Meet our Current Students
Class of 2024
Suzi is from the suburbs of Philadelphia and graduated from Muhlenberg College in 2018 with a bachelor’s in biochemistry and minors in German studies and Asian studies. After graduating, she worked as a laboratory technician in the Sundaram lab at UPenn, studying apical extracellular matrix in the nematode, C. elegans. At the same time, she also completed a Master of Bioethics while at UPenn; learning about issues in disability bioethics, patient advocacy and more strengthened her desire to work at the intersection between science and patient care. In her free time, Suzi loves all things crafting- knitting, crochet, embroidery, and sewing.
Jen is from Chappaqua, New York. She graduated from Bucknell University in 2020 with a degree in neuroscience. After graduating, she worked at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute as a Clinical Research Coordinator. At Dana-Farber, she worked on studies aimed at improving the treatment and outcome of patients with Glioblastoma and other brain cancers. Her work there helped her develop a passion for patient advocacy and research. In her free time, Jen enjoys going on walks, cooking, and live music!
Allaina is from Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Bryn Athyn College with a bachelor’s in biology and a minor in psychology. While at Bryn Athyn College, she worked as a biology tutor and a molecular biology research assistant. She loves sports and was thrilled to be able to play Division III volleyball. As an undergraduate, she had a clinical genetics internship at Fox Chase Cancer Center and did crisis counseling. After graduating, Allaina moved to New Jersey and started working at T.E.A.L.® - Ovarian Cancer Foundation in Brooklyn, New York. She loves going out in New York City, hiking, reading, and all things concerning coffee.
Camille is originally from Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. She graduated from the University of the Sciences in 2020 with a degree in biomedical sciences and a minor in microbiology. She also played Division II softball for USciences during her undergraduate career. Since graduating, Camille has been working as a clinical research coordinator at Shriners Hospitals for Children in Philadelphia and volunteering for the Crisis Text Hotline. These experiences with advocacy and exposure to rare disease populations have strengthened her desire to join the field of genetic counseling. In her free time, Camille enjoys cooking, listening to true crime podcasts and spending time with her pets.
Teresa is from Burlington, Massachusetts. She graduated from Northeastern University with a B.S. in cell and molecular biology and a minor in psychology. While at Northeastern, Teresa gained valuable experience through two co-op opportunities: the first as an In-Vitro Cancer Biologist at Ikena Oncology and the second as a Genetic Counseling Assistant at the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Cancer Risk Assessment. Following graduation, she returned to work as a GCA full time and continued volunteering with Crisis Text Line. In her free time, Teresa enjoys taking dance classes, traveling, and trying new foods with friends.
Mackenzie is from Bellingham, Washington, and graduated from the University of Washington in 2019 with a degree in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology. After graduating, Mackenzie worked at the Allen Institute for Cell Science as a microscopist and chaired the Seattle chapter of the non-profit organization, Young Women In Bio. Additionally, Mackenzie has volunteered with Crisis Text Line, the American Cancer Society and the Epilepsy Foundation of Washington. Mackenzie is passionate about expanding access to genetic care and inspiring the next generation of genetic counselors. In her free time, Mackenzie can be found baking or cooking, being active, crocheting, and reading.
Katie grew up in Pennsylvania and graduated from the University of Delaware's honors program with a degree in biological sciences and a minor in Spanish for healthcare. Following graduation, she worked as a prenatal and reproductive genetic counseling assistant at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Katie is passionate about increasing access to carrier screening and hopes to further explore the role of genetic counselors in fetal care. Outside of genetics, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading, and going to the beach.
Shannon is from Cleveland, Ohio, and graduated from the Ohio State University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in molecular genetics and zoology. After graduation, she worked for two years as a clinical research assistant studying melanoma at the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. She also volunteered for the Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio and Big Brothers Big Sisters. These experiences sparked her interest in working with minority communities to bring education and awareness of the importance of genetic counseling. In her free time, Shannon enjoys roller skating, traveling, and spending time with her cat.
Ingrid was born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan. She graduated from Barnard College of Columbia University in May 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in cell and molecular biology. During college, she volunteered at Camp Kesem, a summer camp for kids impacted by a parent’s cancer. Following graduation, she worked as a clinical research coordinator in the Thermoregulation and Exoskeleton programs in spinal cord injury research at the Bronx VA. She then transitioned to teratology research, joining the MotherToBaby Pregnancy Studies team that explores how certain medications and vaccines affect pregnancy. Her previous experience has led to her passion to support women and children’s health. In her free time, you can find her baking and dancing to her 90’s music playlist!
