Could you tell us a little bit about your educational background?
In 2017 I graduated from Chapman University with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, a minor in religious studies, and a second minor from the university’s Honors College. Most notably, I performed two independent research projects, which culminated in two theses presentations. One, focused on the pharmaceutical applications of a peptide derived from snake venom; and the other, the progression of female representation in comic books.
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 kind of stumbled into pursuing a career in healthcare. I knew that I loved genetics and I loved connecting with people, and for the longest time I would say “I wish there was a job where you could just talk to people about genetics and get paid for it.” Low and behold, I was just talking about genetic counseling the entire time. But what really reaffirmed my decision to pursue genetic counseling, was the learning about all of the genetic counselors who not only act as an advocate for patients who experienced inequalities within healthcare, but are working to eliminate the systemic barriers that are faced by marginalized communities when it comes to access to genetics education and healthcare.
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?
I would say that self-doubt is one of the greatest obstacles I have had to overcome in my educational journey as a whole, but especially in my decision to pursue graduate education in genetic counseling. I feel that I am often intimidated by the very people who inspire me to be better, and I am constantly learning to change the language that I use with myself to be kinder and more encouraging, rather than competitive and belittling.
Once you decided to pursue a Genetic Counseling degree, how did you know that KGI was the right school for you?
What confirmed that KGI was the right school for me was the program leadership. Through my conversations with the program directors and other faculty members, I got the sense that their goals for their students and the field of genetic counseling as a whole aligned with many of the goals that I had for myself as a genetic counselor. Knowing that these would be the people who would be mentoring me and teaching me for the next two years of my training, I felt reassured that KGI would challenge me academically while still providing me with the kind of support and guidance to graduate a confident and qualified genetic counselor.
What are you most looking forward to about beginning your Genetic Counseling studies at KGI?
I am looking forward to all of the new people I will meet along the way! The genetic counseling community is truly some of the most supportive and enthusiastic group of professionals I have ever met and I am so excited to learn from everyone I meet along the way.
What is one fun and interesting fact about you?
There was one weekend where I watched all of the movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in one sitting (pre-Avengers: Infinity War).