Chemistry – Pre-Health Concentration with a minor in Math
Daniel Middleton is originally from Timmins, Ontario (a small city in Canada), but has lived in North Carolina since 2006 when his family moved to Pembroke. During his time at UNCP, Daniel was involved campus-wide and worked with several departments. One of his most proud accomplishments was his success as a tutor for the university’s tutoring center. Daniel said, “Students that I have tutored in the past have come up to me and told me how much I helped them, and some even credited me for enabling them to pass a class. It was rewarding.” Daniel explained that he was thankful that he had the opportunity to tutor students knowing that he truly helped them. Daniel appreciated the seminar classes that the honors college offers and said, “I think the discussion-based seminar classes gave me the opportunity to go beyond the textbook and really dive into the subject at hand.” For Daniel, being an honors college student was rewarding in several ways, but the seminar classes offered an interesting twist to general education classes.
For Daniel’s senior project he worked alongside Dr. Conner Sandefur to create a mathematical model that better describes how DNA-protein binding in gene regulation. Past models of this behavior were not accurate in for some experimental conditions so the goal was to create a model which could be applied to a wider range of conditions. Daniel used Python software program to create the mathematical model. His research was collected and compiled into a thesis paper and presented in April of 2019.
After graduation, Daniel took a couple of months to relax before starting medical school at East Carolina University at the end of July 2019. He advised honors students to explore all of the various opportunities that UNCP has to offer. Daniel said, “Whether it is an academic conference, study abroad trip, research opportunities or other opportunities, take them now, because the opportunity may not be available later.” He encourages students to “Stick with it,” through undergraduate and/or graduate studies, because all of the hard work is worth it. Daniel’s greatest memory at UNCP was being able to help students achieve their goals through tutoring with him. He said, “Being able to look back and have someone tell me that I truly influenced their experience at UNCP means so much to me.” Daniel was proud to have given students the knowledge and encouragement they needed to graduate and be successful.
Mentor: Conner Sandefur
Investigating DNA-protein Dynamics in Yeast Using a Mathematical Model