• Jessica Davidson

    Jessica Davidson is from Duluth, GA and earned her BS in Genetics from the University of Georgia in 2015. As an undergraduate, she was a crisis hotline volunteer for The Cottage and a peer mentor for introductory biology students at UGA. She also gained experience shadowing prenatal genetic counselors. Following graduation, Jessica worked as the head instructor and an SAT/ACT instructor at The Tutoring Center, and volunteered in the after-school program at Rainbow Village. This organization provides transitional housing and resources for families affected by poverty and domestic violence. Jessica later transitioned to a nine-month genetic counseling internship in the Hereditary Cancer Program at Northside Hospital in Atlanta. Additionally, she volunteered at the Marcus Autism Center with both the Care Coordination Team and the Severe Behavior Team.

     

    Nicole Deckard

    Nicole is from Selinsgrove, PA. She was a graduate of Bucknell University with a degree in Biology and a minor in Cognitive and Perceptual Sciences. During her undergraduate studies, Nicole spent time as a teaching assistant in introductory biology courses and was inducted into the Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society. Nicole also completed an internship at Northwestern University’s Graduate Program in genetic counseling where she acquired knowledge and familiarity of the field. After graduating, Nicole worked at Geisinger Health System as a Genomic Medicine Assistant. In this position, she gained practical genetic counseling experience in Geisinger’s Cancer Genetics Risk Assessment Clinic, and served as a research consenter for the MyCode® Community Health Initiative.

     

    Brighton Goodhue

    Brighton is a native of Chattanooga, TN. She pursued her undergraduate degree at Furman University in Greenville, SC. In 2017 she graduated cum laude with a Bachelors of Science in Biology and a focus in Psychology. Brighton has extensive volunteer experience at the Mental Health of America of Greenville Country Crisis Line where she worked with the crisis line, rape advocacy, domestic abuse advocacy, and the national suicide prevention hotline. She shadowed and spoke with numerous genetic counselors in Chattanooga and Greenville, especially at the Greenwood Genetics Center.

     

    Gwen Gunn

    Gwen Gunn graduated from the Graduate Biomedical Sciences PhD program at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She completed her degree in Cell, Molecular, and Developmental Biology. Her thesis work centered on developing novel therapies for the treatment of rare diseases such as the lysosomal storage disease MPS I. Through her thesis work, Gwen interacted with parents of affected patients, disease advocacy groups and funding agencies interested in pursuing research and providing resources for families affected by rare diseases. She also spent time shadowing in general genetic counseling settings.

     

    Cassie Gurganus

    Cassie Gurganus is a native of Birmingham, AL. In 2015 she received her BS degree in Chemistry with a minor in Biology as well as a minor in Japanese from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Prior to graduate school, Cassie served as a Rape Response advocate for the Birmingham Crisis Center. She also volunteered at the Exceptional Foundation, a center for adults and children with special needs. In preparation for pursuing a career in Genetic Counseling, she completed shadowing experiences in both pediatrics and cancer.

     

    Angelina I. Londoño

    Angelina is originally from Chicago, IL and received her B.S. in Genetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2006 as a POSSE scholar. She completed her Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Pathology at UAB in 2013 as a Howard Hughes Med-to-Grad Fellow followed by her Postdoctoral training in Cancer Genomics at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. After her postdoctoral training, she joined the Personalized Medicine Initiative in Women’s Cancers at UAB. Angelina has volunteered at an international level as a junior counsel board member for both the American Association for Cancer Research and the Metastasis Research Society, and locally on the response team and Spanish support group for SafeHouse women’s shelter in Michigan. Her goal is to merge her training in drug development and cancer genetics while educating and empowering patients and healthcare team members in the field of precision medicine oncology.

     

    Dora Moore

    Dorothea (Dora) Moore is originally from Knoxville, TN. She graduated with her Bachelors of Science in Psychology with a Neuroscience concentration from Denison University in 2013. She also received her Masters of Arts in General Psychology from American University in 2015, where her thesis research was on "The developmental research between cerebellar grey matter and cognition in a pediatric population." Dora volunteered as an applied behavior analysis tutor with children with autism and as a counselor for Children's National Medical Center camps for children with chronic health conditions. In preparation for pursuing genetic counseling school, she shadowed a genetic counselor at UT Medical Center and took the University of South Carolina Genetic Counselor: Career for the Future online course. In addition to her volunteer and genetic counseling experiences, Dora spent the past two years as a lab manager for the Infant Language and Perceptual Learning Lab at the University of Tennessee.