Sam is originally from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2021, where he majored in molecular biology and minored in chemistry and Mediterranean art and archaeology. At Pitt, Sam enjoyed his experiences as an undergraduate teaching assistant and research intern. After graduating, Sam began working as a genetic counseling assistant at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He has also volunteered with a crisis hotline at a local domestic violence resource center and with a program serving hospitalized senior citizens. In his free time, Sam enjoys running, tennis, skiing, and walking his dogs.
Breanna is from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, and graduated from the University of Toronto in 2021 with a HBSc in molecular genetics and microbiology. During her undergraduate study, she was involved with the Innis College Student Society, La Mosaic student magazine, and completed minors in Psychology and French Studies. Prior to entering the program, she was a volunteer at the Zane Cohen Centre for Digestive Diseases and Kids Help Phone. Breanna enjoys reading, journaling, cooking, and traveling in her spare time. She is also an avid event planner, including planning her own Quinceañera, Innis College Orientation, Pub Nights, a Formal Gala, and surprise birthday parties for friends.
Apurba is originally from Edmonton, Alberta, and graduated from the University of Alberta in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in molecular genetics. After graduating, she worked as a genetics assistant at the Edmonton Medical Genetics Clinic working with pediatric patients. She also helped found a community group for Nepalese-Canadian youth that organizes local events and serves as a platform for members to share their experiences. In her free time, Apurba enjoys hiking, traveling, and exploring local restaurants and coffee shops.
Angelia Manuelito is from the Pueblo of Acoma, New Mexico. She graduated from Columbia University with her B.A. in evolutionary biology of the human species in spring 2022. In high school, Angelia conducted a community-based research project presenting on the benefits of genetic testing and population screening for the prevention of congenital diseases within indigenous communities. Since then, she’s been interested in addressing and repairing the relationship between western science and indigenous medicine so both may benefit from genetic technologies. Angelia enjoys reading, running, and exploring the East Coast.
Caroline is from West Chester, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Bucknell University in 2022 with a B.S. in neuroscience and a children’s studies minor. During her time at Bucknell, she was a member of the varsity swim team, a study group facilitator, and a Near Peer counselor at a local middle school. In the summer of 2021, she worked at Geisinger’s Genomic Medicine Institute where she evaluated the cardiovascular genes that were newly added to the third version of the ACMG’s Secondary Findings List for the Geisinger MyCode Community Health Initiative. Caroline enjoys spending time with her family, listening to podcasts, and cheering on Philadelphia sports teams.
Originally from Vancouver, BC, Anna is a 2022 graduate of the University of Toronto in molecular genetics and English. While completing her undergraduate degree, she worked in a comparative genomics lab researching heart development. During this project, she was involved in a collaboration with the SickKids Cardiac Genome Clinic—a team including research genetic counselors—with the goal to identify conserved enhancers impacting congenital heart disease. In the future, Anna hopes to integrate her passion for research into her work as a genetic counselor. In her free time, Anna also enjoys baking, hiking, and musical theatre.
Becca grew up in the small town of Sharon, Massachusetts and graduated from the University of Rochester in 2020 with a Bachelor of Science in neuroscience and a minor in clinical psychology. As an undergraduate, she was a passionate member of the Inspiration Project, a local group connecting students to individuals with cerebral palsy to write memoirs together. Following graduation, she joined the pediatric neurogenetics program at Boston Children’s Hospital as a genetic counseling assistant. Outside of her love for genetics and patient education and advocacy, Becca enjoys cheering for the New England Patriots, going to the beach, and exploring local farmer’s markets.
Baergen grew up in Centennial, Colorado. She graduated from Lewis & Clark College in 2019 where she majored in biology with a minor in neuroscience. As an undergraduate, she worked in a neurobiology lab where she studied the cellular mechanisms of Parkinson’s disease. Following graduation, she supported genomics research consortia as a Scientific Program Analyst at the National Human Genome Research Institute. During her time in Washington, DC, she also volunteered at an inpatient hospice center. In her free time, she enjoys baking, reading, and spending time outdoors.
Kara is from Jasper, Indiana, and is a 2021 graduate of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, where she majored in biochemistry and minored in psychology. She has since spent her time working in a clinical pharmacology research lab at Vanderbilt University under Dr. Dan Roden and Dr. Andrew Glazer, classifying genetic variants of uncertain significance relating to heart defects and arrhythmias. She has always had a passion for genetic counseling and was inspired by her late grandfather to one day specialize in adult-onset neurodegenerative disorders. In her free time, she has loved getting involved with the community through leading service projects for her former sorority (Chi Omega), substitute teaching for a local middle school, and performing in local and school-wide musical theatre productions.
