Class of 2019
Chloe (Spokane, WA) received her BS in Biology from Washington State University (honors, 2015) where she held positions as a student body senator, assistant director of philanthropy and completed an undergraduate thesis project in a veterinary microbiology lab. Chloe minored in German and spent time abroad on a DAAD Summer Course Grant in Berlin, Germany. After graduation, Chloe worked as a Research Assistant in a pharmaceutical sciences lab focused on telomere regulation and mechanisms of human aging. She completed a genetic study examining mechanisms of polymorphic enhancers in the telomerase reverse transcriptase gene. During that time she also served as a crisis response advocate for a sexual assault and trauma hotline, taught dance classes for children with special needs and got involved with a local Huntington’s Disease support group. Chloe’s interest in human genetics and interactions with the disability community led her to pursue a career in genetic counseling. Chloe is interested in advocacy and looks forward to being apart of a profession committed to patient autonomy.
Ambreen (Vancouver, BC) received her BS in Dental Science from the University of British Columbia (2013). She was the vicepresident of the Dental Undergraduate Society and chief site coordinator for the Community Volunteer Dental Clinics. She has worked extensively with underserved and at‐risk populations in both clinical and community settings as a Registered Dental Hygienist. Her passion for public health won her the Canadian Dental Hygiene Association’s Health Promotion Award. She is the co‐author of a literature review in the Canadian Journal of Dental Hygiene (CJDH) titled: “Waterpipe smoking ‐ a ‘healthy’ alternative to cigarettes or a health hazard in disguise,” for which she won the CJDH Research Award for the ‘best literature review’ of the year. Ambreen’s advocacy experience includes being a crisis counselor for Crisis Text Line. Her passion for genetics and her commitment to help others has led her to pursue a career in genetic counseling. She is fluent in Urdu and Punjabi, and hopes to use her background in public health to bring genetic counseling to underserved populations.
Caitlyn (Germantown, MD) received her BS in Biological Sciences from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) (cumlaude, 2016). She interned at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, MD, the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., and worked as an undergraduate researcher in a developmental biology and genetics laboratory at UMBC. She was also captain of the UMBC Club Tennis Team. She was the recipient of various awards including the Undergraduate Research Award, UMBC Academic Achievement Award, and the Individual Sportsmanship Award (USTA Club Tennis Sectionals Tournament). She was a member of the Tau Sigma National Honors Society, the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society, the Montgomery College and UMBC Honors Colleges, and won first place in the Natural Sciences Category for her presentation at the Beacon Conference in Bethlehem, PA. She worked as a Genetic Counseling Assistant in the Whole Exome Sequencing program at GeneDx in Gaithersburg, MD. She volunteered as a mentor for ArtStream, an inclusive theatre company for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She also volunteered for a crisis and suicide hotline. Caitlyn plans to work in a clinical setting and is specifically interested in disability empowerment and community outreach.
Janessa (Madison, WI) received her BS in Genetics with a second major in Statistics from the University of Wisconsin‐Madison (2015). While there, she held various leadership positions within the Hoofers Organization of outdoor recreation clubs and worked as an event planner for Campus Event Services. She also assisted in research on the mechanisms of Methyl‐CpG binding protein MBD1 and its role in autism spectrum disorders. Collaboration on this research led to her co‐authorship on a paper published in the Journal of Neuroscience (2016). She volunteered at Agrace Hospice as a companionship volunteer then became a co‐facilitator for children’s grief groups. She also has experience as a helpline counselor for the Rape Crisis Center in Dane County. After graduation, she worked as an SAP Analyst in the Custom Order Manufacturing department at Promega Corp. in Fitchburg, Wisconsin. Janessa has interests in research, public policy, and patient advocacy.
Emily (Princeton Junction, NJ) received her BS in Biochemistry from Brigham Young University (2014). During her time there, she worked in the Price Lab as a research assistant generating protein stability data. She was also head stockroom clerk for the organic chemistry teaching lab. Since graduating, she has worked as a Variant Specialist at Courtagen Life Sciences and currently at Myriad Genetics classifying variants based on structure, literature, and clinical data. Emily very much enjoys the complexity of analyzing the effect of genetic variants on disease and has experience reviewing and analyzing genetic data. Emily previously volunteered at the Lindon Care and Training Center where she worked with intellectually disabled residents on a weekly basis. She spent a large part of her earlier years volunteering and working in nursing homes coordinating intellectually stimulating activities for the residents. She also spent the last year volunteering as a youth group leader for young women. Emily believes genetic counselors can aid entire families from both the clinical and laboratory side.
