Current Students & Alumni
First Years (Class of 2019)
Brita Christenson is from Minnesota and graduated from the University of Northwestern—St. Paul in 2016 with her bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry. As an undergraduate, she served as a resident assistant, a teaching assistant for genetics and the World Languages Department, and a volunteer tutor at Gigi’s playhouse, a Down syndrome achievement center. She gained experience in genetic counseling by shadowing lab and cancer genetic counselors and presenting on the genetic counseling profession in a college honors symposium. She also received an REU grant for biochemistry research at Texas A&M and worked on genetics research projects at UNW. Most recently, Brita worked as a wellness coach for patients with diabetes through Savvysherpa, a healthcare research company.
Kristina Cotter is from Massachusetts and received her bachelor’s degree in Biology from Boston College in 2011 and her PhD in Cellular and Molecular Physiology from Tufts University in 2016. As an undergraduate, she volunteered at the Boston College Campus School for students with disabilities and started the Boston College chapter of Project Sunshine, an organization that runs recreational and educational events in pediatric hospitals. During her PhD, Kristina researched mechanisms to reduce breast cancer metastasis and published several papers in the breast cancer space. As a graduate student, Kristina also had the opportunity to participate in the Graduate Student Council and met with several genetic counselors in the Boston area. Most recently, Kristina was a life science consultant in San Francisco.
Natalie Deuitch is from North Carolina and received her bachelor’s degree in Biology and Food Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2015. As an undergraduate she worked in basic cancer research, studied traditional medicine in India, and completed an honors thesis on biological and sociocultural implications of celiac disease. After graduation, Natalie worked in autoinflammatory genetics research at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, where she gained both lab and clinical experience and shadowed a variety of genetic counselors. Natalie also volunteered with a local Hospice organization, working primarily with pediatric patients.
Laura Hayward is from Stanford, California and is excited to come back home! She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Human Biology from Claremont McKenna College in May 2016. As an undergraduate, she served as a Residential Assistant, co-captain of the soccer team, and a horrible ballroom dancer. As a junior she interned at UCSF's cancer genetics and prevention program, where she fell in love with the field of genetic counseling. Since then she has completed her senior thesis, identifying functional single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with breast cancer. Laura most recently worked as a Support Engineer at a startup in San Francisco.
Josh Keyes is from Colorado and graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2015 with his bachelor’s degrees in Neuroscience and Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. He provided resident companionship for the Memory Care assisted living community at Frasier Meadows, worked as a lab assistant for the undergraduate Principles of Genetics and Phage Genomics labs, was a tutor for various courses including genetics and biochemistry, and was a teaching assistant for Intro to MCDB, Principles of Genetics, and Bacteriophage Genomics. Josh gained exposure to genetic counseling by working as an intern for a cancer genetic counselor at Parker Adventist Hospital.
Helen Kim is from southern California and completed her bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology at Claremont McKenna College in 2012. She is eager and excited to start her training in Genetic Counseling after a career in research, spanning topics of chromatin remodeling enzymes, structurally guided rational HIV-1 vaccine design, and structure-function mechanism of human microRNA-mediated gene silencing machinery. Helen has served as a peer coach in graduate school, a supervised visitation provider for families undergoing separations, and as a student therapist for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. In her recent position at Illumina, she attended the Understand Your Genome symposium and assisted early adopters navigate their clinical WGS results through workshop sessions. Helen is fluent in Korean.
Kim Kinnear is from Wisconsin and graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 2011 with degrees in Psychology and English. As an undergraduate, she worked as a respite worker and tutor for children with autism. She was also a volunteer as a research assistant in a schizophrenia lab and as a patient visitor at the children’s hospital. Kim also worked as a counselor at a residential treatment center, treating individuals with OCD, anxiety, depression, and eating disorders.
Rachel Mangels is from southern California and graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Biology from Washington University in St. Louis in 2009 and a Ph.D in Molecular Biology from the University of Southern California in 2016. Rachel’s doctorate research focused on sexual selection’s effect on the genetic and phenotypic variation of reproductive traits. As a graduate student, she was a teaching assistant for multiple undergraduate Biology courses for both science and non-science majors. Most recently, Rachel worked with adults with disabilities at ROSIES Foundation and shadowed genetic counselors in the cancer and cardiovascular departments at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
Andrew Shaw is from San Diego, California and received his bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from California State University, Long Beach in May 2015. His previous experience includes volunteering for a rare disease patient advocacy organization - Global Genes, working with emergency medical staff at music festivals, as well as regularly participating in a local food bank in Long Beach. Before joining Stanford's GC program, Andrew volunteered in the Cancer Genetics program at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange while also working at Ambry Genetics as a clinical assistant leading the development of Ambry’s tumor testing services.