Class of 2025
Nareen is from Broomall, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Ursinus College in 2021 with a B.S. in Biology and Spanish. During her time at Ursinus, she studied cell cycle development of C. elegans in Dr. Rebecca Lyczak’s laboratory and volunteered at various community sites through the Scholars in Service program. After graduating, she joined the neurogenetics team at Penn Medicine as their GCA and gained invaluable experience working with patients with adult-onset neurologic conditions. Outside of genetics, Nareen enjoys traveling, spending time in nature, and being with friends, family, and her dog, Bailey.
Cameron was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, and graduated from Georgetown University in 2019, majoring in Biology of Global Health. For the past three years, she has lived and worked in New York City as a genetic counseling assistant at Everly Health on a team providing telehealth genetic counseling to patients pursuing various patient-initiated tests. Through this experience working with such a clinically and geographically diverse population, she assisted on countless unique cases and developed an appreciation for the consistent value of genetic counseling in each one. Outside of work, she is also an avid runner, theatergoer, and baker.
Becca is from Harleysville, Pennsylvania. She graduated from the University of Delaware in 2020 with a degree in Biology, concentrating in Cellular and Molecular Biology/Genetics. She also minored in Genetic Counseling, Biochemistry, and Medical Ethics. After graduating, she worked as a Genetic Counseling Assistant at CooperGenomics. She worked primarily with patients undergoing PGT-M (preimplantation genetic testing for monogenic disease). She also conducted research on the patient population pursuing PGT-M for a BRCA1/2 variant and presented her research at an international fertility conference. She adores working with children, so she often volunteers at the Indian Creek Foundation's Therapeutic After School program for children with Autism. In her free time, you can find her listening to Harry Styles, baking, or performing in community musical theater productions.
Lily is originally from Lower Merion, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Duke University in 2023 where she completed a self-designed major in the field of disability studies titled “Disabled Bodies as Minority Bodies in Theory and Practice.” As a member of the Duke Disability Alliance, she was involved in the student effort to bring disability awareness, disability pride, and disability studies to campus. She was also a Peer Success Leader and a text responder for DukeLine. In her free time, Lily enjoys reading, watching too much reality tv, and spending time outside.
Anne is from Glen Rock, New Jersey. She graduated from the University of Delaware in 2022, where she majored in biological sciences and minored in genetic counseling. As an undergraduate, Anne was a teacher’s assistant for a cell biology class and completed a genetic counseling practicum at the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center. After graduating, she worked as a genetic counseling assistant at NYU Langone’s High-Risk Cancer Genetics office. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, hiking, and traveling to new places.
Lauren grew up in South Jersey and developed a passion for genetic counseling during her time at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. After graduating in 2019 with a degree in Genetics and a minor in Public Health, she spent two years working as a research technician in the Choi lab at CHOP. Lauren then gained clinical experience as a GCA in the 22q and You Center at CHOP. In her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and cat, Luna. She also likes to be active, travel, tend to her plants, and cheer on Philly sports teams.
Corinne is from Pitman, New Jersey, and graduated from Saint Joseph’s University in 2020 with a BS in biology and a minor in healthcare ethics. After graduating, she joined the Palliative and Advanced Illness Research (PAIR) Center at the University of Pennsylvania as a clinical research coordinator where she was able to gain invaluable research experience and insight. Her interests include expanding the reach of genetic counseling services into the palliative and end-of-life care spaces and increasing access to palliative care for patients with terminal genetic conditions. For the last three years, Corinne has served as the Communications and Engagement Lead for DNA Today, a podcast that explores how genetics impacts personal and public health. Corinne grew up as a patient in the Craniofacial Program at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and is excited to pursue her education and training at the place where her interest in healthcare began. In her free time, Corinne enjoys taking yoga classes, trying new restaurants, and spending time at the Jersey Shore.
Samuel grew up in Wilmington, Delaware, and graduated from the University of Delaware in 2020 with a B.A. in biological sciences and a minor in genetic counseling. Since graduating, he has worked in the University of Pennsylvania’s Cancer Biology department as a laboratory technician and manager. His experience researching CAR T therapy alongside the passionate professionals in and around his lab has further inspired him to pursue a career in genetic counseling. In his free time, he enjoys challenging himself with new recipes to cook (and eat), finding new music to listen to, and learning about different cultures.
Chloe is originally from Denver, Colorado. She graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in public health sciences. During her undergraduate career, she volunteered for the Crisis Text Hotline and worked in HIV/AIDS research in Uganda. Following graduation, she returned to Denver and began working as an overdose prevention specialist before transitioning to a role at GeneDx as a Genetic Counseling Assistant. Chloe is interested in exploring prenatal genetics and the intersection between public health and genetics during her time at the University of Pennsylvania. In her free time, Chloe enjoys traveling, reading, skiing, and spending time with friends and family.
