Dan Tarte, a senior double majoring in food science and genetics, will be headed to Yale University after graduating from Iowa State in May. Photo by Whitney Sager
Dan Tarte, a senior double majoring in food science and genetics, will be headed to Yale University after graduating from Iowa State in May. Photo by Whitney Sager

Food science student headed to Yale

Dan Tarte, a senior double majoring in food science and genetics, has been accepted at Yale University to pursue a Ph.D. in molecular biology.

Tarte decided to start his college adventure at Iowa State University, following in the footsteps of his parents. He said his decision to attend Iowa State wasn’t based on his parents’ ties to the university, but rather how he felt when he visited campus.

“Iowa State felt like home,” Tarte said.

With a strong interest in research, Tarte chose to major in food science in order to improve his scientific background. It wasn’t long before he began working as an undergraduate researcher with Dr. Toni Wang.

“It opened up opportunities to work for a biodiesel company as a summer intern after my freshman year,” Tarte said of his experience in Wang’s lab.

Wang said Tarte is a quick learner and made an impact not only in her lab, but in her classes, as well.

“Daniel, in a sense, is an atypical student,” Wang said. “He’d come to my Food Analysis class, listen intensely, but rarely take notes. Daniel seems to be able to grasp the essence of lectures easily. This may be because of his strong desire to learn and the research and work experience he had and the additional critical thinking skills he has developed outside the classroom.”

During his time at Iowa State, Tarte has become involved in a number of organizations, both on and off campus. He is a member of the FarmHouse Fraternity, has led a weekly English Together group on campus, and volunteered as a mentor for an elementary student in the Gilbert Community School District. What Tarte has enjoyed about his time at Iowa State is the wide variety of people he has interacted with who come from different locations around the globe.

“There are many people around here to help you and let you learn about other people and cultures,” Tarte said. “There’s so many opportunities to get involved and to be a well-rounded person.”

At Yale, Tarte will be studying molecular biology, with the hopes of one day obtaining a job as a research scientist. What attracted him to Yale, he said, was the academic drive of the students at the Ivy League research university.

“Yale has many people with similar mindsets as mine,” Tarte said. “There’s a lot of people there working hard for what they want.”

Wang is confident Tarte will excel at Yale.

“I think he has gained the knowledge and skills to be successful in Yale’s Ph.D. genetics program,” Wang said.

CONTACTS:

Dan Tarte, senior in food science and genetics, datarte@iastate.edu

Dr. Tong (Toni) Wang, professor, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, 515-294-5448, tongwang@iastate.edu

Whitney Sager, communications coordinator, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, 515-294-9166, wjsager@iastate.edu

  • Tools