Erika Snure is from Des Moines, Washington and graduated from the University of Washington in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Biology. She gained exposure to genetic counseling through shadowing pediatric, cancer, and neurogenetics clinics, and met with other genetic counselors in laboratory and commercial roles. Erika focused her volunteer experiences on helping fellow students as a peer health educator and worked with children and families as an inpatient child life volunteer at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Most recently, Erika worked as a genetic counseling assistant in the University of Washington Medical Genetics Clinic for over two years.
Kate Vlessis is from Bend, Oregon and completed her bachelor's degree in Integrative Biology from the University of California, Berkeley in 2015. Following her studies, Kate lived and worked for a year in Wellington, New Zealand within a Behavioral Neurogenetics laboratory at the University of Victoria, Wellington. Returning to the U.S., she began working as a medical oncology scribe and volunteering in community outreach and education at Planned Parenthood. Kate also gained experience shadowing genetic counselors at Invitae in San Francisco and at OHSU.
Second Years (Class of 2018)
Stephanie Booke iis from northern California and completed her bachelor’s degree in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics from UCLA in June 2016. As an undergraduate, she was a volunteer activities coordinator for a nursing/rehabilitation center, an active listener intern, and a Physics learning assistant. Stephanie has done a genetic counseling internship at the UCLA Cancer and created GC internship resources as a member of UCLA’s Genetic Counseling Student Interest Group. She completed her summer rotation at LPCH's Prenatal Center and is currently working on her research project investigating genetic counselors' attitudes toward and practice related to psychiatric genetic counseling.
Daiana Bucio is from northern California and completed her bachelor’s degree in Genetics & Genomics at UC Davis in June 2016. As an undergraduate, she was a crisis hotline counselor, an academic peer advisor at UC Davis, an autism therapy intern, and worked with an on-site psychologist at an orphanage in Mexico. Daiana, who is a bilingual Spanish speaker, also served as a research assistant at the UCDMC Alzheimer’s Disease Center, was a genetic counseling intern at UC Davis MIND Institute, and a clinic volunteer in Nicaragua and at a low-income clinic in Napa. She has completed clinical rotations at Stanford, Illumina, CPMC, Kaiser, and is currently rotating at UCSF. Her research project focuses on genetic counseling services in Mexico.
Abby D’Angelo is from Massachusetts and graduated from Wesleyan in 2014 with her bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She served as a parental stress line counselor, a Planned Parenthood volunteer, a patient visitor and women’s clinic volunteer. Abby was also a tutor and research lab assistant at Wesleyan and Boston College. She has enjoyed all of her rotations here at Stanford and is currently researching genetic counselors’ understanding and experiences with Physician Aid-In-Dying for her graduate thesis.
Athena Ganetsos is from the Bay Area and completed her bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of San Francisco in 2014. She was a crisis hotline volunteer, an emergency room scribe, and a volunteer for a recreation/rehabilitation center for individuals with mental and physical disabilities. Prior to joining the genetic counseling program, Athena was a cancer genetics intern at UCSF and a customer care specialist at Natera. Athena completed her summer rotation at the UC Davis MIND Institute in Sacramento, and is currently working on her research project investigating the impact of family conferences on stress and coping for caregivers of individuals with RASopathies.
Madeline Graf is originally from the Bay Area and received her bachelor’s degree in Human Biology and Society from UCLA in 2014. As an undergraduate, she was a crisis text line volunteer and a volunteer surfing aid for children with CF. Madeline served as a research intern for both UCLA’s Deaf Genetics and Peer Relations projects. She shadowed cancer and prenatal genetic counselors and was a member of UCLA’s Genetic Counseling Student Interest Group. Between her undergraduate and graduate training, she worked as the lead clinical genomics assistant for a clinical diagnostic laboratory. Madeline has completed her pediatric, cancer, and variant assessment rotations at Stanford. She also completed a rotation with the Undiagnosed Disease Network at Stanford. Over the summer, she did her prenatal rotation in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Daisy Hernandez is from southern California and earned her bachelor’s in Biology from CSU Northridge in 2014. She is bilingual in Spanish and was a sexual assault advocate and a peer health eating disorder counselor, providing counseling in English and Spanish. Daisy also served as a patient care volunteer, an instructor for a psychology course / eating disorder program coordinator, and a volunteer assistant for individuals with cognitive/physical disabilities. Daisy shadowed pediatrics and non-clinical genetic counselors and was an administrative assistant at PacGenomics. Over the summer she did a cancer genetics rotation at USC + LA county where she was able to counsel patients in Spanish. She is currently working on her research project which focuses on the communication of genetic information when interpreters are required for Spanish speaking patients.
