Current Students & Alumni

First Years (Started 2023)

Sophia Adelson (she/her) grew up in West Orange, New Jersey, and graduated from Wellesley College in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in Biology and French. As an undergraduate, Sophia served as the social media chair for Wellesley’s Blue Cancer Society, volunteered in a hospital playroom, and tutored students in grades K-12. Sophia began working as a research trainee with the Boston-based Genomes2People (G2P) research program the summer after her junior year, and conducted her senior honors thesis alongside the team the following year. For her thesis, Sophia explored how individuals in the Mass General Brigham Biobank talk to family members about their unanticipated genetic findings and how genetic counselors can support these conversations. Upon graduating, Sophia joined G2P full time as a genetic counseling assistant (GCA). In this role, she developed patient and research participant facing materials, recruited and enrolled individuals into clinical trials, and helped manage the daily operations of the Brigham Preventive Genomics Clinic. Passionate about teaching, Sophia also led the virtual educational program and curriculum for G2P trainees and served as a teaching fellow (TF) for the Harvard Catalyst Genomic Medicine in Clinical Practice online course. Working as a GCA and TF has shown Sophia the many roles a genetic counselor can have in clinic, research, and education, and has increased her enthusiasm to spend her career making genomic information and precision medicine more accessible to patients and the public at large. In her free time, Sophia enjoys hiking, barre classes, reading, spending time with friends and family, learning new board games, and traveling.


Carolyn Bell (she/her) is from Villanova, Pennsylvania, and graduated from Duke University with thesis distinction in 2020, receiving a B.S. in Neuroscience and minors in Chemistry and Biology. Growing up as a caregiver to her aunt with Spina Bifida fostered her appreciation for accessible, inclusive environments and led her to volunteer with Easter Seals, Project Sunshine, and hospice programs. In college, Carolyn found her passion for supporting individuals through challenging experiences and became a freshman advisory counselor and sexual violence prevention advocate. She was selected for a Bass Connections interdisciplinary research team that used a public health approach to develop and assess trauma-informed sexual misconduct policies, procedures, and prevention strategies. She received the Vertical Integration in Psychology fellowship to support her independent research, which culminated in two posters and a thesis and reviewed the distinct mechanism underlying freezing defense behavior, finding a significant association between freezing during trauma and the severity of post-trauma effects. Since graduating, she has expanded this research with the support of her mentor and grant funding, developing additional studies and co-authoring publications focused on personalizing treatment, educational materials, and psychosocial support for individuals who engage this defense response. Her interest in genomics, personalized medicine, and biology-based educational interventions to improve outcomes for populations with chronic, treatment-resistant symptoms inspired her to learn more about genetic counseling, connect with genetic counselors in a variety of roles, complete case series and other virtual events, and pursue the field. She also enjoys working with community organizations to tutor and mentor Spanish and English speaking students facing educational barriers. Carolyn can otherwise be found exploring with her dogs, Roo and Regina, tending to her 50+ tropical houseplants, listening to live music, roller skating, and spending time outdoors with friends.


Katie Comerford (she/her) is from Old Lyme, Connecticut, and graduated from the University of Connecticut with a B.S. in Diagnostic Genetic Science (DGS) with a concentration in cytogenetics. She is passionate about creating safe, inclusive and empowering spaces in patient care and her communities. As an undergraduate, she was a teaching assistant, a student representative for the DGS program, and a volunteer with Girls on the Run, Relay for Life and Special Olympics. Katie’s senior year, she completed a 6-month clinical practicum in cytogenetics at the Yale University School of Medicine. Her senior research project encompassed analysis of chromosomal distribution of regions of homozygosity by oligonucleotide array comparative genomic hybridization and she was a co-author on the publication documenting the results. Upon graduation, she joined the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center in a clinical research role working with patients diagnosed with advanced solid tumor malignancies. During her time at UCSF, she co-managed a team of clinical research coordinators, supported investigators’ independent research projects, and served as the principal liaison between industry sponsors and UCSF investigators. After UCSF, she joined Genentech, Inc., managing clinical trials studying novel cancer immunotherapy treatments. Outside of her day-to-day role at Genentech, she was a new hire mentor, a member of Enabling Patient Access and Inclusive Research committee, and led a national D&I program aimed to improve treatment center resources in underserved communities and increase awareness of barriers to accessing clinical trials as a treatment option. In her free time, you can find her hiking, listening to music and curating playlists, painting with watercolors, or reading.

