• 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.

     

  • Taylor Dunn

    Taylor is originally from Keokuk, Iowa and graduated with honors from the University of Iowa earning a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Human Relations. During her time as an undergraduate, she volunteered with the Personal Genome Learning Center at the University of Iowa which analyzed and educated the general public on direct-to-consumer genetic testing. She also volunteered as a crisis intervention specialist where she gained counseling and advocacy skills. In her undergraduate career she performed clinical research at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics on patients with inherited eye diseases, and after graduating had the opportunity to work as a clinical research coordinator on a safety study for patients receiving FDA approved gene therapy.

     

    Sara Cowan

    Sara Cowan is from Winder, GA and earned her BS in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Georgia Southern University in 2018. As an undergraduate, she worked in a parasitology research lab working on determining phylogeny through sequencing mitochondrial genomes. Sara also volunteered as a hotline advocate at a Domestic Violence shelter which enabled her to receive training establishing and maintaining client rapport during situations of crisis. During her senior year of undergraduate, Sara volunteered as a dance instructor for a group of children with various disabilities. This experience allowed her to engage with her community and build strong relationships with families impacted by Trisomy 21, Monosomy 9p, and autism spectrum disorders.

     

    Taylor McClinchey

    Taylor is a native of Tecumseh, MI. In 2018 she graduated with Bachelors degrees in Biology and Psychology from the University of Georgia. During her undergraduate studies, Taylor spent time as a research assistant in the UGA Genetics Department. She also volunteered with the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life program on campus. After graduating, Taylor had the opportunity to spend a year working with a pediatrician and geneticist at a private practice clinic in Alpharetta, GA. In this position she gained practical experience with the genetics field and patient care. Prior to graduate school, Taylor served as a crisis counselor with Crisis Text Line.

     

    Olivia McMillan

    Olivia McMillan is from Connersville, Indiana. She earned her BS in Biology with minors in Psychology of Human Development and Interpersonal Relations from Ball State University in 2019. As an undergraduate student, Olivia worked as a resident assistant and gained research experience through pedigree analysis of database information on the Kentucky population. While at Ball State she founded the Pre-Genetic Counseling Club where students can collaborate and share information about genetic counseling graduate program preparation and the genetic counseling field. She also volunteered with College Mentors for Kids, an after-school program for elementary students to learn about future career options. Olivia began volunteering for Special Olympics Indiana her freshman year of high school, which cultivated her love of working with people that are impacted by disabilities and disease.

     

    Sarah Dubay

    Sarah Dubay is originally from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. She attended the University of Alabama, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, with a minor in Psychology. She spent her time at Alabama volunteering as a mentor for middle school age girls in the Tuscaloosa area, as well as for the Birmingham Crisis Center, as a crisis line counselor. This allowed her the experience of working and connecting with a diverse range of people. After graduation, she continued to volunteer at the Birmingham Crisis Center, and began working as a genetic counseling assistant at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. There, she gained experience in the field of clinical genetics, especially in the pediatric realm. This gave her a realistic perspective of what the genetic counseling process looks like for patients and families.