Could you tell us a little bit about your educational background?

I began higher education at Jefferson College, where I the humanities and earned an associate of arts degree. From there, I went to UMSL to study biology with an emphasis on cell and molecular biology, where I did three years of undergraduate research in the genetics of cyanobacteria as a laboratory intern.

What first got you interested in the healthcare field as a career choice? There are a lot of career options in the field -nursing, physician assistant, etc., what made you decide that genetic counseling was the right practice area/career choice for you?

I loved getting my associate of arts degree because humanity subjects really interest me. Studying the interaction of culture, history, and ideas from a critical perspective was very fulfilling, but as soon as I took my first college-level biology class, I knew that I’d found my calling. I find every biology topic interesting and really could have seen myself working in any field, but genetic counseling was the only career path I found that combined biology with the humanities. Genetic counselors get to investigate the fundamentals of biology and share that passion in a setting that requires them to be considerate of a patient as an individual, not just as the manifestation of numbers on a chart. A good genetic counselor is one that has considered the implications of a test result for a patient far beyond the condition itself, and that’s why I’m so drawn to the field.

What type of obstacles have you had to overcome on the road to getting your education and in particular in pursuing your Genetic Counseling degree?

Going through the application process while I was still in undergrad was pretty grueling. At the time, I was working 3 jobs, volunteering, being involved with groups on campus, and maintaining a 3.9 GPA, so trying to finalize my CV and personal statement and research/apply to schools at the same time took a toll on my mental state. I wouldn’t change anything that I did, and look back on that time and how I got through it makes me feel better about most of the things I’ve faced since. If I could do that, I could achieve pretty much any goal I set for myself.

What are you most looking forward to about beginning your Genetic Counseling studies?

Learning and growing as an individual – the psychosocial aspects of this career are what make it so unique, and I’m excited to broaden my perspective and repertoire as both an individual and as a career professional.

What is one fun and interesting fact about you?

I once walked past Dave Chappelle in New Orleans. I have 6 dogs and 6 siblings at home in STL