You are required to complete an independent research project or a master’s thesis prior to graduating from the UUGPGC. These projects are similar in scope, but if you choose to complete a thesis, you must follow the required University of Utah guidelines for student committee composition and thesis format, as indicated here:

Class of 2020
Title Student Author Committee Members
Examining Comprehension and Communication about Genomic Data Sharing


Heather Nick
Characterization of Depressive Symptoms in Individuals with Reduced Penetrance Huntington’s Allele Expansion using Enroll-HD


Cristina Dailey
Factors in Screen Adherence Across the Lifespan for Individuals With Rare Hereditary Cancer Syndromes


Amy Whitburn
Impact of Genetic Based Melanoma Risk Assessment on Attitudes and Preventative Behaviors


Kaylee Ruiz
Experiences of Black consumers utilizing direct-to-consumer genetic testing


Emily Ziegler
Risk perception and screening behaviors in phenotypically negative Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) mutation carriers


Melanie Emmerson
Evaluation of Family Telehealth Genetic Counseling Services


Natasha Chadburn
Genetic Counseling Student Research: Landscape, Trends, and Barriers


Caitlin Clark-Wiest
Class of 2019
Title Student Author Committee Members
Alternative education tools in clinic: Expanded Carrier Screening


Chloe Dugger Hannah Anderson, MS, LCGC (chair); Chris Miller, MS, LCGC; Erin Rothwell, MS, PhD
The path less traveled – Barriers to implementing alternative Service Delivery Models in genetic counseling practice, and the impact of such barriers on the delivery of care


Ambreen Khan Samantha Greenberg, MS, LCGC (chair); Stephanie Cohen, MS, LCGC; Eric Rosenthal, MS, PhD; Charlene Weir, PhD
Guidelines for Delivering Difficult News over the Phone


Caitlyn Maczka Karin Dent, MS, LCGC (chair); Laila Andoni, MS, LCGC; John Carey, MD, MPH
Consumer Understanding of Secondary Uses of Data in Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing


Janessa Mladucky Rebecca Anderson, PhD (chair); Bonnie Baty, MS, LCGC; Jeff Botkin, MD
Discrepancies in Variant Classification in Somatic vs Germline Genetic Testing


Emily Moody Amanda Gammon, MS, LCGC (chair); David Goldgar, PhD, Sean Tavtigian, PhD, Erin Mundt, MS, LCGC
Assessing Referral and Knowledge of Patients with Incidental Germline Variants Discovered Through Somatic Testing


Jamie Warner Whitney Espinel, MS LCGC (chair); Amanda Gammon, MS, LCGC; Jennie Vagher, MS, LCGC
Analysis of RET Gene Variants in a MEN2 Database Using ACMG 2015 Guidelines


Rachel Zatezalo Elena Coupal, MS, LCGC (chair); Chris Miller, MS, LCGC; Rong Mao, PhD; Rebecca Margraf
Class of 2018
Title Student Author Committee Members
Clinical and molecular predictors of malignancy in carriers of an SDHx mutation


Rachel Holman Anne Naumer, MS LCGC (chair); Samantha Greenberg, MS LCGC;  Marcus Monroe, MD
Does a Diagnosis Make a Difference? Examining the Utility of Etiology-Based Information for Teachers of Children with Neurogenetic Syndromes


Dana Jarvis Louisa Stark, PhD (chair); Rob O’Neill, PhD; Rena Vanzo, MS, LCGC
Pre-Implantation Genetic Screening: Decisional Factors to Accept or Decline among IVF Patients


Brandy Lamb Erin Rothwell, MS, PhD (chair); Amber Mathiesen, MS, LCGC; Erica Johnstone, MD
Media Influence on Patient Perception of Expanded Carrier Screening


Ashlie Miller Amanda Gammon, MS LCGC (chair); Rebecca Anderson, PhD; Laila Andoni, MS LCGC
Patterns of family communication and preferred resources for sharing information among families with a Lynch syndrome diagnosis


Jenna Petersen Wendy Kohlmann, MS LCGC (chair); Kim Kaphingst, PhD; Amanda Gammon, MS LCGC
What do You Want to Know about Prostate Cancer Genetics?