Melanie is originally from Westfield, New Jersey, and graduated from Tufts University in 2019 with a major in mathematics and a minor in economics. Following graduation, Melanie worked in brand strategy consulting for two years. She learned about genetic counseling during that time, after which she began working as a prenatal genetic counseling assistant at New Jersey Perinatal Associates. She also volunteers with the National MS Society and Achilles International. In her free time, Melanie enjoys running, playing pickleball, skiing, exploring new neighborhoods, and spending time with family and friends.
Jill grew up in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, and graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts in biology. As an undergrad, she volunteered as a biology tutor on campus and for elementary schools in Worcester. She also worked as a home health aide and a certified nurse assistant for patients with Alzheimer’s disease. Following graduation, she worked as a research coordinator in the genitourinary oncology department at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. Aside from her passions for health literacy and increasing access to healthcare, Jill enjoys running, hiking, and cheering for the Boston Bruins.
Jordan is from Anniston, Alabama, and graduated from Jacksonville State University with a B.S. in Biology. While at JSU she conducted research on the potential functional impact of TREX1 gene VUS on autoimmunity. She also tutored several courses including Human Anatomy and Physiology, Genetics, and Cell Biology. After graduation, Jordan spent a year working as an intern at the UNC Cancer & Adult Genetics Clinic. She is passionate about patient outreach and ensuring genetic and genomic services are fully accessible to under-resourced communities. Outside of school, Jordan enjoys cooking, journaling and listening to podcasts.
Evelyn is from Chicago, Illinois, and graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2022 with a bachelor's in Molecular and Cellular Biology and a minor in Chemistry. While at UIUC, Evelyn co-founded a Latina sorority on her campus to promote the inclusion of underrepresented groups in higher education. She also volunteered with organizations such as Planned Parenthood to support access to affordable healthcare. After graduating, Evelyn accepted a position as a GCA at the University of Virginia. As a genetic counselor, she hopes to narrow the gaps in healthcare by making genetic counseling more accessible to minorities, especially non-English speaking patients. Evelyn enjoys cooking, crocheting, and hanging out with her cat.
Aritza Vanessa, who prefers to go by Vanessa, is a Texas-born but Colorado raised Chicana. As a first-generation Mexican-American, Vanessa graduated from Colorado State University in 2021 with a degree in Biochemistry. Since then, she has been working in phase I and II cancer trials in hematology as a research coordinator at the University of Colorado. Her exposure to cancer genetics has inspired her to pursue a career in genetic counseling to expand the genetic database for the underrepresented populations. Beyond genetics, Vanessa enjoys volunteering, skiing and reading in her free time.
Hannah is from Flemington, New Jersey, and graduated from Stockton University in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in biology and a minor in behavioral neuroscience. Upon graduation, she moved to Philadelphia to pursue a Laboratory Genetic Counseling Assistant position at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where she gained a wealth of experience in triaging and handling patient samples intended for genetic testing. In her free time, Hannah enjoys playing with her cat Luna, singing, spending time with friends and family, and playing videogames.
Originally from Dallas, Texas, Grace graduated from Wesleyan University in 2020 with her bachelor's degree in Biology. She worked for the National Institutes of Health's National Human Genome Research Institute as a Scientific Program Analyst, where she assisted managing genomics research consortia funded by the National Institutes of Health. Grace moved to the Philadelphia area in 2021 and volunteered for Penn Medicine Hospice before pursuing her master's in Genetic Counseling. She avidly pursues rock climbing, loves to cook, and relaxes with a good book and a cup of tea.
Alice grew up in Broomall, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Penn State in 2017 with a B.S. in biomedical engineering. Following graduation, she spent two years as a post-baccalaureate research trainee at the National Institutes of Health, where she studied the genetics of neurodegenerative disorders. There she developed an interest in genetic counseling, which led her to join the Genomic Diagnostic Lab at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia as a genetic counseling assistant in 2019. In her free time, Alice enjoys music and dance, circus aerials, and spending time with her friends and family.
Sarah is from Laguna Niguel, California. In 2022, she graduated from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo with a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences and a minor in psychology. In the year following, she worked as a genetic counseling assistant in the Hereditary Cancer Program at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, California. Sarah discovered her passion for patient advocacy as a student ambassador for the United Multiple Sulfatase Deficiency Foundation, where she assists with newborn screening research and metabolic clinic outreach. In her free time, Sarah loves to exercise and eat pasta (not at the same time, but if she could, she would)!