Jamie (Waukesha, WI) received her BS in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin‐ Eau Claire (cum laude, 2016). While at UW‐Eau Claire she was a student athlete for eight sport seasons between cross country and indoor/outdoor track. She has volunteered with physicians in Nicaragua where she helped provide care for over 400 patients. Additionally, she was a lab research assistant that generated knowledge about Naltrexone as a discriminative stimulus under a variety of conditions and presented this research at the Society for Neuroscience conference. After graduating, Jamie was employed at Genesee Lake School, a residential treatment setting, where she supported children with developmental disabilities, mental health disorders, neurological disorders, emotional disturbances and trauma histories. She has volunteered with genetic counselors at cancer clinics, helped staff a cancer survivorship event, and attended the Wisconsin Cancer Program Network Conference (WICRPN). Jamie is especially interested in cancer genetics, pediatric genetics, and cardiovascular genetics though she is excited to explore a variety of settings.
Rachel (Pittsburgh, PA) received her BS in Molecular Genetics, with a minor in Clinical Psychology and Individual Differences, from the Ohio State University (cum laude, 2017). During her time as an undergraduate, Rachel was a resident advisor and peer leader. She also served as a student ambassador providing outreach training for the Ohio State Student Life Wellness Center. In addition, Rachel volunteered with the Columbus, OH, Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio as a crisis counselor. For two years as a student research assistant, Rachel studied mismatch repair proteins by working with bacteria and human cell models, planned experiments to determine the mutation rate of multiple plasmids, and co‐authored a manuscript published in Scientific Reports (2015). Rachel was also a cancer genetics assistant at the Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus. Rachel is excited to be able to empower patients in their healthcare decisions through education and professional support.
Class of 2018
Brittney (Olney, MD) received her BS in Biological Sciences from the University of Maryland (summa cum laude, 2010). She was vice president of the Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society, and a member of the Golden Key International Honors Society and the Phi Theta Kappa (National Honorary Scholastic Society). She was a lab assistant in a bioacoustics lab and research assistant in an entomology lab. She was an undergraduate teaching assistant in Organic and Bioanalytical Chemistry. She worked as an emergency medical services volunteer, assisting a paramedic team, and is BLS certified. She has experience with electronic patient records and molecular biological databases, Brittney has been working for three years as an Accessions Tech and then a Genetic Counseling Assistant at Gene Dx. Brittney has business experience in various administrative positions and has provided direct caregiving for a family elder. These paths have led her to choose a career that melds her love of genetics with her experience in working with people.
Rachel (Murray, UT) received her BS degree in Human Development from the University of Utah (1998) and her MS degree in Audiology from Brigham Young University (2001). Her master’s thesis was entitled Sensory Gating of the Auditory Potential P50 in an Adult Male Stuttering Population. Rachel has research experience performing electrophysiological testing of subjects with fluency disorders (BYU, 2000‐1), analyzing data from excision of tumors in rats (Johns Hopkins Medical Center, 2002), and analyzing neuropsychological data (University of Utah 2015). Rachel has work experience as an audiologist, where she administered and evaluated diagnostic tests for hearing and balance disorders, counseled patients and caregivers for hearing aids and other assistive devices, advised communication and compensation strategies to manage various hearing disorders, and performed newborn hearing screens and consulted with parents. She also served as a specialist at the Utah Alliance for Children and presently owns a business as a yoga instructor and exercise instructor in elementary schools. Other community and volunteer service includes fund raising for the Road Home, cued speech transliterator for college students, chemistry and Italian language tutor, and providing audiology services and member of an operating room team on a medical mission in Hanoi, Vietnam. Personal and work experiences with the world of genetics have enticed her to seek this new career goal.
