Student Awards and Recognition

Award for Advocacy and Volunteerism in Genetic Counseling

This award recognizes one graduate each year who exemplifies the goals of advocacy, service, and outreach in support of the field and improved patient care, essential components of the genetic counseling profession.

Class of 2022 Deirdre Kessler, now working as a prenatal genetic counselor for Labcorp in metropolitan Los Angeles
Class of 2022 Katie Rose Sullivan, now a genetic counselor with the Epilepsy Neurogenetics Initiative at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Class of 2021 Brigitte Cronier, now working as a genetic counselor at Community Hospital, Grand Valley Oncology, Grand Junction, Colorado


Isaac Elysee with his Excellence in Counseling Award
Isaac Elysee, MS, LCGC, with his award.

The Excellence in Counseling Award 

The excellence in counseling award is presented at graduation to the student who exemplifies the best counseling skills in his/her clinical placements and has strong academic credentials. The Excellence in Counseling Award committee, composed of clinical supervisors and previous award recipients, reviews the students nominated for the award.

Class of 2022 Samantha Williams, now a genetic counselor at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadephia
Class of 2021

Isaac Elysee, now working in the Division of Translational Medicine and Human Genetics at Penn Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


Genetic Counseling Distinguished Student Award

One student from each graduating class is chosen by the Genetic Counseling Program leadership for both academic excellence (GPA, as provided by the Registrar's office) and application of counseling theory to provide personalized and empathetic patient care.

Class of 2022 Jake Squicciarini, now a genetic counselor with the Roberts Individualized Medical Genetics Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Class of 2021 Stacey Cohen, now working in the Epilepsy Neurogenetics Initiative (ENGIN) at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia


Integrated Genetics Genetic Counseling Award

The University of Pennsylvania Masters in Genetic Counseling Program is one of only two selected by Integrated Genetics to participate in this program. Interested students apply for this two-year scholarship following the announcement of the Match, and the selected student receives a substantial scholarship award during each of their two academic years as well as a summer stipend to defray expenses for a required eight-week prenatal genetic rotation at an Integrated Genetics clinical site between the first and second years of the program.  Upon graduation, scholarship recipients are expected to meet the requirements for and accept an offer of employment for three years with Integrated Genetics at one of its many clinical locations.

Class of 2021 Samantha Krahling
Class of 2022 Raza Chaudhry
Class of 2023 Isabel Anez Bruzual


LEND - The Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Fellowship at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

The LEND program at CHOP is funded by a grant from the Maternal Child Health Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  Applicants for the LEND fellowship have a particular interest in pediatrics, neurodevelopmental disability, advocacy, and underserved populations. LEND supports fellows in developing expertise and skills in these areas and provides an opportunity to work with interdisciplinary teams and directly with community programs designed to improve care for these populations.  Fellows spend one day each week with the LEND team and receive a substantial stipend.  More about the LEND program at CHOP.

LEND has been a fantastic experience. I enjoy learning with and from students from other disciplines, such as occupational therapy, nutrition, nursing, social work, and psychology. Together, we learn how to use an interdisciplinary approach in clinic and in research by observing the Regional Autism Center (RAC), interacting with families outside of clinic, and collaborating on projects.  Nicole Kasatkin

Class of 2021 Anna Iversen, now working as a genetic counselor in the Perinatal Diagnostic Center at Stanford Children's Hospital, Stanford, California
Class of 2022 Nicole Kasatkin
Class of 2022 Allison Mazzella is now a genetic counselor at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia


The Marie Barr Genetic Counseling Research Award – CdLs and Related Diagnoses

This is a competitive award given each spring to a first-year student with strong academic and counseling credentials who is interested in completing a thesis project on Cornelia de Lange syndrome or other rare developmental diagnoses. The award honors the late Marie Barr, one of the first genetic counselors in the Philadelphia area. It seeks to "promote the development of expertise in genetic counseling issues related to rare developmental diagnoses." The award was established in 2014 by Marie's husband, Laird Jackson, MD, and Ian Krantz, MD, director of the Center for Cornelia de Lange Syndrome and Related Diagnoses at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.  It includes a stipend of $2,000 to fund the student's thesis project.

Class of 2021 Jacqueline Cappadocia, is a genetic counselor at the Basser Center for BRCA, PennMedicine, in Philadelphia, PA.
Class of 2022 Anna Platt, now a genetic counselor with the Roberts Individualized Medical Genetics Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Published Research Award

This award is presented on Thesis Day to the graduate from the previous year who is the first in the graduating class to have their thesis research accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. 

Class of 2021 Jeshua DeJesse,

DeJesse J, Vajravelu RK, Dudzik C, Constantino G, Long JM, Wangensteen KJ, Valverde KD, Katona BW. Uptake and outcomes of small intestinal and urinary tract cancer surveillance in Lynch syndrome. World J Clin Oncol 2021; 12(11): 1023-1036. DOI: 10.5306/wjco.v12.i11.1023


Special Recognition

Class of 2022

Allayna Frank - Best Student Abstract, 2022 Pennsylvania Association of Genetic Counselors Conference

Class of 2021 

Avi Anantharajah - recipient of a Student Annual Conference Scholarship funded by NSGC.  His article, “Redefining Medical Mistrust in the Post-Pandemic Era,” was selected for publication in the Genetic Counselor Insights section of Perspectives in July 2021.

Jamie Atondo - first place in the Pennsylvania Association of Genetic Counselors' annual essay contest

Brigitte Cronier - honorable mention in the Pennsylvania Association of Genetic Counselors' annual essay contest

Michaela Mundt - Best Student Abstract Award at the 2021 Pennsylvania Association of Genetic Counselors Conference for “Genetic counseling supervisors’ perceptions on working with multiple programs”