2012-2013 Eldean Pierce Graduate Fellowship Award
Danielle Martin is the winner of the 2012-2013 Eldean Pearce Graduate Fellowship in the amount of $1500.00 from the ECU Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi. Danielle grew up in Greenville and graduated from South Central High school. She entered the university as an East Carolina scholar and member of the Honors College. She will graduate in May of 2013 summa cum laude with a BS in multidisciplinary studies and a concentration in neuroscience. Since 2010, Danielle has worked as a research specialist in the Brody Schools of Medicineís department of Physiology in the lab of Dr. David Tulis. She received an ECU Undergraduate Research Award to pursue the further elucidation of the molecular, cellular and functional mechanisms that underlie aberrant vascular smooth muscle growth and has been a co-author on four published articles for this work. In addition, she has presented her research at ECUís Research and Creative Activity Week and the State of North Carolina Undergraduate Research Symposium. Danielle has also completed two honors theses. The first was based on a study of the evolution of the social perception of autism spectrum disorders within the United States. Her thesis, which was publichsed in the honors journal, Explorations, received the 2012 Michael F. Bassman Honors Thesis Award. Presently, she is doing a second senior thesis based on her research in the Brody School of Medicine. She received a travel award from the ECU Office of Undergraduate Research to present this work at the Experimental Biology Conference in Boston this spring. Danielle has also been active on campus. She is a member of Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society, the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and has served as both the Student Vice President of ECUís chapter of Phi Kappa Phi and the Southeast Representative for the National Council of Students of Phi Kappa Phi. Perhaps most meaningful to Danielle has been her role as a volunteer and undergraduate liaison for the Sunday Fountain Clinic in Grimesland. She has assisted there with patient triage and helped to coordinate weekly volunteers while promoting the clinic in the community. This fall, Danielle will enter The University of North Carolina School of Medicine. While she is still undecided on a specialty area, Danielle says that it is the humanity behind medicine that continues to fuel her passion to be a practicing physician.