Dana (North Arlington, NJ) received her BS in Biology from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, NC (cum laude, 2008). She was a high school science teacher (chemistry, biology) in Florida (3 years) and Puok District, Cambodia (2 years). She worked with disadvantaged students in both locations, created a Public Health Awareness Program, and designed an anatomy & physiology course for students in the Jay Pritzker Academy in Cambodia. Dana volunteered as a genetic counseling assistant in pediatric genetics (University of Utah), and the VA Hospital Genomic Medicine Services (Salt Lake City, UT). She also organized weekly activities for developmentally challenged adults and volunteered for the SOFT conference in Salt Lake City. Dana believes that genetic counseling has the potential to influence not just individuals but broader cultures as well.
Brandy (Stoughton, WI) received her BS in Biology from Utah Valley University, Orem, UT (cum laude, 2012) and a studied Veterinary Science abroad at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand (2007‐08). She has certifications as an Assistant Animal Laboratory Technician, an Emergency Medical Technician, and a Veterinary Assistant. She was employed as a Sample Collection Technician in a pharmaceutical research and development laboratory and has worked in multiple animal laboratory settings. Volunteer activities include Parent Stressline advocate and veterinary assisting. Upon graduation, Brandy would like to work in a clinical setting and then transition to a laboratory setting.
Ashlie (Belmont, CA) received her BS in Biology (cum laude, 2015) with a Molecular and Cell Biology concentration from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, CA. As an undergraduate she was a genetics research assistant, Secretary of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (which she helped initiate), and a peer counselor/health educator. She did a summer internship at DuPont (Genencor). She was a scholarship awardee and member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She also has experiences working with children as a childcare associate at a sports resort and as a nanny and she has volunteered for Special Olympics. Since graduation she has volunteered as a genetic counseling assistant at the Stanford Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease and as a crisis counselor on a crisis phone line. Ashlie has interests in providing clinical care, molecular biology, bioinformatics, pediatric genetics, and cardiovascular genetics.
Jenna (Draper, UT) received her BS in Biology (with a minor in Chemistry) from the University of Oklahoma (with Distinction, 2015). She spent a semester in Arezzo, Italy and was a biology research assistant and student library assistant. She was a National Merit Scholar, a College of Arts & Sciences Leadership Scholar, and was Outstanding Undergraduate in the Department of Biology. She held several scholarships and was an Alpha Lambda Delta National Honor Society Member. Jenna was also a Site Volunteer with Birth Choice of Oklahoma, a counselor for Royal Family Kids Camp, a Clinic Volunteer for the Manos Juntas Foundation, campus volunteer and leader for Habitat for Humanity, and a participant in Relay for Life. Since graduation, Jenna volunteered as a Health Promotions and Volunteer Engagement Specialist with AmeriCorps (providing day health services to adults with developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, and dementia) and a Shelter Advocate Assistant in Seattle, WA. Jenna has a strong interest in advocacy and looks forward to being an effective representative of a profession committed to the health and support of every patient, and to aiding in the creation of a more compassionate healthcare system.
Nicky (Anchorage, AK) received her BS in Biology (2009) from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro, NM. She was a student chemistry researcher and intern at the National Center for Genome Resources, where she used a sequencing database to search for splice variants associated with schizophrenia. She received her MS degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Alaska, Anchorage (2014), where she was a biology research assistant. Her master’s thesis was entitled Chromatin modifiers in Xenopus laevis: Protein arginine methyltransferase 5 function and Williams syndrome transcription factor complexes in development. Nicky was the first author on a review, “The PRMT5 arginine methyltransferase: Many roles in development, cancer, and beyond.” This work was published in Cell Mol Life Sci (2015) and she has presented at multiple local and national conferences. Nicky has volunteered for a rape crisis hotline, Kuddle Korp (NICU), a camp for children with autism, a soup kitchen, Planned Parenthood, and Big Brothers, Big Sisters. She has also worked in fisheries management on a commercial fishing boat in Alaska. Nicky received numerous scholarships and fellowships, was a member of several honor societies, and was a student senator and grant reviewer for the Graduate Student Association. Nicky likes the practical application of science to solve problems. She is interested in neurogenetic counseling with a combined clinical and research role, and is especially intrigued by diseases of the brain such as Alzheimer disease and autism, and with epigenetics.