Maheen Farooqi (she/her) is originally from Karachi, Pakistan, and moved to Waterloo, Canada, for undergraduate studies. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences from the University of Waterloo (2019)  and a Master’s degree in Health Research Methodology from McMaster University (2022). During her time in Waterloo, Maheen developed a passion for understanding how to alleviate inequities in healthcare – an interest sparked by the influx of Syrian newcomers to Canada. Maheen worked with refugees, government officers and refugee clinic workers to research how to better serve the healthcare needs of refugee women in the area. She presented this work at the 21st Annual International Women’s and Children’s Conference. To further her research training, Maheen completed her Master’s thesis – this time studying how to improve existing definitions of the frailty syndrome to better identify frailty in ethnically diverse cohorts. This work is one of the largest longitudinal studies of frailty performed in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs).
During the course of her research, Maheen learned that just like frailty, there are many common hereditary conditions not well studied in ethnic minorities and low-income populations. She now hopes to combine her passion for clinical counseling with genetics research to address this gap. Maheen has interned with the cancer genetics team at USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center and volunteers as a phone counselor for the Crisis Support Services of Alameda County. Maheen lives in the Bay Area with her husband and 2-year old son. She enjoys traveling, cooking/baking, reading, and exploring all the natural trails California has to offer.


Emily Huang (she/her) is from San Jose, California, and graduated from the University of California, Davis in 2021 with a B.S. in Genetics & Genomics. As an undergraduate, she conducted research on alpha-synuclein induced proteotoxic stress & its linkage to the progression of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Through her experiences in research, she learned of how much she loved teaching and interacting with her community. Her passions of genetics, teaching, and interacting with her community, led her to genetic counseling. After graduating, Emily was a volunteer caseworker for the American Red Cross, and worked with various nonprofits to provide shelter, food, and resources to community members who were recovering from local disasters. She also worked as a Medical Assistant at her local urgent care where she communicated closely with patients and providers. These experiences allowed  her to familiarize herself with the type of care and awareness that's needed when approaching difficult conversations. To further develop her understanding of genetic counseling, Emily took part in the Genetic Counseling Immersive Program held by Color Health, met with numerous GCs in her area, and attended various conferences, such as the 2022 NCCGC (Northern California Coalition of Genetic Counselors) Conference. In her free time, she is waitressing at her family’s restaurant and spending time with her family. Some of her hobbies include bowling, puzzling, and exploring new food spots!


Sarah Huang (she/her) is from Lafayette, Colorado, and graduated from UCLA in 2023 with a B.S. in Human Biology & Society. As an undergraduate student, she worked as a Campus Tour Guide and an advisor for Pathway, a program supporting college students who identify as neurodiverse. She was also an editor and writer for FEM Newsmagazine and a member of the Student Alumni Association (SAA). Research has been a large part of Sarah’s journey: she worked as a second coder for a UCLA genetic counseling student’s capstone project studying the rare disease experience, and spearheaded a project developing a computable phenotype for Turner syndrome with the eXtraOrdinarY Kids Clinic at Children’s Hospital Colorado. She further grew her love of genetic counseling through her involvement on the board of the Genetic Counseling Prospective Student Network (GCPSN) and being mentored by members of the Minority Genetics Professional Network. Sarah is passionate about disability justice, mental health in Asian American communities, and improving the accessibility of genetic counseling for diverse patient populations. In her free time, you can find her listening to music, drinking a matcha latte, hiking, writing in her journal, doing the NYT mini crossword, and exploring local farmer’s markets and bookstores.


Esha Mahal (she/her) grew up in Bothell, Washington, and graduated from the University of Washington in 2023 with a B.S. in Public Health-Global Health. During her time as an undergraduate, she helped conduct clinical research that aimed to hone treatments for pediatric patients with chronic nonbacterial osteomyelitis. Esha's enjoyment of children also led her to work as a camp counselor for kids with disabilities. In this position, she gained insights into the lived experiences of people impacted by disability and strives to use those stories to inform her future practice. This experience sparked her interest in advocacy, which she had the opportunity to engage in as a student ambassador for the United MSD Foundation. Here, she heard from families and created resources to help them better understand the newborn screening process. In order to further her communication and counseling skills, she served as a crisis counselor with Crisis Textline, and had the privilege of interacting with youth experiencing homelessness as part of her senior capstone. As a genetic counselor, she hopes to increase awareness of the field in the South Asian community and is passionate about accessibility and ethics issues. In her free time, Esha enjoys making her own clothes, being outside with her dog, playing volleyball, and trying new things with friends.


