- Increasing Diversity
Our committment to increase diversity and foster inclusion in the UPenn MSGC program and the genetic counseling profession
The leadership of the University of Pennsylvania Master of Science in Genetic Counseling program values diversity and seeks talented students, faculty and staff from diverse backgrounds. We are committed to increasing the diversity of the program, and thereby, the field of genetic counseling itself, so that ultimately research studies and clinical care will better serve everyone in need of genetics services.
To achieve this goal we are
- spearheading the Alliance to Increase Diversity in Genetic Counseling (AID-GC), an expansive, innovative project funded by a grant of $9.5 million from the Warren Alpert Foundation to Penn Medicine. PI Kathleen Valverde, PhD, LCGC, the Director of the Master of Science in Genetic Counseling Program at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, leads this effort, which is joined by a consortium of four participating genetic counseling master’s programs from Boston University, Rutgers University, Sarah Lawrence College, and the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Ten students will be selected yearly, two from each program. Click here for more information.
- offering full-time, six-week long, paid summer internships for undergraduate students from communities/groups that are under-represented in genetic counseling. The internships provide students who are interested in careers in genetic counseling with exposure to a broad range of clinical genetics specialties, conferences and case conferences, research and laboratory work, shadowing in multiple clinical settings, and opportunities for one-on-one interactions with genetic counselors and current students.
- developing connections and practices for outreach to high school and undergraduate students from under-represented minorities about careers in genetic counseling
- engaging in research, scholarship and teaching that addresses issues of diversity and inclusion in the field of genetic counseling and equity and access in medical care. See for example these recent articles:
- Back, A., Conway, L. (2020) Hinduism and reproductive decision-making: Karma, samsara, and the in-between. Journal of Genetic Counseling, Aug;29(4):594-597. https://doi.org/10.1002/jgc4.1273.
- Kessler, L. J. & Love, R. (2020). It's not wrong, it's just different. Journal of Genetic Counseling, 29(2), 324–328. PMID: 32108402. https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1002/jgc4.1235
Price, E. Robbins, S. & Valverde, K. (2020). Increasing diversity in the genetic counseling profession: Development of recruitment tools for African-American undergraduate students. Journal of Genetic Counseling, 29: 224-233. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/jgc4.1280
- actively fundraising to provide genetic counseling scholarships to students from populations that are underrepresented in genetic counseling.
Learn more about efforts to increase diversity and foster inclusion at the Perelman School of Medicine, the University of Pennsylvania and in the Genetic Counseling field:
- Learn about diversity initiatives and resources at the Perelman School of Medicine
- Learn about IDEAL XP (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Learner Experience Program in Medical Education), a new initiative and structure to support the educational mission of PSOM by promoting an inclusive, welcoming, supportive and engaged student community, while cultivating an equitable student experience.
- Learn about ACT: Action for Cultural Transformation - Developing Strategies to Ensure Equity, Mitigate Bias and Eliminate Racism at Penn Medicine at Penn Medicine's Office of Inclusion and Diversity
- Learn more about diversity and inclusion at the University of Pennsylvania
- Read about the National Society of Genetic Counselors' diversity initiatives
The University of Pennsylvania Diversity Statement
The University of Pennsylvania does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected class status in the administration of its admissions, financial aid, educational or athletic programs, or other University-administered programs or in its employment practices.
Questions or complaints regarding this policy should be directed to the Executive Director of the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity Programs, Sansom Place East, 3600 Chestnut Street, Suite 228, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6106; or (215) 898-6993 (Voice) or (215) 898-7803 (TDD).