Graduates of the University of Pennsylvania Master of Science in Genetic Counseling Program

Image of Facebook screen showing the 2021 graduates

 


Class of 2021

Avi Ananthrajah, MS, CGC

Avi Ananthrajah, MS, CGC

Avi is from Toronto, Canada. He obtained his undergraduate degree in Microbiology and Immunology from McGill University. He spent his summers at Public Health Ontario Laboratories studying plasmid-mediated antibiotic resistance and was looking to pursue a career in infection prevention and control. After volunteering in the Department of Medical Genetics at Montreal Children’s Hospital and working at a student-run nightline service, he decided to shift his focus to genetic counseling. Avi’s interests include cancer risk reduction and the impact of social behavior on health decisions. He is now a genetic counselor in the Basser Center for BRCA at Penn Medicine.

 

Jamie Atondo, MS, CGC

Jamie Atondo, MS, CGC

Jamie is from Williamsport Pennsylvania. She graduated from Lycoming College in December of 2018 with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and a minor in psychology. During the summer between junior and senior year she completed an internship at Geisinger that involved evaluating Geisinger’s universal Lynch syndrome screening protocol. At Geisinger Jamie shadowed genetic counselors in prenatal, pediatrics, cancer and research settings. After graduating from college, she returned to Geisinger as a prenatal genetic counselor assistant to gain further experience.  After graduating from the master's in genetic counseling program in 2020, Jamie began work as a pediatric genetic counselor with the Geisinger Health System.

Kylie Borden, MS, CGC

Kylie Borden, MS, CGC

Kylie was born and raised in southeast Texas. She graduated from Southwestern University in 2017 with a B.S. in Biochemistry. As an undergraduate student, she worked as a research assistant at Southwestern University and various other research institutions in Texas. Following graduation, she moved to Washington, D.C. to begin a research fellowship through the National Cancer Institute in Dr. Susan Gottesman's lab, studying the regulation of the stress response in Escherichia coli.  In addition to lab work at the NIH, Kylie spent time shadowing genetic counselors, attending conferences, and generally learning as much as possible about the Genetic Counseling profession.  Kylie is now a cancer genetic counselor at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia.

Jacqueline Cappadocia, MS, CGC

Jacqueline Cappadocia, MS, CGC

Although Jacqueline is a Toronto native she is no stranger to the Philadelphia area, graduating from Villanova University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science degree. Jacqueline is eager to make a contribution to the field of genetic counseling both in a clinical and research capacity. She conducted her thesis research in collaboration with the Center for Cornelia de Lange Syndrome and Related Diagnoses at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and investigated the prevalence of Eosinophilic Esophagitis in children with Cornelia de Lange Syndrome. Jacqueline is the 2020 recipient of the Marie Barr Genetic Counseling Award.  She is now a genetic counselor in the Basser Center for BRCA at Penn Medicine.

Stacey Cohen, MS, CGC

Stacey Cohen, MS, CGC

Stacey is from Livingston, New Jersey. She graduated from Barnard College of Columbia University in May 2019 with a degree in neuroscience and behavior. During her time in college, she performed research on contextual fear learning and worked on a crisis hotline. Her master's thesis focused on quality-of-life in children with developmental and epileptic encephalopathies. As a genetic counseling student, she worked part-time as a genetic counseling assistant at the Epilepsy Neurogenetics Initiative at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where she now works as a Genetic Counselor. In her free time, she enjoys baking and playing video games.

Brigitte Cronier, MS

Brigitte Cronier, MS

Brigitte graduated from the University of Cincinnati, Ohio, over ten years ago, and  majored in Neuroscience. After college, she explored many career options and considered going to medical school. It was through this process that she discovered genetic counseling. Throughout her graduate school years, Brigitte planned to specialize in cancer genetics and enjoyed working on her thesis project studying direct-to-consumer genetic testing for cancer risk. She is now working as a cancer genetic counselor at Community Hospital, Grand Valley Oncology in Colorado.  Outside of genetic counseling, she loves karaoke, cooking, and aerial arts.

Jeshua DeJesse, MS, CGC

Jeshua DeJesse, MS, CGC

Jeshua is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He attended Binghamton University where he majored in Biology and was a research assistant in a lab studying plant speciation. Jeshua also volunteered for Crisis Text Line and a hospital near his college. His thesis project studied extracolonic screening in the Lynch Syndrome population.  Jeshua is now working as a pediatric genetic counselor in the Clinical Genetics Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Jeshua is a big fan of comedy, his ill-behaved dog, and the Philadelphia 76ers.

Isaac Elysee, MS, CGC

Isaac Elysee, MS, CGC

Isaac is from New York, NY. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in 2019 from Cornell University, where he studied Biological Sciences with a concentration in Genetics, Genomics, and Development. As an undergraduate, Isaac conducted research into the genetics of intestinal lymphatic system development in mice and trained in peer counseling. Isaac’s interest in genetic counseling stemmed from a desire to make genetics approachable and to help destigmatize genetics and broaden its reach in underserved communities.   He is now working as a genetic counselor in the Division of Translational Medicine and Human Genetics at Penn Medicine.