Amanda Mitchell (she/her) grew up in Orange County, California, and graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2023. She majored in Molecular and Cellular Biology and minored in Psychology, as well as Leadership Studies. During her time as an undergraduate, Amanda helped conduct research at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine to investigate links between the anxiety phenotype and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). She also was involved in the Baltimore community through Thread, where she mentored a student from an underfunded, local high school for four years. Amanda was a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma Eta Epsilon Chapter, which partnered with Baltimore National Alliance on Mental Illness for fundraising and ambassador opportunities. After growing up as a competitive dancer, Amanda was inspired to analyze the leadership styles of competitive dance teachers and how these styles impact dancer well-being for her Leadership Studies Capstone Project. Amanda continued to dance in college on the Jaywalk Dance Team and served as Social Media Chair and Treasurer. Amanda has a heart for working with children; during her summers, she virtually instructed STEM subjects and programming games with Dreams for Schools. Some of Amanda’s other teaching experiences include being a lead one-on-one tutor for We Tutor-U and being a course assistant in the undergraduate Johns Hopkins business course, Foundations of American Enterprise. Upon having her own lived experience with a genetic diagnosis, Amanda has become passionate about guiding, empowering, and educating patients. She was able to put this passion into practice during her internship with the Johns Hopkins Human Genetics department. This virtual internship program affirmed Amanda’s interest in genetic counseling by exploring the field through lectures, career development activities, support group panels, and mentorship projects. In addition, she participated in the Columbia Pre-Genetic Counselor Experiential Practicum, where she had the opportunity to observe and reflect on genetic counseling appointments. As a genetic counselor, Amanda will strive to be an advocate and a partner to those navigating the intricacies of genetic information. In her free time, Amanda loves to bake, dance, sew, shop, hike, read, and explore coffee shops!


Jazmine Newson (she/her) is originally from Berkeley, California, and graduated from Gonzaga University in May of 2023. She has a bachelor’s degree in Biology and minors in Special Education and Entrepreneurial Leadership. Her work in the Honors Program allowed her to craft an interdisciplinary education that considered how science education can be taught in inclusive,  culturally relevant and responsive, and accessible ways. For her Honors Senior Project, Jazmine combined her interests in science, inclusive pedagogy, and meaningful connection to author an undergraduate science class that demonstrated an authentic embodiment of equity-based teaching in the sciences. With a career in genetic counseling, she hopes to utilize people’s stories to “humanize the science” and assuage historical mistrusts in the healthcare system. Jazmine was awarded the Peter G. Pauw Award for Distinction in Biology for co-founding and leading the Gonzaga chapter of SACNAS (the Society for the Advancement of Native American and Chicanos in STEM) and supporting a diverse STEM community on the Gonzaga campus. Off campus, Jazmine supported and served children with developmental delays and disabilities and their families at Joya Child and Family Development Center. Through this experience, she hopes to provide her future patients with reassurance and insight into services, supports, and communities they may encounter in the future. In her free time, Jazmine enjoys making new friends, crocheting, dancing, cooking, and baking.


Leah Rossi (she/her) grew up in Mill Valley, California. She graduated from UC Davis in 2023 with a bachelor’s degree in Genetics and Genomics and minors in Human Rights and Public Health. As an undergraduate, she worked at the UC Davis Medical Center as a clinical trial research assistant for two years where she assisted with the coordination of on-going clinical trials within the division of pulmonology, critical care, and sleep medicine. Throughout her senior year, Leah served as president of the UC Davis Genetic Counseling Club where she led a team of officers in providing exposure, resources, and support to the UC Davis undergraduate community interested in pursuing genetic counseling. In addition, Leah was a member of the sorority Pi Beta Phi, a peer-mentor for AggieMentors, and as a campus tour guide. Leah’s interest in travel provided her with an opportunity to conduct research for eight weeks at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel. There she was able to discover her passion for neurogenetics as she worked on Alzheimer's disease in organoids in Dr. Orly Reiner’s laboratory. With a career in genetic counseling, Leah intends to focus on building trust with patients through a safe and communicative environment with the hopes of making healthcare more inclusive for all. In her free time, you can find Leah spending time with family and friends, going to concerts (especially Taylor Swift shows), and exploring new restaurants in the Bay Area!


Armando Sánchez-Conde (he/him) is from St. Louis, Missouri, and graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 2022 with a B.A. in Environmental Biology and a minor in Psychology. He is a community-oriented person who has always been passionate about making a positive impact in his hometown. For the past couple of years, Armando has worked as a job coach for formerly-incarcerated individuals in the St. Louis area through the St. Louis University Transformative Workforce Academy. He has also frequently volunteered with Missouri Special Olympics and the St. Louis Special Needs Soccer Association (SPENSA), and has worked as a high school tutor and community soccer coach. As an undergraduate at WashU, Armando was a member of the men’s soccer team and an undergraduate teaching assistant for the Human Genetics course. In his junior year, Armando began conducting research at the Washington University School of Medicine exploring the importance of non-coding genetic variation on Differences in Sex Development (DSD) Phenotypes. He presented a poster of his work at the 9th International DSD Symposium in Bern, Switzerland in July of 2022. Following graduation, Armando worked as a clinical assistant at Kindbody - St. Louis, a fertility and reproductive health clinic. In his free time, he enjoys playing soccer with friends, hiking, cooking, playing cards, and finding great places to eat!