Nicole Stopa Vickie Venne, MS LCGC (chair); Sarah Colonna, MD; Samantha Greenberg, MS LCGC
Class of 2017
Title Student Author Committee Members
Perinatal palliative care


Andrea Crawford Erin Rothwell, MS, PhD (Chair); Mary Rindler, MS, LCGC; Amelia Hopkin, LCSW; Lauren Clark, PhD
Cochlear implant patients and opinions of genetic testing


McCall Erickson John Carey, MD, MPH (Chair); Janice Palumbos, MS, LCGC; Richard Gurgel, MD
Transition in adolescents: Perceived control


Brianna Murray Janice Palumbos, MS, LCGC (Chair); Uma Dorn, PhD; Chuck Norlin, MD
Mapping the terrain of secondary findings: A qualitative study describing genetic healthcare professionals’ experiences in the reporting of secondary/incidental findings in a clinical setting*[NSGC Annual Education Conference, Sept 2017, poster presentation]


Carly Rost Erin Rothwell, MS, PhD (Chair); Jeff Botkin, MD, MPH; Karin Dent, MS, LCGC
Investigating the need for improved visual aids in genetic counseling on multifactorial congenital heart defects


Kira Svirsky Lindsay Meyers, MS, LCGC (Chair); Erin Rothwell, MS, PhD; Kim Kaphingst, PhD
Assessing the financial burden of genetic testing: A patient survey


Katelyn Swade Erin Rothwell, MS, PhD (Chair); Steven Bleyl, MD, PhD; Lindsay Meyers, MS, LCGC; Bob Wong (Correspondent)
A cross-cultural investigation into the perceptions of genetic testing among Caucasian, Latino, and Pacific Islander families *[ACMG 2017, poster presentation]


Jennie Vagher David Stevenson, MD (Chair); David Viskochil, MD, PhD; Paul Carbone, MD; Amber Mathiesen, MS, LCGC
Class of 2016
Title Student Author Committee Members
Newborn Screening Knowledge and Attitudes Among Midwives and Out of Hospital Birth Parents


Elena Coupal Kim Hart, MS, LCGC (Chair); Harper Randall, MD; Erin Rothwell, PhD, CTRS
Exploring the Perceived Self-Efficacy of Genetic Counselors as Teachers *[NSGC Annual Education Conference, Sept 2017, poster presentation]


Justin Gasparini Irene DeBiase, MD, PhD (Chair); Louisa Stark, PhD; Erin Rothwell, PhD
Reproductive Choices in Families with Spinal Muscular Atrophy


Ivana Grbelja Rebecca Hulinsky, MS, LCGC (Chair); Erin Harward, MS, LCGC; Erica Johnstone, MD; Renee Rider, JD, MS, LCGC
Frequency of Low-level Receptor Expression in Breast Cancer Tumors of BRCA1/2 Mutation Carriers


Kayla Haas Amanda Gammon, MS, LCGC (Chair); Saundra Buys, MD; Adam Cohen, MD
Determining Cancer Risk for First and Second Degree Relatives of Individuals with IDH 1/ Mutated Grade II-IV Glioma and the rs55705857 SNP *[NSGC Annual Education Conference, Oct 2016, poster presentation]


Sarah Hummel Adam Cohen, Mrutz D (Chair); Diana Abbott, PhD; Wendy Kohlman, MS, LCGC
Exploring Children’s Engagement in Genetic Counseling Sessions About Melanoma Risk *[NSGC Annual Education Conference, Oct 2016, platform presentation]


Maria-Renee Plona Marjan Champine, MS, LCGC (Chair); Yelena Wu, PhD; Wendy Kohlman, MS, LCGC
Assessing Knowledge, Attitudes, and Current Practices of Pediatricians Regarding Genetic Evaluation and Testing in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) *[NSGC Annual Education Conference, Oct 2016, poster presentation]


Audrey Rutz Paul Carbone, MD (Chair); Karin Dent, MS, LCGC; Lorenzo Botto, MD


Class of 2015

Title Student Author Committee Members
Training clinical genetics residents and genetic counseling students to deliver difficult news.


