. She just sees challenges as opportunities," Nichole Fazio-Veigel, a UT scholarship advisor, said.

Lee will study at Oxford University for two years starting next fall. No matter how far she goes, she says she'll never forget where she came from.

"I want to show people that coming to UT is a really good thing, and people should take advantage of all the opportunities they have here," Lee said.

She's also a Haslam Scholar, which is UT's highest scholarship. Lee plans to combine statistics to help make public policies that affect people with disabilities.

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