Fiona Seung (she/her) is from Seattle, Washington, and graduated from the University of Washington with a B.S. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. As an undergraduate, she was involved in systematic research that identified barriers to genetic testing and genetic counseling services within diverse Asian populations. This research experience solidified her interest in genetic counseling and helped her recognize her position to address the barriers that prevent her community from accessing said genetic services. Post-graduation, Fiona joined the Clinical Genomic Analyst (CGA) Team at the University of Washington Medical Center as a genetic counseling assistant (GCA) where she became familiar with laboratory genetic counseling roles and was introduced to ConnectMyVariant (CMV), a public health education initiative where she served as a Family Outreach Navigator. Within this role, she supported individuals with hereditary cancer risk by providing resources to locate relatives and communicate with those relatives about their own hereditary cancer risk and genetic testing. In her free time, Fiona enjoys going to live concerts and music festivals.


Caitlin Silva is from North Salt Lake, Utah, and graduated from Brigham Young University in 2023 with a B.S. in Genetics, Genomics, and Biotechnology. As an undergraduate, Caitlin participated in pharmacogenomics research investigating the effect of ancestry on drug-induced liver injury risk in patients with multiple sclerosis. Caitlin has volunteered with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for 14 years and has been involved with fundraising, advocacy, and research efforts on behalf of the cystic fibrosis community. She participated in five visits to Washington DC to advocate for legislation that improved medical management and care for patients with genetic conditions. This experience inspired her to remain involved in public policy efforts that benefit underrepresented patient populations. Additionally, acting as a liaison between policy makers and patients fostered Caitlin’s passion for translating scientific concepts to formats that are accessible and understandable for all audiences. She further developed these skills as a genetic counseling intern for the Johns Hopkins Summer Internship program where she created patient resources for the Johns Hopkins Cystic Fibrosis Clinic. After shadowing genetic counselors as an intern at the Intermountain Cardiovascular Genetic Counseling Clinic, Caitlin developed her own counseling skills as a crisis counselor at Crisis Text Line and a therapeutic harp music volunteer at Primary Children’s Hospital. In her free time, Caitlin enjoys playing the harp, dancing, discovering local food trucks, and spending time with her family.


Arnhildur Tómasdóttir is from Kópavogur, Iceland. She graduated in 2022 from the University of Iceland with a Bachelor's in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. During undergrad, she worked as a research assistant in a genetics lab at the university. There she helped a Ph.D. student with their project on the mild hypothermia pathway, identifying new genes in the pathway as well as finding drugs that could activate this pathway without the cooling itself to get the clinical benefits of mild hypothermia and exclude the side effects that the cooling can cause. In her third year of undergrad, Arnhildur served as vice president of the student organization in her program, organizing networking events and advocating for students. To gain counseling experience, Arnhildur volunteered as a phone friend for the Icelandic Red Cross, where volunteers are paired with socially isolated individuals and call them once a week and give social support. After undergrad Arnhildur started working as a genetic counseling assistant at Landspítali University Hospital. There she got the opportunity to shadow genetic counselors and geneticists and gained valuable exposure to the field and the work genetic counselors do. In her free time, Arnhildur loves strolling through second-hand stores, running, reading, and spending time with family and friends.


Allie Zahn (she/her) grew up in Chicago, Illinois, and considers herself a Bay Area transplant. She graduated from Santa Clara University in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience and a minor in Public Health Sciences. As an undergraduate, Allie volunteered as an EMT for SCU’s student-led EMS organization, and she was elected to serve as the Health and Wellness Officer for her fellow EMTs. Through her EMT encounters Allie discovered her interest in caring for individuals enduring traumatic health-related events. After interning for The Health Trust, she experienced a first-hand understanding of the health issues facing members in her community, which formed her strong devotion to implementing community-based healthcare. After graduation, Allie worked at the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease in San Francisco for 2 years where she researched the role of TREM2 in Alzheimer’s Disease-related Network and Synaptic abnormalities by conducting electrophysiology monitoring, genetic manipulations, and neuronal synaptic density measurements in a rodent model. Through this research she found a love for understanding the genetic components of disease, which, combined with her passion for helping patients, led to her interest in the field of Genetic Counseling. Allie is very passionate about increasing access to genetic counseling services to individuals who are typically excluded from the benefits of preventative healthcare. In her free time, you can find Allie rollerblading, listening to true-crime podcasts, spending time with friends and family, and taking photos (both film and digital)!