     

    Catherine Myers Skefos

    Catherine is from Dayton, Maryland. She graduated with honors from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX, with degrees in biology and anthropology and a minor in Spanish. She completed a master’s degree in medical anthropology at USF, where her thesis research looked at health care access and health disparity in rural Appalachia. Catherine worked for two years in community engagement with the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life program in the Atlanta area and taught GRE, SAT, and ACT prep for several years with Kaplan. Prior to being accepted to the genetic counseling program at UAB, Catherine volunteered as a rape response advocate at the Birmingham Crisis Center, shadowed genetic counselors in Memphis, TN, and conducted research at UAB to assess functional activity of Neurofibromatosis type I gene variants in regulating downstream signaling.

     

    Jacynda Woodman-Ross

    Jacynda is from Shelton, Washington and graduated from Pacific Lutheran University with a BA in Biology and minor in Psychology. She worked at the PLU Center for Gender Equity as a Peer Education Coordinator and Advocacy Intern, where she gained experience counseling students and educating campus communities about gender based violence. Additionally, she has worked as a student researcher with the PLU Biology Department and has presented research at conferences in the Pacific Northwest. Jacynda has experience shadowing a prenatal genetic counselor and has volunteered extensively with Mary Bridge Children's Hospital.

  • Katie Church

    Katie is originally from Longmont, Colorado. She graduated with distinction from The University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a BS in Biology and minors in psychology and Spanish. Katie gained counseling skills while volunteering for a domestic violence hotline and working as a Rho Gamma recruitment counselor through her sorority. Katie also worked in a population genetics lab studying Drosophila and Pisaurina mira. After graduation, Katie continued her work in the lab as a research assistant and coached a high school cheer team. In her free time, Katie completed genetic counseling shadowing experiences and volunteered with city adaptive recreation programs.

     

    Alexis Coates

    Alexis is originally from Acworth, Georgia. In 2015 she received her bachelor’s degree in Biology from Kennesaw State University. Prior to graduate school, she volunteered in the mammography clinic at Emory where she helped gather survey data for the Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer screening study. Alexis also served as an advocate for child exploitation by volunteering for the Georgia Cares crisis hotline. In preparation for pursuing a career in Genetic Counseling, Alexis spent time shadowing counselors in prenatal, pediatrics, and cancer settings. She also completed the Genetic Counseling: Career for the Future online course through the University of South Carolina.

     

    Summer Duffy

    Summer grew up on a farm in Milton, Georgia and graduated from Georgia College in 2017 with a Biology major and Spanish minor. While an undergrad she worked for the Learning Center as a biology and chemistry tutor and a Supplemental Instructor for Principles of Biology I. She served as a genetics course lab assistant and was a member of Beta Beta Beta Biological Honors Society. To gain experience after graduation, Summer began volunteering with Crisis Text Line and shadowing genetic counselors around the Atlanta area while working as a full-time nanny and tutor.

     

    Brittany Griffin

    Brittany is a Midwest native originally from Montrose, Michigan. In 2008, she received a B.S. in Medical Technology and B.A. in Public Administration at Saginaw Valley State University in Michigan as part of the university’s Foundation Scholar program. She began her career in microbiology and public health policy as an intern for the Bay County Health Department in Michigan, the O’Neill Institute of Global Public Health Law at the Georgetown University Law Center and the United States Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of HIV/AIDS Policy in Washington, DC.

    In 2014, she completed her PhD in Global Infectious Disease at Georgetown University, where she researched the molecular biology and RNA structure of the hepatitis delta virus genome. She went on to study the regulation of human transcription by 7SK RNA as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Iowa in the Department of Biochemistry. In Iowa, Brittany has worked for three years as a certified advocate and community organizer with the Rape Victim Advocacy Program, the Domestic Violence Intervention Program, and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign. She recently completed a counseling practicum in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital and a summer clinical research fellowship in the Emergency Department at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics as part of a collaboration with the Crisis Center of Johnson County and their Mobile Crisis Outreach program.

     

    Emily Guilbert

    Emily is from Dayton, Ohio and currently resides in Roswell, Georgia. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Spanish. While an undergraduate, she mentored a group of twenty students within the university’s Center for Leadership and Service, which created community service and advocacy opportunities for students based on the needs of the community.

