As the University counts down to Commencement, UConn Today is featuring some of this year’s outstanding graduating students, nominated by their academic school or college or another University program in which they participated. For additional profiles of students in the Class of 2012, click here.
At the cusp of graduation, nursing senior Danielle Millar has learned to balance academic and social excellence.
She entered the School of Nursing during her freshman year at UConn. “I wanted to be a nurse, because it’s a great integration of science and medicine and social skills,” she says. “You have to have the knowledge to ask difficult questions and genuinely care about the answers you get.”
But Millar wasn’t always so gregarious. “I was a much more reserved person when I came to UConn,” she recalls. Looking back on her growth as a student and the challenges she has conquered in her four years as an undergraduate, she says it wasn’t always easy. It’s clear, however, that she has overcome the initial anxiety she felt when she embarked on her college career.
A student in the Honors Program, Millar has spent the past two years researching the effects of omega-3 fatty acids in treating the symptoms of PMS. Working with her mentor Michelle Judge, she solicited participants from across the University to participate in her research, coordinating more than 50 volunteers. Now that her study is complete and her findings in, Millar is hard at work preparing poster presentations and writing her senior thesis.
In addition to nursing and academics, Millar has been an avid dancer since childhood. She has spent the past four years as a member of the UConn Dance Company, as both dancer and choreographer. “I was in the first generation able to spend all four years in the company,” she says. “We helped to create a lot of structure and set the company up for success.” Millar studies all types of dance, from ballet to jazz, and works at a dance studio in Ellington instructing young ballerinas.
Millar is excited to graduate and begin work as a full-time nurse. A recent summer internship at the UConn Health Center has her eager for the future. Her success was recognized by the School of Nursing this year, when she received the Undergraduate Senior Woman Award in April.