2021 Tillman Scholar

Mason Blacker

New York University

“Everyone has value to offer, be it to one person or many. I just want to serve at my highest potential. To me anything less would be a travesty.”

Mason has served over 12 years in the Navy and been to 14 different countries but is still awestruck daily with the courage and commitment he sees from his fellow military members. His service to our great country has been his life’s honor and he wants nothing more than to continue his service in a new capacity treating the incredible men and women who fight for the freedoms so many take for granted.

The love for medicine that Mason found in college as an EMT has grown throughout the years, especially during his time as a special operations combat medic. Seeing his teammates being worked on by Navy surgeons after being shot or blown up has instilled in him an immense respect for their profession and an intense desire to join their ranks. He’s also performed medicine in refugee camps and war torn areas of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Africa.

Now Mason is beginning his journey into a special three-year medical school program at NYU with direct linkage to their neurosurgery residency. His dream is to finish residency and become a Navy neurosurgeon and advance research and clinical treatment of mild traumatic brain injury as it pertains to actual physiological changes within the nervous system, especially chronic traumatic encephalopathy. He hopes to give back to our incredible service members with remarkable surgical and clinical care as well as the background to relate more intimately with other war fighters. He also hopes to become a national leader in neurological trauma.