Laila Andoni John Carey, MD, MPH (Chair); Karin Dent, MS, LCGC; Kate Charyk, MS, LCGC
The impact of receiving genetic testing results for a hereditary cancer syndrome on reproductive planning: A needs assessment.


Jade Grimmett Amanda Gammon, MS, LCGC (Chair); Ken Smith, PhD; Erica Johnstone, MD
An exploration of self-disclosure of a genetic condition to non-family members.


Leigh Ann Higa Erin Rothwell, PhD (Chair); Jamie McDonald, MS, LCGC; Deborah Himes, ARPN-BC, ANP
Parents’ experiences with seeking information about their child’s rare condition.


Shannon Lozinsky Sue Morrow, PhD (Chair); Janice Palumbos, MS, LCGC; Eric Rosenthal, PhD, ScM
Factors influencing the decision to continue pregnancy with a lethal condition or anomaly.


Leah Markham Mary Rindler, MS, LCGC (Chair); Kate Charyk, MS, LCGC; Douglas Richards, MD; Lauren Eimers-Wangrud, MS, LCGC
Do parents of children with Dup15q understand their molecular diagnosis?


Kali Roy Megan Martin, MS, LCGC (Chair); Janice Palumbos, MS, LCGC; John Carey, MD, MPH
Factors affecting quality of life and anxiety of adolescents with neurofibromatosis type I.


Kallie Weinand Karin Dent, MS, LCGC (Chair); David Viskochil, MD, PhD; Nancy Cantor, PhD

Class of 2014

Title Student Author Committee Members
Abortion rates of trisomy 21 and other aneuploidy affected pregnancies and the variables that influence them. *[2014 NSGC poster presentation]


Kinley Cahill (Garfield) Janice Byrne, MD (Chair); Janice Rinsky, MS, LCGC; David Turok, MD
Patient Perspectives on Taking a Family History.


Randi Hanson Eric Rosenthal, MS, PhD (Chair); Amber Mathiesen, MS, LCGC; Lori Kowaleski-Jones, PhD
Effect of different newborn screen collection methods for low birth weight infants on the concentration of markers for metabolic and endocrine disorders detected by tandem mass spectrometry.


Jeri Harashima Marzia Pasquali, PhD (Chair); Kim Hart, MS, LCGC; Nicola Longo, MD, PhD; Robert Christensen, MD
How genetic counseling programs change trainees’ religious beliefs: A quantitative analysis.


Andrea Hendershot Marjan Champine, MS, LCGC (Chair); Sandie Edwards, MA; Brianne Kirkpatrick, MS, CGC
Why volunteers rock: Perspectives on an adaptive recreational program.


Valerie Kendall (Collier) Rena Vanzo, MS, LCGC (Chair); Paul Carbone, MD; Erin Rothwell, PhD, CTRS
Oocyte donor genetics screening practices. ~* [2014 NSGC ART SIG Grant Award; 2014 NSGC poster presentation]


Elena Moyle Rebecca Hulinsky, MS, LCGC (Chair); Amber Mathiesen, MS, LCGC; Erica Johnstone, MD, MSH
Parental comprehension and psychosocial effects of genetic counseling in the CICU. * [2014 NSGC poster presentation]


Rachel Palmquist Lindsay Meyers, MS, LCGC (Chair); Steven Bleyl, MD, PhD; Erin Rothwell, PhD, CTRS


Class of 2013

Title Student Author Committee Members
Attitudes of parents of children with serious health conditions regarding use of residual newborn specimens in research.* + [2013 NSGC poster presentation; Accepted for publication in Public Health Genomics]


Chinmayee Bhimarao Nagaraj Jeffrey R. Botkin, MD (Chair); Joshua Schiffman, MD; Erin Rothwell, PhD; Kim Hart, MS, LCGC
Impact of etiologic diagnosis on families of children with hearing impairment.