Second Years (Started 2022)

Olivia Anderson is originally from Toronto, Ontario, and graduated from the University of Georgia in 2021 with a B.S. in Genetics and a minor in Cellular Biology. During her time at UGA, she conducted research studying the processing of DNA transcripts in E.coli. Starting in undergrad, she gained exposure to genetic counseling and fertility treatment as the genetic counseling assistant at Advocate Genetics, a company specializing in reproductive genetic counseling. Olivia developed counseling skills volunteering with Kid’s Help Phone, a crisis text line for Canadian youth. She also volunteered with Team Impact, connecting chronically-ill children to college athletic teams, and EM•Power Donation, where she worked with families considering embryo donation. During her time at UGA, Olivia was a member of the swimming and diving team, having earned All-American accolades. She was also a member of the Canadian National Swimming Team for several years, including appearances at two Junior World Championships and two Swimming World Championships. Olivia is a certified spin instructor and enjoys hiking, watching movies, going to concerts, and spending time with her dog, Avon.


Alissa Bandalene is from Sylvan Lake, Michigan and graduated from Oakland University in Rochester Michigan with a B.S. in Biology, a minor in Studio Art, and a minor in Communication and Deaf Studies. Alissa was very involved in research throughout her undergraduate career, working in a chemistry lab at Oakland University synthesizing organometallic compounds for alternative energy research, a Bioengineering lab at NASA Ames Research Center researching the effects microgravity has on gene expression in bacteria, and in a Bioinformatics lab where she worked for 2 years on a large-scale pangenomic analysis and developed scripts to streamline the process. Alissa volunteered at Maggie’s Wigs for Kids of Michigan, an organization that provides wigs and wellness services to children who have lost their hair due to any medical reason, free of cost. She also gained advocacy experience through working for Oakland University Housing as a Resident Assistant (RA), an Academic Peer Mentor (APM) and tutor. Alissa is a nationally competitive wheelchair fencer with the goals of one day competing at the Paralympics. During the pandemic Alissa found a love for baking and also enjoys playing the piano, singing, art, and playing with her service dog and best friend, Dobby.
Lizzy Chandler (she/they) is from Kirkland, Washington, the unceded and ancestral land of Coast Salish, Duwamish, and Stillaguamish tribes. She graduated from the University of Washington Bothell in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Biology. As an undergraduate, she worked on a team of student researchers studying single nucleotide polymorphisms in human exomes to assess genetic risk factors for disease, and she led discussion sessions for introductory biology as a peer facilitator. Lizzy also volunteered for a non-profit organization that investigates animal cruelty crimes and provides sanctuary and rehabilitation to abused and neglected animals. This launched her into animal rescue and emergency veterinary medicine work. Notably, she was deployed to Texas to support overwhelmed animal shelters following Hurricane Harvey. In 2020, she rediscovered her undergraduate interest in genetics and found genetic counseling to be in close alignment with her evolving career goals. Lizzy was accepted into Columbia University’s Pre-Genetic Counselor Experiential Practicum and gained valuable insight into the profession. Currently, she is a teacher at a learning center providing supplemental educational services to K-12 students, and she volunteers as a crisis intervention and suicide prevention counselor for LGBTQIA+ youth. She advocates for trauma-informed and responsive healthcare and aims to help make genetic counseling services more inclusive, affirming, accessible, and equitable. Lizzy loves to rock climb, read, hike, camp, play croquet, and walk her three dogs.
Sean Dailey grew up in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and graduated from the Pennsylvania State University in 2019, where he earned a B.S. in Microbiology and a minor in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. As an undergraduate, Sean worked as a research assistant studying the physiology, sexual selection, and reproductive fitness of reptiles. Sean volunteered with Penn State Thon, a student-led philanthropy that aims to provide emotional and financial support for patients with pediatric cancer and their families. While at Penn State, he also worked for several years in an Emergency Department as a medical scribe. Since graduation, Sean has gained crisis counseling experience through Crisis Text Line, and he has worked at Gladstone Institutes for two neuroscience labs that study Alzheimer’s Disease, epilepsy, and neurodegeneration after stroke or traumatic brain injury. In his free time, he enjoys swimming, hiking, and going to concerts.
Ben Esmaili (he/him) is originally from Medina, Ohio and Wilmot, New Hampshire. He graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.S. in Biomedical Science: Medical and Veterinary Sciences along with a B.A. in Women's and Gender Studies. During his time at UNH, he obtained his EMT Basic certification and volunteered with the McGregor Memorial EMS on and off campus while also working as a Medical Transporter at Wentworth-Douglas Hospital. Ben was very involved with Residential Life working as a Resident Assistant for two years, then working as a Community Assistant in on-campus apartment housing during his senior year. He also spent a summer as an Orientation Leader, welcoming first-year students to campus and helping them begin the transition to college life. One of Ben's favorite experiences was his involvement with the UNH Music Department in which he was a member of the Wildcat Marching Band and the Beast of the East Pep Band as a sousaphone player, even getting to play for former President of the United States, Barack Obama. Additionally, he was a member of Kappa Kappa Psi, a National Honorary Band Fraternity, serving as the Vice President of Service. Since graduating, Ben worked as a Cytopreporatory Technician at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital, collecting and processing specimens at on-site fine needle aspiration and core biopsy procedures. In the fall of 2020, Ben moved to Chicago and started working as a Genetic Counseling Assistant in the Medical Genetics clinic at Evanston Hospital. Further, as one of the clinic's first GCAs he played a significant role in building and developing the GCA position to best fit the evolving needs of the clinic. In his free time, Ben loves playing video games, D&D, hiking, and playing with his two cats Jimmy and Herman.
