Current Students & Alumni

First Years (Class of 2020)

from left (back row): Eric Tricou, Jenna Stoltzfus, Tiffany T. Nguyen, Allana Booth, Marina Sumarroca, Kayla Muirhead, Chelya Clark, Kathryn Reyes

from left (front row): Kathleen Howell, Lisa Wilson, Maia Borensztein

Allana Booth is from Palo Alto, California and received her bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2015. After graduating, she worked as a biology and chemistry tutor for high school and college students and volunteered on a suicide and crisis hotline. To gain experience in genetic counseling, Allana volunteered at the Stanford Center for Inherited Cardiovascular Disease, where she performed a variety of tasks to help the genetic counselors. In addition, she shadowed cardiovascular, cancer, pediatric, and prenatal genetic counselors.

 

Maia Borensztein is from Massachusetts and graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2016 with her bachelor’s degree in Psychology on the Neuroscience track. As an undergraduate, she was a teaching assistant for a course in Behavioral Neuroendocrinology, a peer tutor, and a research assistant in a Neuroendocrinology lab, studying the human stress response. Over the summers, she worked at an overnight camp for girls in New Hampshire. Maia was a clinical research assistant at Boston Children’s Hospital in Cardiology on a genetics registry for congenital heart defects. In Boston, she shadowed genetic counselors in cardiology, pediatrics, and prenatal clinics. Maia also volunteered for Planned Parenthood on their Counseling and Referral Hotline to provide information to callers about sexual and reproductive health and services.

 

Cheyla Clark is from Lawrenceville, Georgia and graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Biology from Kennesaw State University in 2013 and earned her Master of Public Health with a concentration in genetics in 2015. As an undergraduate, she interned at Emory’s Metabolic Clinic where she had her first exposure to the field of genetic counseling. While obtaining her master’s, Cheyla completed her essay on the complex genetic components of alcohol and drug addiction. After obtaining her MPH, Cheyla completed an AmeriCorps service term with Project Health Access, where she facilitated health education workshops for parents of pre-school aged children. Most recently, she has worked as a genetic counseling assistant at the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah.

 

Kathleen Howell is from Scottsdale, Arizona and graduated from Stanford University in 2018 with her bachelor’s degree in Biology and also completed Honors in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, and a Notation in Science Communication with Distinction. She joined a genetics and cancer research lab in Stanford’s Medical School for three years, and wrote her honors thesis based on independent research in this lab. In addition, Kathleen gained experience as a peer counselor, worked as a teaching assistant for a genetics class, volunteered with genetic counselors at Stanford’s Cancer Genetics Clinic, and mentored children with disabilities through a campus organization called Kids with Dreams.

 

Kayla Muirhead is from Baltimore, Maryland and received her bachelor’s degree in Biology with honors from Dickinson College in 2015. As an undergraduate, she completed molecular genetics-based research as a student at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA, served as an REU summer fellow at the University of Chicago, and was an honors thesis candidate at Dickinson. Kayla was also involved in over nine service organizations as she aspired to meet the needs of underserved communities in Carlisle, PA. Upon graduation, Kayla moved to Bethesda, MD where she worked as an Intramural Research Training Awardee (IRTA) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for two years. Most recently, she has been living in Philadelphia and working as a Genetic Counseling Assistant in the Cancer Risk Assessment and Genetics Program at Main Line Health.

 

Tiffany T. Nguyen is from Portland, Oregon and graduated from Yale University in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. In college, she conducted cancer research at the Yale School of Medicine and OHSU, volunteered with Connecticut Hospice, co-facilitated a support group for patients with psychiatric disorders, interned at Yale Cancer Center, and peer counseled first-generation college students through the Gates Millennium Scholarship Program. After graduation, Tiffany joined the Genomes2People Research Program of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School where she helped lead a study on risk education for Alzheimer’s disease and worked on clinical trials that examine uses of genomic sequencing in newborns and adults. Tiffany also served as a Vietnamese translator and interpreter for a study at the Harvard School of Public Health.