Brandalyn Chidsey Karin Dent, MS, LCGC (Chair); John Carey, MD, MPH; Albert Park, MD
Perceptions of pregnant women regarding noninvasive prenatal testing in the first trimester.


Lauren Eimers-Wangrud Janice Rinsky, MS, LCGC (Chair); Gwen Latendresse, PhD, CNM; John Carey, MD
Variants of unknown significance from chromosomal microarray analysis: A parent’s perception.


Stephanie Jez Sarah South, PhD (Chair), Rena Vanzo, MS, LCGC; Megan martin, MS, LCGC; Erin Rothwell, PhD
Why do individuals choose not to attend cancer genetic counseling appointments?* [2013 NSGC poster presentation]


Amara Lauritzen Amanda Gammon, MS, LCGC (Chair); Therese Tuohy, PhD, LCGC; Anne Kirchhoff, PhD, MPH
Why are males not entering the field of genetic counseling?* [2013 NSGC poster presentation]


Jeanette Saffir Eric Rosenthal, PhD, LCGC (Chair); Kory Jasperson, MS, LCGC; Patricia Murphy, PhD
The psychological impact of medically-necessary activity restriction on asymptomatic adolescents with cardiomyopathy and long QT syndrome.


Alizabeth Woodruff Melanie Everitt, MD (Chair); Erin Rothwell, PhD; Karin Dent, MS, LCGC; Lindsay Meyers, MS, LCGC


Class of 2012

Title Student Author Committee Members
Patient empowerment and internal information-seeking behavior.


Katie Bergstrom Eric Rosenthal, MS, PhD, LCGC (Chair); Erin Rothwell, PhD; Janice Palumbos, MS, CGC
Improving use and efficacy of interpretive services: Recommendations for interpreters.


Meghan Chirpich Louisa Stark, PhD (Chair); Erin Rothwell, PhD; Bonnie Baty, MS, LCGC
Practice makes perfect: Are genetic counselors adequately trained during graduate school for the different specialties within the field? * [2012 NSGC platform presentation]


Erin Heckaman Chris Miller, MS, LCGC (Chair); Rena Vanzo, MS, LCGC; Eric Rosenthal, MS, PhD, LCGC; David Viskochil, MD, PhD
Influence of breast feeding on waist circumference in women with gestational diabetes.


Sumathi Iyer Heather Major, MD (Chair); Kristina Milan, MD; Janice Rinsky, MS, LCGC
Effects of hippotherapy on people with spinal muscular atrophy (SMN). *+ [2012 NSGC poster presentation; Published in Pediatric Physical Therapy]


Danielle Lemke Kathryn Swoboda, MD (Chair); Erin Rothwell, PhD; Tara Newcomb, MS, LGC; Benjamin Chisum
Analysis of incidental findings in exome sequencing data.


Alekhya Narravula Sean Tavtigian, PhD (Chair); Therese Tuohy, PhD, LCGC; Steven Bleyl, MD, PhD
Assessment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in patients with neurofibromatosis 1 (NF1).+ [Published in Am J Med Genet]


Jade Tinker David Stevenson, MD (Chair); David Viskochil, MD, PhD; Paul Carbone, MD; Amber Mathiesen, MS, LCGC


Class of 2011

Title Student Author Committee Members
Motivations for biobanking in dementing diseases.* [2011 NSGC poster presentation]


Megan Bell Erin Rothwell, Ph.D ; Vickie Venne, MS, LCGC; Norman Foster, MD.
Where’s my answer? Understanding counseling issues surrounding VUS in BRCA1/2 genes.


