Amanda MajorsWe all know the saying: “Work smart, not hard.” But according to Amanda Majors, the 2013 recipient of the competitive Michael Thompson Memorial NMT Scholarship, it’s possible to do both. “I’ve always given 110% in everything I’ve done, especially my school work,” says the third-year Nuclear Medicine Technology student. “In the end, I just want to know everything I can in order to contribute to my chosen profession.”

A native of Mount Olive, Alabama, Majors always knew that she wanted to go into medicine. “But I wasn’t sure which aspect I wanted to pursue,” she admits. Then, in 2006, her mother underwent neck surgery to have three cervical vertebrae fused together. “My mom showed me her x-rays, and from there I looked up more pictures and found nuclear medicine technology. I researched it and knew that I’d found the part of medicine I desired to study.”

From there things seemed to fall into place. “I did not choose UAB,” Majors insists. “UAB chose me.” The University of Alabama in Birmingham is the only school in the state to offer a bachelor’s degree in nuclear medicine technology. “So obviously it was at the top of my list. I know that at UAB I am getting the best education I can from people who have been where I am today,” she says. “And it didn’t hurt that my hometown is only 20 miles up the road in Gardendale.”

In just three short years, Majors has made enormous leaps toward her goal of becoming a certified nuclear medicine technologist. The Michael Thompson Memorial NMT Scholarship, which she received last December, is awarded to the junior NMT student with the highest semester grade in Medical Radiation Physics. Majors has also been elected as the Junior Representative for the Alabama Society of Nuclear Medicine, a role which will allow to her act as an ambassador for UAB’s Nuclear Medicine Technology program. She also volunteers regularly at Children’s Hospital.

Majors attributes her success to a unique combination of confidence and drive. “I aim to be the best and I’m not satisfied until I’ve at least tried,” she explains. “I want to be confident in my abilities and harness all that I have learned. My advice for incoming students is to work hard and don’t give up. I know it can be tough at times to do both, but when you make the right friends and you have a common goal things falls into place. Take things one day at a time to keep from getting overwhelmed.”