Could you tell us a little bit about your educational background?
I graduated from Quinnipiac University in 2021 majoring in health science studies with minors in both biology and psychology. I conducted research in a drosophila lab, attempting to locate a mutation that causes cell death in the flies, the H99 deletion. Working in the laboratory gave me insight into the complexity of chromosomes as I was working with advanced technologies first-hand.
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?
Genetic counseling is a family affair, unlike other healthcare specializations. When a mutation is found, the results do not only impact that individual, but their families and support systems as well. I was drawn to genetic counseling because of the support I would provide to many different types of families, especially atypical families like mine. My two immediate families are made up of five younger siblings, my dad and his wife, and my mom and her wife. Having half-siblings, step-siblings, and parents in the LGBTQ community taught me family is much deeper than blood relations. I want to be there to support my patients, but also their families, no matter how traditional or non-traditional they might be.
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?
Applying to genetic counseling programs in the middle of a pandemic was a challenge I shared with the rest of my cohort. I was figuring out how to balance working on my applications while still in my senior year of college, navigating the unknowns COVID kept throwing at us. I was also a resident assistant for freshmen and sophomore residents, helping them adjust to college during a pandemic. Many of my residents were experiencing serious mental health crises and I had to remember to continue taking time for myself in order to process my own emotions. The pandemic taught me the importance of prioritizing my own needs, so I had the energy to continue supporting others.
What are you most looking forward to about beginning your Genetic Counseling studies?
I am looking forward to getting more exposure to patients and learning directly from the genetic counselors who work with KGI students!
What is one fun and interesting fact about you?
My favorite animal is a moose and I have seen two moose this year in the wild, both around 8 feet tall! I love hiking and camping so when I do that back home in New England, I am always on the lookout for Moose.