Meet undergraduate student Daniel Yu

Daniel Yu
Daniel Yu

As an exercise science major, Daniel Yu hopes to attend medical school and become a physician focusing on physical medicine and rehabilitation. He’s considering various careers such as a professional sports team physician or sports company laboratory scientist, but he’s keeping his options open. Read more about his experiences as a UConn student.

What attracted you to the UConn College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources?

I have always had a passion for sciences, particularly related to the human body. I was initially a biomedical engineering major before I realized that the classes were too math dominant. I wanted to focus on anatomy and maximizing performance, so I chose CAHNR because it has my current major.

Why did you choose your major?

I chose exercise science because it will prepare me for my career goal as a physiatrist with its emphasis on anatomy from a performance and rehabilitation perspective. The Department of Kinesiology’s course concepts and hands-on labs overlap and supplement each other, which enhances my learning.

Which one of your UConn activities, internships or jobs was the most memorable? Why? 

Working in Dr. Elaine Lee’s lab has provided a plethora of projects that allow me to explore my interests while gaining hands-on experiences. I approached Dr. Lee, director of the Human Performance Lab, with an independent project I developed to apply to the University Scholar program. Through this program, I have been able to integrate my passions for sports and science research in preparation for a career as a physiatrist and pursue high-level research about questions I developed that link medicine, sports science and pharmacology. Finding Dr. Lee’s lab has helped me find a mentor and team of colleagues who share my interest in research about human resilience and adaptability. Through this support system, I have been motivated and inspired to develop my scientific inquiry and bolstered my confidence in part of the academic community and my future as a physician.

Name two other experiences that have enriched your studies.

Seeing the man who walks around campus with his golden retrievers has enriched my studies through load management in helping me destress. Sometimes life gets overwhelming and being able to see those golden retrievers makes me happy and allows me to deload. Working as an EMT has also supplemented my learning in the classroom as I am able to apply lessons I learn in the classroom to the real world by caring for different patients.

What has been the biggest challenge in your UConn career?

My biggest challenge in my UConn career was freshmen year in making the transition from my small graduating high school class of twenty-eight students to an immense student body at UConn.

When do you expect to graduate? What then?

After graduating in Spring 2020, I plan on listening to “Proud of U” by Earthgang on repeat, attending medical school, adopting an Australian Shepherd and becoming an astronaut.

Is there anything else you would like us to know about you?

I truly believe the world is your oyster and that your environment is whatever you make of it. I also really like oysters.

By Kim Colavito Markesich