Kamarie Dalton: Service Oriented Superpower

Published: July 28, 2023 | Author: Clare-Estelle Perkins | Read Time: 4 minutes

Kamarie DaltonRecent Southern Utah University graduate Kamarie Dalton received awards for both her exemplary community service and academic efforts before graduating with a degree in nutrition this spring. Dalton was presented with the Georgia Beth Thompson Service during the 2023 Thunderbird Awards, and was selected for Honorable Mention in the Best in Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research (UCUR) 2023 Poster Competition. 

After a campus tour, Dalton knew that SUU was the place for her and that she wanted to spend the next few years of her life here. Growing up, she had a passion for cooking and food and trying new recipes as well as healthcare. She loved kids, service and caring for others. These passions shaped her major and college career into one that she loves. 

“I am so passionate about helping people and giving back to the community, being a mentor for those that might need it and just overall being a helping hand for those in need,” said Dalton. “I've been blessed with so many different things and experiences and opportunities in my life, I want to pay it forward by giving back.”

Dalton has been extensively involved in service on and off campus. During her time at SUU, she has served on the Student Programming Board as an assistant athletic director and as the president of the Pre-Medical Society. Dalton is also a Service Leader in the Community Engagement Center where she manages all aspects of an after-school sports program for middle schoolers. The youth, identified by their school counselors, benefit from the carefully planned activities, positive mentorship and their time spent on campus each week—and, they adore Dalton. She has positively impacted dozens of local youth. 

Additionally, she has volunteered as a counselor at Camp Kesem, where she currently serves as the volunteer coordinator. Dalton’s service has also included volunteering with the Iron County Holiday Assistance program, building a playground for a domestic violence shelter in Richfield, Utah and volunteering with Bread & Soup Nite and the campus HOPE Pantry. All this love and dedication to service led her to be awarded the Georgia Beth Thompson Service Thunderbird Award. Dalton names this as one of her proudest achievements.

Dalton was also awarded Honorable Mention in the Best in Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics UCUR 2023 Poster Prize, earning her a $100 prize. This came at the end of her week-long internship at the University of Utah in the School of Medicine’s summer undergraduate research experience in Dr. Anna Beaudin’s Lab. Her poster was titled  “Prenatal Folate Status Influences Hematopoietic Stem Cell Function” and was the result of her  research on the immune systems and health of  mice aged to adulthood based on whether or not the other was given a prenatal folate supplement. 

She is grateful to Professor Matthew Schmidt in the nutrition department for encouraging her to apply to this program . “Ultimately, I was able to learn so much about myself and about how to be a good researcher and  how to work in a lab,” said Dalton. 

Taking different classes during her nutrition studies and meeting other pre-med students solidified her dream of a career as a physician. Dalton is grateful for the resources and opportunities SUU provided to keep her on her path.  She considers the rigorous organic chemistry classes the hardest part of her college experience but is extremely grateful to the professors that helped her succeed. 

Dalton also loved her work as a teaching assistant in the nutrition department. Being able to work with the professors and interact with the students helped her to solidify her knowledge of nutrition. She took her first and last nutrition class from Dr. Nica Clark.

“Dr. Clark has been the most incredible mentor and inspiration to me,” said Dalton. “She really is a master of her subject and I have loved learning from her. She has always reassured me and made me feel confident in my abilities. The entire staff of the nutrition department have been so helpful and available to me, answering all my questions and supporting me through this journey.”

Dalton’s advice to incoming students is to get involved, to help build their college experience into a memorable one. “When I think back on my college experience, I don't think about the classes and the homework all the time,” said Dalton. “Occasionally I do, but what I'm going to remember is the many experiences I had through getting involved on campus and the friendships.”

Having earned her degree, Dalton plans to start working as an ophthalmic technician at Excel Eye Center in Utah County and later apply to medical school.

Tags: College of Health Sciences Nutrition

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