    After graduation, Emily wanted to explore her combined interests in healthcare and community service, working with the Redeemer Ministry Corps as patient support in a local cancer and women’s health center. This yearlong position gave her the opportunity to shadow genetic counselors and learn more about the experiences of those with a cancer diagnosis. Emily has spent the past year working as a Clinical Research Specialist at a biopharmaceutical company in Marietta, Georgia and volunteering as a Crisis Counselor with the Crisis Text Line.

     

    Alesha Hicks

    Alesha is from Oak Ridge, TN. She completed her degree in Psychology with minors in Biology and Chemistry at Middle Tennessee State University. Alesha was one of fifteen Honors Transfer Fellows and examined the relationship between empathy and service learning in a pre-health professions curriculum for her honors thesis. She became interested in the topic as an instructor for the Healthy Raiders Reading Program, a community-based health literacy program which aims to empower families to make informed decisions about their child's health. Outside of coursework, she volunteered as a domestic violence and sexual assault crisis counselor and worked as a tutor and peer counselor for Trio Student Support Services. Most recently, she joined UAB's Medical Genomics Laboratory as a Genetic Counselor Assistant. In addition to gaining experience in laboratory genetic counseling and research, she assists with developing informational materials, web design and site maintenance for the MGL website.

     

    Brenna Bentley

    Brenna is from Southaven, MS. She graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a degree in Biology with a concentration in Molecular Biology and minors in Chemistry and Psychology. She was also a member of the Science and Technology Honors Program and performed research on genetic links between diabetes and cardiovascular disease under Dr. Adam Wende. During her time as an undergraduate student she worked as a Resident Assistant, Teaching Assistant, and Tutor. After graduation, Brenna received a Fulbright Fellowship to perform Genome Wide Association Studies on Metabolic Syndrome in Tartu, Estonia. Here she had the opportunity to work at the Estonian Biobank and participate in developing the genomic feedback initiative for the Estonian Biobank participants.

     

    Emily Soby

    Emily grew up in Brea, California. For her undergrad she attended Clemson University in Clemson, SC. She graduated from Clemson’s Calhoun Honors College Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Biology as well as minors in Business Administration and Genetics. During her time at Clemson, Emily participated in a “TigersTeach” internship where she got to assist in a high school classroom that taught different sciences. Emily took part in a “Finding Your Future” program where she shadowed doctors of different specialties for four weeks. She also participated in a medical mission trip to Costa Rica and a creative inquiry studying what shaped the mating preferences of Sailfin Mollies. After graduation, Emily began working in an administrative position at the Greenwood Genetic Center in Greenville, SC. This allowed her to shadow and gain insight into the field of genetic counseling and patient care.

     

    Victoria Willingham

    Victoria is a native of Asheville, NC. She pursued her undergraduate studies at the University of South Carolina, where she graduated magna cum laude with a degree in Biological Sciences and a minor in Music. As an undergraduate, Victoria worked as a research assistant investigating genetic variants in the PACT protein and their effects on neurodegenerative disease progression, and spent time as a teaching assistant in an introductory biology lab course. While finishing her undergraduate studies, Victoria shadowed genetic counselors in SC and volunteered with a local hospice and with the Center for Colon Cancer research, working to provide medical services for medically underserved individuals. Since graduation, Victoria has worked as a Genetic Counseling Assistant with EGL Genetic Diagnostics Laboratory outside of Atlanta, GA, where she gained a more thorough understanding of the genetic testing process. She also volunteered for a local women's domestic violence center.

     

    Rachel Wyatt

    Rachel Wyatt is from Austin, TX. She graduated from Texas A&M University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Genetics and a minor in Psychology. As she pursued her undergraduate education, she assisted in a women’s health research laboratory where she explored the role that diet and hormone receptors play in colon cancer development. She was also involved in a number of on- and off-campus organizations during her time at the university. As a member of the Biochemistry and Genetics Society, she was able to better prepare for graduate school and connect with current genetic counseling students and counselors. Additionally, she is a member of the Austin Disaster Relief Network where she became certified in critical incident stress management and began providing aid and counsel for natural disaster survivors. Rachel was also able to gain clinical experience during her years of volunteer work at the Baylor Scott and White Medical Center- Lakeway.