Evan Lewis was born and raised in Albuquerque NM received his BS in Genetics at Arizona State University. During his time at ASU, Evan continued to conduct research at the University of New Mexico on the microbiological environment of caves. Notably, he was involved in NASA’s BRAILLE project to train a rover to recognize signs of life in caves on MARS. He also worked closely with the National Parks service to track the spread of white-nose syndrome in the American Southwest and illustrated a children’s book about bats. At ASU, Evan was an ambassador for Gift of Life Marrow Registry and worked to make it easier for people from diverse backgrounds to find a match. Since graduation, he has worked as a genetic counseling assistant for the inherited cancer team at GeneDx, while also assisting the rare disorders and exome teams. Outside of his career in genetics, Evan pursues an interest in visual arts, with a primary focus in oil painting.
Sevil Mahfoozi is originally from Iran. She moved to the US to obtain her master’s degree in journalism. She taught journalism courses at Indiana University and worked as a journalist before deciding to make a career change. After taking science courses at community college, she realized her passion for biology and pursued a second bachelor’s degree in biology at the University of San Diego. During this time, Sevil was a molecular medicine intern at the Scripps Research Institute, investigating the evolution patterns of various Influenza A viruses. She discovered her love for genetic counseling at USD and pursued different shadowing opportunities, including Columbia University’s Pre-Genetic Counselor Experiential Practicum, and gained exposure to various specialties. Over the past ten years, Sevil has volunteered at different non-profit organizations. Most recently, she was a youth advocate for San Diego Youth Services, providing trauma-informed care services to youth in the juvenile justice system. She gained counseling skills volunteering as a domestic violence counselor at W.O.M.A.N. Inc., counseling survivors within a transformative justice framework. In her free time, she enjoys photography, reading, and cooking/baking for family and friends.
Matthea (Mattie) Monroe is from Oklahoma City, OK. She graduated in 2016 from the University of San Diego with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and minor in Biology. Upon graduating, she worked in program outcomes at Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego for a project that provides services to children with mild to moderate developmental delays. In an effort to find a balance between numbers and people, Mattie transitioned to a clinical research role at UC San Diego. As the project coordinator, she managed data collection for a longitudinal study that investigates the effects of alcohol use on adolescent brain development. For the past year, Mattie has enjoyed volunteering with the San Diego chapter of Huntington’s Disease Society of America and Limitless Adventures, a group that organizes hikes for people with disabilities. To gain experience with genetic counseling she shadowed genetic counselors at Kaiser Permanente Oakland and at the Huntington’s Disease Clinic at UCSD. In her free time, Mattie enjoys exploring new restaurants, reading, and traveling.
Anjali Narain grew up in Mumbai, India. She graduated from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and a minor in Community Action and Social Change. As an undergraduate, she conducted research on C. elegans, analyzing polyphosphate localization and abundance changes over its life cycle and assessing its putative contributions to aging-related amyloid diseases like Alzheimer’s. Anjali is very passionate about teaching. She was one of the founding members and the Co-President of HumanKind Michigan, an educational non-profit that strives toward eradicating educational inequities through virtual tutoring for K-12 kids. Additionally, she tutored her fellow college students in introductory Statistics and Molecular Biology courses through UofM’s Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives. She sharpened her counseling and active listening skills by volunteering at Crisis Text Line. To further her knowledge of genetic counseling, Anjali pursued a reproductive and fertility genetic counseling internship at the Viafet Genetics Laboratory in Dubai. Here, she observed GC sessions with diverse patient populations from all around the world and gained insight into pre-implantation genetic testing and variant interpretation and classification. She is also a member of the Minority Genetics Professionals Network. In her free time, Anjali enjoys reading, singing, playing Pokémon, and spending time with friends.
Michelle Nguyen is from Duarte, CA and graduated from the University of San Diego in 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Neuroscience and a minor in Biomedical Ethics. She is passionate about creating spaces for people to find community. As an undergraduate, she led and coordinated retreats for first year college students, served as a Tijuana Day Trip leader in which she facilitated student visits to communities in Tijuana, Mexico, and became an ate (older sister) within the Filipino Ugnayan Student Organization at the University of San Diego. Along with these involvements, Michelle conducted research on Trauma, Mourning, and Homelessness during Covid-19 as well as research on the Role of Speech Convergence in Casual and Difficult Conversations. To develop her counseling skills of mutuality and active listening, she volunteered with the TrevorProject and taught science experiments and art lessons to students in local San Diego communities. Her goal as a genetic counselor is to work on the community level to create inclusive spaces and bring equitable genetic counseling services to minority populations. Michelle loves cooking and watching cooking shows as well as playing classical guitar, oil painting, and listening to local live music.
