Could you tell us a little bit about your educational background?
Extended! I started at Creighton University in Omaha Nebraska, went through University of San Diego, in San Diego California and after a few community colleges, earned my degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology from California State University of Northridge.
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 remember being in the first grade, and my best friend Jessica and I decided we were going to find the cure for cancer- so basically I knew I would be in healthcare from the time I could walk. My father was a dentist and that of course played a huge role in my science/health interests. The story of my discovery and decision to become a genetic counselor is much more involved but I will break it down to this- knowing oneself. As an adult I have found that social interactions, and helping people are two extremely innate and important things to me. Add to this my fathers cancer diagnosis and the ability of genetic counselors to help people with a personal level of medicine and ta-da— genetic counseling is the perfect career for me.
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?
There have been quite a few challenges in my journey in pursuing my degree and then genetic counseling after, but all of them proved to be blessings. The major road blocks that come to mind would have been my fathers passing during my undergraduate career and the many experiences in multiple work environments I was exposed to. This is where the “blessing” part comes in to play because I was able to really explore my likes and dislikes in the work force. Then, when completing my degree and in turn discovering genetic counseling, I knew that it was perfect for me and I was perfect for this career. After graduation, working, while building a resume to stand out in the genetic counseling applications, again proved to be a challenge, yet I learned first hand that my initial instincts were correct. Spending about a year and half shadowing the genetic counselors at the Disney Cancer Center proved time and time again that I was in the right place, pursing the right degree.
Once you decided to pursue a Genetic Counseling degree, how did you know that KGI was the right school for you?
I knew KGI was the place I had to receive my masters degree from, during the interview process. Meeting the program director and future instructors just felt right, and what is more, I felt as though my creative and less streamline aspirations for the future of the field would not only be heard but helped to fulfill. It is a school on the cutting edge of very personalized medicine down to the level of genetics that the medical field is veering towards, and I am honored to be a part of it.
What are you most looking forward to about beginning your Genetic Counseling studies at KGI?
The most exciting aspect is getting started! I cannot wait to begin gaining the knowledge that I will use and build upon for the rest of my life. Genetics is a subject that will never get old, and will always excite me.
What is one fun and interesting fact about you?
Aside from being a science girl, I have been dancing since I was three years old. It is my other great life passion that I still enjoy in my spare time. Most recently, my friend/fellow choreographer and I have started a dance class for our friends to come on Wednesday nights, just for exercise and to keep us dancing.