 

Kathryn Reyes is from the Bay Area and graduated from the University of California, Irvine in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences. As an undergraduate, Kathryn was a member of her school's Genetic Counseling Special Interest Group, a Peer Academic Advisor for UCI's Campuswide Honors Program, a Resident Advisor, and conducted research on the cognitive effects of exercise in children with neurodevelopmental disorders. She gained exposure to genetic counseling through shadowing various genetic counselors in Orange County and the Bay Area. After graduation, Kathryn served as a Genetic Counseling intern at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange while working at Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach as an assistant to two cancer genetic counselors.

 

Jenna Stoltzfus is from Los Angeles, California and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Boston University’s Questrom School of Business in 2013 with a degree in Business Administration and Management. As an undergraduate, Jenna served as a teaching assistant and tutor in the school of business, worked as an emergency medical technician, and studied abroad on a research sailing vessel. For the past five years, Jenna has worked in management consulting and financial software. She gained experience in the genetic counseling field through an internship at UCLA’s cancer genetics department. As a volunteer, Jenna has experience working with developmentally disabled children, and most recently, with a local hospice organization.

 

Marina Sumarroca is from Barcelona, Spain, and received her bachelor’s degree in Human Biology from Pompeu Fabra University in 2016 and her master’s degree in Reproductive Biology and Assisted Reproduction Techniques from Dexeus University Hospital in 2017. As an undergraduate, she gained laboratory experience at the emergency lab of Quirón Hospital in Barcelona and working in the Molecular Biology, Genetics and Immunology departments of LABCO Diagnostics. She also co-authored research studies regarding NGS and mosaic embryos. As a graduate student, Marina gained experience in genetic counseling by shadowing reproductive, prenatal, pediatric, and cancer genetic counselors. She also volunteered at a children’s shelter, providing support to children at risk of social exclusion. Most recently, Marina was a Medical Science Liaison at the medical diagnostics provider SYNLAB and leaded the launching campaign of an extended carrier screening test.

 

Eric Tricou is originally from Illinois and graduated from Penn State in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in Biobehavioral Health. As an undergraduate, he volunteered with Centre Helps as a hotline counselor, helping those in crisis and those struggling to meet their basic needs. After graduating, Eric spent time as a research technician in a molecular genetics lab focused on understanding the genetics of substance use. After hanging up the lab coat, he worked as a genomic medicine assistant at Geisinger, where he supported GCs in the cancer clinic, gained invaluable shadowing experience, and contributed to researching the impact a genetic counseling assistant has on GC time utilization.

 

Lisa Wilson is from the San Francisco Bay Area and received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UC Berkeley in 2015. As an undergraduate, she served as a psychology department peer advisor, developed a student-led course on human behavioral genetics, and volunteered with Bright Pink, an organization that educates young people about the basics of breast and ovarian cancer. Recently, Lisa has worked as a clinical research coordinator in the maternal-fetal medicine division at UCSF, and volunteered as a talkline counselor with Exhale Provoice.

 

Second Years (Class of 2019)

from left: Helen Kim, Natalie Deuitch, Erika Snure, Joshua Keyes, Kristina Cotter, Laura Hayward, Brita Christenson, Kim Kinnear, Andrew Shaw, Kate Vlessis, Rachel Mangels

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.

Alumni

Class of 2018 - graduated 6/16/18

  • Stephanie Booke
  • Daiana Bucio
  • Abby D'Angelo
  • Athena Ganetsos
  • Madeline Graf
  • Daisy Hernandez
  • Lily Hoffman-Andrews
  • Michelle Pacione
  • Jessica Park
  • Kim Zayhowski

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
  •  

Class of 2010 - graduated 6/12/2010

  • Sarah Bannon
  • Deborah Barragan
  • Diana Darcy
  • Ellyn Farrelly
  • Amanda Knoth
  • Melissa Mills

On This Page

In the past five years, our alumni accomplishments include:

  • 100% job placement within two months of graduation
  • 90% first-time board pass rate (with 100% for the classes of 2015, 2016, and 2017)