Juliana Rodegheri Brito is originally from São Paulo, Brazil. She is a first-generation immigrant to both the United States and New Zealand, where she graduated from Victoria University of Wellington with a dual degree in Human Genetics and Psychology in 2012. At Victoria University, she conducted research at the Chemical Genetics Department investigating genetic interactions and regulatory pathways underlying pathogenesis, as well as screening novel chemical compounds for bioactivity in targeted medicine. She participated in a research project at the Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience Department at University of Nebraska Medical Center, studying emerging nanomedicine and pharmacology in HIV-1. During her tenure at the University of Colorado Cardiovascular Pediatrics Department, she performed multidisciplinary translational research focused on heart disease, investigating the unique molecular adaptive response within the pediatric population. She was also part of the clinical transplant team, collecting heart tissue at the time of transplantation to test individualized treatments based on those therapeutic variabilities. Recently, Juliana worked as a Genetic Counseling Assistant Intern for Igenomix, where she worked closely with genetic counselors in the Assisted Reproductive Technologies field providing reproductive genetics services.
Juliana is passionate about increasing accessibility and exposure to science, and to that end has acted as a mentor in various capacities, including the Minority Genetics Network. She is personally involved within the Rare Disease Community, and is specially interested in the Lymphatics and Vascular Malformations conditions. Her goal is to increase accessibility to genomic targeted therapies, further genetic counseling research, and to establish genetic counselors as crucial members of translational science and patient centered care. In her free time, Juliana enjoys reading science fiction, hiking, and traveling with her husband, son, and two dogs.
Abbey Roth is originally from Connecticut. She graduated from Vanderbilt University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in Medicine, Health, and Society and Biological Sciences. At Vanderbilt, Abbey discovered a love for genetic counseling by participating in the Genetic Counseling Club and shadowing at Vanderbilt Medical Center. She particularly enjoyed teaching others about science and reproductive health as a member of Vanderbilt Student Volunteers for Science and as a participant of Planned Parenthood’s Health Center Advocacy Program. After graduating, she wrote articles for a student-run website covering relevant topics like social activism, science, and health. She later worked as a teaching clinician for students of all ages with cognitive and physical disabilities in Denver, CO. Furthering her interest in prenatal genetic counseling, Abbey most recently earned her master’s degree in Reproductive and Developmental Biology from Imperial College London, and worked as a research assistant at King’s College London investigating the link between neuron activity in the medial amygdala and fertility. In her free time Abbey enjoys a good movie with friends, reading, playing tennis, and perfecting her chocolate chip banana bread recipe.
Kayla Ruiz was born and raised in Aliso Viejo, CA. She graduated from UC Berkeley in 2021 with a B.A. in Integrative Biology and Psychology. She was initially drawn to the genetic counseling field because of its emphasis on social emotional support. Her conversations with practicing genetic counselors further cemented her desire to pursue a career in genetic counseling. Kayla spent her college years working as a writing tutor for the UC Berkeley Student Learning Center and counseling students in the Student to Student Peer Counseling Club. Through these roles, she developed her individual-centered counseling skills and learned to appreciate each challenging conversation she encountered. She also worked as a research assistant for the Berkeley Social Interaction Lab where she explored the emotion ‘awe’ through the lens of various cultures and grew into her role as a leader. After college, Kayla tapped into her love for children and worked as a Western Youth Services Behavioral Health Aide for the Anaheim Elementary School District. She learned invaluable lessons from the unique experiences students shared with her on their very best and very worst days. Kayla had the pleasure of utilizing Spanish in her work with students and she hopes to continue working with children and developing her medical Spanish language skills at Stanford. In her free time, Kayla enjoys running outdoors, dancing to any kind of music, and heading to the beach for a swim or sunset.
Rebecca Schapiro is from Los Angeles, CA and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2016 with a bachelor's degree in Biological Basis of Behavior and a minor in Health Services Management. After college she worked as a consultant at Health Advances to support life science companies with commercial decision-making and subsequently led market research at a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company, MyoKardia, to help launch a targeted therapy for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. She gained exposure to the clinical aspects of genetic counseling as an intern at USC Norris and participated in the genetic counseling community as the Vice President of the Genetic Counseling Prospective Student Network, where she launched a program to educate community college students about the career. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking for friends and family, and hiking with her dog, Hugo.

