UMO Graduate Follows Father’s Footsteps

UMO Graduate Follows Father’s Footsteps

MOUNT OLIVE-  Damilia Brooks of Lumberton grew up in a family with a passion for dentistry. Her father, Dr. Dalton P. Brooks Jr. is a dentist and opened up a private practice in 2008, and her mother, Jean Brooks, also works at the practice as a dental hygienist. This love and passion for dentistry led Brooks to the biology and chemistry programs at the University of Mount Olive. It was a perfect fit for her educational needs and allowed her to pursue her athletic dreams of playing collegiate soccer.

“Soccer, the location, and the science department were all factors that made my decision to attend UMO an easy one,” shared Brooks. “A pivotal factor of my decision was when I was touring UMO, and Dr. Cariveau stopped his lecture and came out in the hallway to introduce himself and welcome me. That went such a long way in my heart because he didn’t even know me! He ended up being one of my first professors and he was my advisor, so everything just fell into place once I came to UMO.”

During her four years at UMO, Brooks excelled in all aspects. She played as a forward for the Trojan women’s soccer team, earned numerous all-academic awards for Conference Carolinas, and served as a captain during her junior and senior seasons. Simultaneously, Brooks achieved a degree in biology with a minor in chemistry.

After graduation on May 2nd, Brooks earned a spot in a prestigious summer internship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which was the perfect opportunity for her to put her skills from UMO to work. The medical education development (MED) internship program at UNC provides an opportunity for students from disadvantaged backgrounds to experience the rigors of the medical school curriculum while shadowing physicians, developing clinical skills through patient simulation, and participating in professional development seminars.

Brooks attributes her acceptance and success in the MED program to UMO. “My courses from UMO helped me understand the key foundational concepts of biology that I will need in dental school,” explained Brooks. “With the smaller class sizes at UMO, I was able to learn so much more because everything was geared towards my learning style, which has benefitted me in the MED program.”

Coincidentally, Brooks’ father attended the same MED program, and her brother, Dalton, was also accepted into the program this summer.

“It’s definitely a cool experience to follow in my dad’s footsteps and even cooler that I get to experience it with my brother,” smiled Brooks.

Brooks plans on applying to dental school in the fall.  Her ultimate dream is to work with her family at her father’s practice.

The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Research Triangle Park, Washington, Jacksonville, and in Smithfield at Johnston Community College.  For more information, visit