Isaac enjoys reading, podcasts, watching basketball, and doing impersonations of his mom in his (very limited) free time.

Laura Hennessy, MS, CGC

Laura Hennessy, MS, CGC

Laura graduated from the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia in 2014 where she majored in Biology. She spent the following five years working in both basic science and clinical research investigating neurodegenerative conditions including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia. Laura hopes to pursue a genetic counseling career that incorporates both clinical and research functions within the field of neurodegeneration.  She is now working as a genetic counselor in the Division of Translational Medicine and Human Genetics at Penn Medicine.

Sarah Howe, MS, CGC

Sarah Howe, MS, CGC

Sarah is from western Massachusetts and studied biology at the University of Vermont (UVM). After graduating she worked as a research technician, teaching assistant, and academic advisor within UVM’s biology department for three years. As an advisor assisting students in assessing their passions, strengths, and career thoughts, she found her way to her own ideal career of genetic counseling. While the transition to living in a large city was intimidating, she loves the vibrancy of Philly and its people. She is now working as a genetic counselor in the Penn Telegenetics Program.  She hopes to learn all she can from this city as a genetic counselor before returning to a more rural life.

Anna Iversen, MS

Anna Iversen, MS

Anna is from Boston and graduated from Northeastern University in 2018, where she majored in Health Science and minored in Biology and Psychology. As an undergraduate, she interned at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Massachusetts General Hospital as a Newborn Hearing Screener and Intraoperative Nerve Monitoring Technician. Before matriculating at Penn, she worked full-time in clinical research in the Neurology department at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Anna was the 2020-2021 LEND Fellow and through LEND worked on a Leadership Project for maternal-child health. She is also passionate about ethics and is pursuing a thesis on Ethics in Oncology.  Anna is now working as a genetic counselor in the Perinatal Diagnostic Center at Stanford Children's Hospital.

Emma Kennedy, MS, CGC

Emma Kennedy, MS, CGC

Originally from Olney, Maryland, Emma graduated from the University of Delaware in 2017 with degrees in Biology and Philosophy and a minor in music. At UD, she performed research on sea urchin RNA using CRISPR/cas9 technology and participated in numerous volunteer activities through the service organization Alpha Phi Omega. Post-graduation, Emma pursued her interest in genetic counseling by working as a genetic counseling assistant for GeneDx and shadowing in various genetics clinics. She also volunteered with Shady Grove Hospital and Crisis Text Line.   Emma now works in both the Division of Translational Medicine and Human Genetics and the Genetics Diagnostic Lab at Penn Medicine.

In her free time Emma likes to read, workout, and teach Irish dance.

Samantha Krahling, MS, CGC

Samantha Krahling, MS, CGC

Sam is a Marylander through and through, as she grew up in Southern MD and attended University of Maryland for her undergraduate degree in biology. After graduation, she remained in Maryland working at GeneDx, where she decided she wanted to pursue genetic counseling. In 2018, Sam packed her bags and moved to Philadelphia to work at CHOP’s Center for Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment. This is where she gained an interest in prenatal genetics, which continues today.  Sam is now a prenatal genetic counselor for Integrated Genetics.

When she’s not working, Sam’s favorite thing to do is run along the Schuylkill River Trail.

Michaela Mundt, MS

Michaela Mundt, MS

Michaela is from Paradise, CA, and attended the University of California Davis, where she earned bachelor’s degrees in Genetics and History. While there, she threw hammer on the NCAA Division 1 Track and Field Team. She has loved genetics since taking her first pedigree in 7th grade and was drawn to genetic counseling because of the close relationships genetic counselors have with their patients. Michaela’s thesis explores the perceptions of clinical supervisors working with multiple graduate programs. After graduation, she will continue this research as she works as a Prenatal Genetic Counselor for Integrated Genetics in California.

Laura Rohan, MS

Laura Rohan, MS

Laura grew up in State College, Pennsylvania, and received her undergraduate degree from Penn State University, majoring in microbiology and minoring in German. After graduating in 2018, she worked for a year in a genomics laboratory at Penn State, where she recruited patients to a study on rare microdeletion syndromes. She was drawn to the field of genetic counseling due to her familial experience of having a sister with autism and a brother with a craniofacial disorder.   Laura is now working as a pediatric genetic counselor at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Her favorite hobby is dancing, primarily swing dancing.

Erica Trujillo, MS

Erica Trujillo, MS

Erica is from the Philadelphia suburbs and is delighted to be close to home while she pursues her graduate degree. She graduated from the University of Richmond in 2014 with a B.S. in biology, and worked in clinical research prior to attending the UPenn genetic counseling program. She was drawn to the profession by the meaningful collaborative partnerships that genetic counselors form with their patients as they navigate the world of genetics. She will be doing that as a genetic counselor at the University Hospital of University Health Care System in Atlanta, GA.

When Erica is not working, she can be found baking or singing, sometimes even at the same time!