Candice Jiahui Shi calls both Vancouver, Canada and Beijing, China her home. She graduated from Wesleyan University with a Biology major and an Informatics and Modeling minor. Throughout university she studied the genetic underpinnings of toxin resistance within Drosophila and was active in her university’s international student advocacy group, peer tutoring program, and an East Asian culture outreach program. Candice gained exposure to genetic counseling through mentorship within the Minority Genetics Professionals Network and shadowing genetic counselors in Indiana. Her time at the Community Health Center (a FQHC) researching patients’ knowledge and usage of family health history greatly shaped her understanding of access and education of genetics. Most recently, Candice worked as a clinical trial assistant at BeiGene, an oncology pharmaceutical company. She has a special interest in bringing genetic services to underserved communities, practicing as a bilingual genetic counselor, and learning about health law and policy. Candice is a foodie who loves trying new restaurants and recipes. She also enjoys hiking, sci-fi movies, and spending time with her cat Loaf.


Started 2021

Michelle Frees, Justin Gomez-Stafford, Caitlin Harrington, Taylor Jacobs, Cheng-Wei (CJ) Jan, Kenna Kumnick, Bryce Murray, Diego Quintero, Kendall Schmidt, Michaela Taylor, Astrid Torres Zapata, Lamrot Tulu, Brianna Tucker, Jay Vaunado II

Started 2020

Beatriz (Bea) Anguiano, Claire Barton, Kirsten Blanco, Sabina Cook, Malika Freund, Jacqueline (Jackie) Fung, Wesley Ho, Claire Murphy, Callan Russell, Sarah Sturm, Leena Tran, Ken Vittayarukskul, Megan Yabumoto

Started 2019

Nivedita (Nivi) Ahlawat, Daniela Diaz Caro, Braeden Ego, Kathryn (Kate) Elliott, Gabriella (Gaby) Lee, Hannah Llorin, Kathleen Murphy, Miles Picus, Jennifer Siranosian, Caroline Stanclift, Monty Worthington

Started 2018

Kathleen Barrus, Allana Booth, Maia Borensztein, Cheyla Clark, Kayla Muirhead, Tiffany Nguyen, Kathryn Reyes, Jenna Stoltzfus, Marina Sumarroca, Eric Tricou, Lisa Wilson

Started 2017

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

Started 2016

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

Started 2015

Alyssa Armsby, Stephanie Bivona, Danielle Dondanville, Ellie Harrington, Jessica Kianmahd, Karina Liker, Megan Nathan, Aiste Narkeviciute, Julia Silver

Started 2014

Natalie Downs, Kayla Hamilton, Kelly Miller, Tia Moscarello, Lauren Puryear, Chloe Reuter, Trishna Subas

Started 2013 

Sophie Blease, Della Bro, Elise Calonico, Ping Gong, Rebecca Luiten, Allie Newhall, RJ Okamura

Started 2012

Kelly Broady, Katie Kobara, Ashley Navarro, Shannon Rego, Anastasia Richardson, Kim Splinter, Erica Stricko

Started 2011

Kristen Dilzell, Rachel Farrell, Emily Hendricks, Sahil Kejriwal, Greg Kellogg, Amirah Khouzam, Adrienne Miller

Started 2010

Aarin Ables, Megan Grove, Emily Hurford, Bita Nehoray, Jessica Profato, Nadine Rayes, Layla Shahmirzadi

Started 2009

Myla Ashfaq, Gemma Chandratillake, Kyla Dunn, Sarah Garcia, Lili Kuzmich, Stephanie Sottile, Reana Tischler, Kim Vande Wydeven

Started 2008

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

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