Q and A with medical scholar track alum, Daniel Marks, UNC School of Medicine

How did the curriculum help you in reaching your goals?
The graduate school curriculum at Rutgers facilitated my learning of a number of core concepts including biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology, and many others. This foundation helped me excel in the classroom, on future exams, and overall, made me a well prepared student for medical school. I owe a lot of my success now to what I learned at Rutgers when I was a graduate student. My favorite elective course was my research elective in Dr. Carol Lutz lab. Here I learned how to do basic research tasks and work on long term projects but more so, I learned from her guidance as a mentor. I learned proper laboratory technique and etiquette as well as the importance of research forming a basis for what is done clinically in medicine. I also had the privilege of working with two brilliant PhD students, Joey Iacona and Nick Monteleone.

Describe how a particular faculty members affected your learning experience.
Dr. Lutz has been one of the most impactful mentors I have had throughout my education. When I first met her as a student at Rutgers, I knew instantly that she was a trustworthy, resourceful, and most importantly, a compassionate individual. I pursued a position in her lab where I was taken under her guidance. We bonded over our shared undergraduate experience at the University of North Carolina. Over the next year in a half, she taught me the essentials of research and encouraged me to challenge myself as an aspiring physician. Throughout my application to medical schools, she helped review my essays, highlight my strengths, and helped me build confidence as a graduate student and applicant. I owe most of my success in graduate school and acceptance to UNC School of Medicine to Dr. Lutz. She is a person that is dedicated to New Jersey Medical School, is committed to education, and cares for her students beyond what is asked of her.

Please share advice for a student starting their education on the Newark Health Science Campus of Rutgers SGS.
If I were to pass on some wisdom to an incoming student, it would be this: work hard and do well in your classes, everything else will fall into place. If you learn the course material, you will be prepared for the MCAT or DAT and you will be ahead of the game when you eventually start your first year of medical or dental school. Secondly, make some friends along the way. Everyone at Rutgers School of Graduate Studies is there to help you succeed and achieve your professional goals. Good luck!

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