Megan Blanksma Vickie Venne, MS, LCGC (chair); Sean Tavtigiant, Ph.D; Jennifer Saam, MS, Ph.D., LCGC.
Surveying state newborn screening programs: The role of genetic counselors.


Christina Hawbaker Marzia Pasquali, Ph.D. (Chair); Amanda Openshaw, MS, LCGC; Eric Rothwell, PhD.
Diagnosing mitochondrial disease: Which signs and symptoms are most relevant?


Lindsay Meyers Rena Vanzo, MS, LCGC (Chair); Nicola Longo, MD, PhD; Kathryn Swoboda, MD
Maternal age and major structural birth defects in twins in Utah.* [2011 NSGC poster presentations and Published in Birth Defects Research]


Renee Rider Marcia Feldkamp, Ph.D. (Chair); David Stevenson, MD; Janice Rinsky, MS, LCGC.
Evaluation of adherence to Huntington disease testing guidelines.


Briana Sawyer Chris Miller, MS, LCGC (Chair); Bonnie Baty, MS, LCGC; Erin Rothwell, PhD
Perspectives on new molecular testing for hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia: Patient awareness and attitudes.


Erin Youell Jamie McDonald, MS, LCGC (Chair); Amanda Gammon, MS, c|LCGC; Pina Bayrack-Toydemir, MD, PhD.


Class of 2010

Title Student Author Committee Members
Family CARE (Colorectal Cancer Awareness and Risk Education) Project: Intervention fidelity and reliability.


Lindsay Boortz Anita Kinney, Ph.D (chair); Amanda Gammon, MS, LGC; Lisa Aspinwall, Ph.D.
Health care transition for individuals with NF1: Patient, parent, and provider perspectives.


Larissa Hansen Karen Dent, MS, CGC (chair);Caren Frost, Ph.D, MPH; David Viskochil, MD, Ph.D. Michelle Kempf-Weibel, MS.
Tailoring patient letters to breast cancer patients – Patient needs and preferences.


Chien-Hui Chuang Vickie Venne, MS, CGC (Chair); Caren Frost, PhD, MPH; Eric Rosenthal, MS, PhD, CGC
Descriptive review and comparison of clinical outcomes of AFAP patients.*[2010 NSGC poster presentation]


Heidi McCoy Wendy Kohlmann, MS, CGC (Chair); Deborah Neklason, PhD; Randall Burt, MD
The current standards of practice for delivering genetic test results to clients in prenatal and pediatric genetic counseling specialties.* [2010 NSGC poster presentation]


Jennifer Mueller Janice Rinsky, MS, CGC (Chair); Jamie McDonald, MS, CGC; Lee Ellington, PhD
Potential indications for prenatal microarray.


Kara Reynolds Sarah South, PhD (Chair); Alan Rope, MD; Katherine Dunn, MS
Stress and support in rural and urban families.


Tara Somer Marcia Feldkamp, MPSH, PhD (Chair); Karin Dent, MS, CGC; Caren Frost, PhD, MPH
The value of patient letters in prenatal genetic counseling.


Heather Williams Rebecca Hulinsky, MS, CGC (Chair); Jonathan Saari, MS, CGC; Erin Rothwell, PhD, Sally Planalp, MA, PhD


Class of 2009

Title Student Author Committee Members
Parent expectations and experiences with support groups for genetic pediatric conditions.


Adrienne Baxter Janice Palumbos, CGC (Chair); Alan Rope, MD; Lynn Kerr, MD
Effects of genetic testing in HHT.* [2009 HHT meeting platform presentation; Santader, Spain]


Kim Hart Jamie McDonald, CGC (Chair); Lee Ellington, PhD; Arthur Brothman, PhD
Increasing parent-to-parent support in Utah, parents’ needs, recommendations, and preferences. +~* [2008 Public Health SIG Grant Award; 2009 NSGC platform presentation; Published in J Genet Counsel]


Amber Mathiesen Karin Dent, CGC (Chair); Marcia Feldkamp, MPSH, PhD; Caren Frost, PhD, MPH
Evaluation of influences when choosing prenatal screening in Utah women age 35 years and older.