Lily Hoffman-Andrews is from Massachusetts and graduated from Clark University in 2010 with her bachelor’s degree in Biology. Lily gained exposure to genetic counseling by shadowing and attending genetics case conferences in the Boston area. She also volunteered for the Samaritans Crisis Hotline and worked as a senior research assistant for the Genomes2People translational genomics research group at Brigham & Women’s Hospital. Lily has rotated with the pediatric, cancer, and prenatal clinics at Stanford, and spent her summer at Hawai’i Community Genetics in Honolulu. For her research project, she is interviewing people with inherited retinal conditions about their attitudes toward gene editing technology.
Michelle Pacione is from Newbury Park, California and completed her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UC Berkeley in 2013 and her Master's degree in Education from Boston University in 2015. As an undergraduate she was a peer counselor, a hospital volunteer, and the student health services director at UC Berkeley. Upon graduation Michelle became a Teach for America corps member and taught high school science for three years in Chelsea, Massachusetts. She spent her summer rotation at Columbia University in NYC working in a cardiogenetics and research genomics clinic. Currently she is doing a qualitative research study assessing perspectives on Spinraza treatment from individuals and parents of children diagnosed with Spinal Muscular Atrophy.
Jessica Park is from New Jersey and received her bachelor’s degree in Human Development at Cornell University in 2016. As an undergraduate, she researched health and medical decision making, served as a community health advocate, shadowed doctors in oncology and drug addiction rehabilitation, and interned as a medical assistant in Honduras and Haiti. Jessica completed her summer rotation with Seattle Children's Hospital in laboratory and pediatric genetic counseling. She is currently working on her research project investigating genetic counselors’ perspectives of pretest counseling for whole exome and genomes sequencing.
Kim Zayhowski is from Massachusetts and completed her bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience, Biology, and Psychology from Brandeis University in May 2016. As an undergraduate, she was a peer counselor, a memory and cognition research assistant, an academic tutor, and a social justice in disability scholars fellow. Kim also served as a curriculum/behavioral programming intern for children with special needs, worked as a neuropsych consultant assistant, volunteered in clinics in Honduras. Kim completed her summer rotation in Portland, Oregon, where she worked in both cancer genetics and adult genetics clinics at Oregon Health and Science University. For her research project, she is interviewing cancer genetic counselors in order gain insight into unique questions and concerns transgender patients may have in a cancer genetic counseling session. Her goal is to improve the practices and education of genetic counselors in regard to these patients.
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Class of 2017 - graduated 6/17/17
- Alyssa Armsby
- Stephanie Bivona
- Danielle Dondanville
- Ellie Harrington
- Jessica Kianmahd
- Karina Liker
- Megan Nathan
- Aiste Narkeviciute
- Julia Silver
Class of 2016 - graduated 6/11/16
- Natalie Downs
- Kayla Hamilton
- Kelly Miller
- Tia Moscarello
- Lauren Puryear
- Chloe Reuter
- Trishna Subas
Class of 2015 - graduated 6/13/15
- Sophie Blease
- Della Bro
- Elise Calonico
- Ping Gong
- Rebecca Luiten
- Allie Newhall
- RJ Okamura
Class of 2014 - graduated 6/14/14
- Kelly Broady
- Katie Kobara
- Ashley Navarro
- Shannon Rego
- Anastasia Richardson
- Kim Splinter
- Erica Stricko
Class of 2013 - graduated 6/15/13
- Kristen Dilzell
- Rachel Farrell
- Emily Hendricks
- Sahil Kejriwal
- Greg Kellogg
- Amirah Khouzam
- Adrienne Miller
Class of 2012 - graduated 6/16/12
- Aarin Ables
- Megan Grove
- Emily Hurford
- Bita Nehoray
- Jessica Profato
- Nadine Rayes
- Layla Shahmirzadi
Class of 2011 - graduated 6/11/2011
- Myla Ashfaq
- Gemma Chandratillake
- Kyla Dunn
- Sarah Garcia
- Lili Kuzmich
- Stephanie Sottile
- Reana Tischler
- Kim Vande Wydeven