Lorraine Naylor Danielle LaGrave, CGC (Chair); Brent Hafen, CGC; Nancy Rose, MD
Latina mothers of children with Down syndrome and breaking difficult news. +~ [2008 Membership Committee Student Project Award; Published in J Genet Counsel]


Kayla Sheets John Carey, MD (Chair); Bonnie Baty, CGC; Wendy Hobson-Rohrer, MD
Impact of structured plan of care on stress and coping in parents of children with Prader-Willi syndrome.


Tatiana Tvrdik David Stevenson, MD (Chair); Karin Dent, CGC; Sidney Thornton, PhD


Class of 2008

Title Student Author Committee Members
Melanoma Risk Communication: Assessing a Personal Risk Communication Model. *+ [2008 NSGC platform presentation; Published in Expert Rev Dermatol]


Katherine Dunn Wendy Kohlmann, CGC (Chair); Sancy Leachman, MD; Cindy Solomon, CGC
Assessment of the Red-Yellow-Green Diet in Improving Behaviors and Weight Management in the Prader-Willi Syndrome Population.


Sara Goldstein Sharon Ernst, RD (Chair); Janice Palumbos, CGC; Caren Frost, PhD
Attitudes, beliefs, and perceptions: screening and testing minors for FAP – a patient perspective. *+ [2008 NSGC platform presentation; Published in J Genet Counsel]


Fallon Levine Anita Kinney, PhD (Chair); Angela Schwab, CGC; David Stevenson, MD
Measuring Genetic Counseling Outcomes.


Shea Patton Janet Williams, CGC (Chair); David Collingridge, PhD; To Be Named; Marc Williams, MD
Molecular Genetic Testing for Hereditary Hemmorrhagic Telangiectasia on At-Risk, Asymptomatic Children: A Parental Perspective.


Tessa Pitman Jamie McDonald, CGC (Chair); Lee Ellington, PhD; Carla Reyes, PhD
Evaluating Outcomes of Genetic Counseling for Pancreatic Cancer Sessions.


Kiana Siefkas Wendy Kohlmann, CGC (Chair); Anita Kinney, PhD; Rob Wong, MD


Class of 2007

Title Student Author Committee Members
Genetic Counselors’ Attitudes toward Their Pregnancies and Utilization of Prenatal Testing.


Kit Clark Janet Williams, CGC (Chair); Janice Byrne, MD; Jeffrey Botkin, MD, MPH
Patient responses to P16 Testing in Familial Melanoma: A Grounded Theory Analysis.* [2007 NSGC platform presentation; 2008 NSGC poster presentation]


Heather Hussey Sancy Leachman, MD, Lisa Aspinwall, PhD (Co-Chairs); Bonnie Baty, CGC; Lisa Wadge, CGC
Health Care Transition for Individuals with NF1: Adult Patient Perspectives.* [2007 NSGC platform presentation]


Michelle Kempf Karin Dent, CGC (Chair); David Viskochil, MD, PhD; Caren Frost, PhD
Pancreatic Cancer Surveillance Among High-Risk Populations: Knowledge & Intent.+* [2007 NSGC poster presentation; Published in J Genet Counsel]


Zoe Lewis Karin Dent, CGC (Chair); David Viskochil, MD, PhD; Caren Frost, PhD
Spinal Muscular Atrophy Genetic Counseling Access and Genetic Knowledge.+ [Published in J. Child Neurol]


Candice Meldrum Kathryn Swoboda, MD (Chair); Nicola Longo, MD; Brent Hafen, CGC
How physicians use array comparative genomic hybridization results to guide patient management in children with developmental delay.+ [Published in Genet Med]


Jennifer Saam James Gudgeon (Chair); Janice Palumbos, CGC; David Viskochil, MD, PhD