• 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.

     

  • Madeleine Franchi

    Madeleine is originally from Marietta, Georgia. In 2020 she graduated Magna Cum Laude from Clemson University with a Bachelor of Arts in biological sciences and a minor in psychology. During her time at Clemson, Madeleine was a member of the Clemson Honors College. She worked for the Academic Success Center as a Peer Assisted Learning Leader and later as a tutor to support students in a Business Calculus class. Also, she participated in both team-based and independent research projects in psychology. In her free time, she enjoyed being a member of the Clemson Club Swim Team and held a leadership position as treasurer. In addition, she volunteered as a swim coach for ClemsonLIFE, Clemson’s program for students with intellectual disabilities. To gain experience while in undergrad, she spent the summer before her senior year shadowing genetic counselors in the Atlanta area.

     

    Andrea Frickman

    Andrea is originally from Taylor Mill, Kentucky. In 2020, she graduated from the University of Kentucky where she received a B.A. in biology with a specialty in genetics and a psychology minor. As an undergraduate, Andrea worked as a Community Living Support worker with a woman who has a metabolic disorder and autism. Andrea also worked in a biology research lab where she studied stem cell differentiation and regeneration in planarian worms with a focus on the role of cilia in congenital heart disease. She continued to volunteer at a women’s crisis center where she learned strong interpersonal and counseling skills. She spent her free time shadowing genetic counselors in the Lexington and Cincinnati area while also participating in advocacy work for those with disabilities.

     

    Lani Kesterson

    Lani grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. She graduated from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Science in biology in 2017. During her time as an undergraduate student, she served as a peer advisor for the College of Arts and Sciences. As an undergraduate, Lani spent several summers working and shadowing in research labs, specifically focusing on genetics and nutrition science. Additionally, she was able to gain exposure to the field of genetic counseling by shadowing GC's at St. Vincent's in cancer genetics and at UAB in pediatric and prenatal genetics. In 2019, Lani received her Master of Science in Multidisciplinary Biomedical Science with a concentration in genetics and genomics from UAB. After graduation, she worked as a tutor for Master's and international students. Most recently, she worked as a medical assistant in a clinic, which gave her additional skills in patient interaction and communication.

     

    Whitney Narmore

    Whitney Narmore is an Alabama native hailing from Decatur, Alabama. She Graduated from UAB in April, 2017 where she received her Bachelor of Science in biology with a concentration in molecular biology and minor in chemistry. During her undergraduate studies, Whitney also volunteered at the Birmingham Crisis Center and served as a committee member for the Student Affiliates of the American Chemical Society (SAACS) which facilitated several scientific community outreach events with the goal of increasing local school age children’s interest in S.T.E.M. degrees. Upon graduation, Whitney worked as a researcher in an infectious disease laboratory at UAB that was focused on the development of high-precision assays for drug testing and antibiotics susceptibility. She was then hired as a genetic counseling assistant in UAB’s Department of Genetics working with the Alabama Genomic Health Initiative (AGHI) whole genome sequencing cohort and the SouthSeq study. These opportunities gave her unique experiences in basic science research and clinical research as well as patient interaction and counseling.

     

    Mary Grace Roden

    Mary Grace is originally from Cullman, Alabama. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Science in biology in 2018. As an undergraduate student, Mary Grace spent time as a peer mentor through the Honors College and facilitated activities in local Tuscaloosa schools to encourage STEM abilities and interest. She served as Director of Schools for the BABH annual food drive to raise donations for the West Alabama food bank and create awareness of food insecurity in the state. She also worked as a research assistant in the psychology department. After graduating, Mary Grace spent time as a genetic counseling intern at Clearview Cancer Institute in Huntsville, AL. She then began working as a genetic counseling assistant at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. These clinical experiences provided a unique and realistic perspective of the field prior to entering graduate training.

     

    Leighton Telling

    Leighton Telling is from Charlotte, NC and graduated with honors from North Carolina State University in 2018, earning a B.S. in genetics with a minor in psychology. As an undergraduate, she belonged to the University Scholars Program and also worked for two years as a teaching assistant for the ‘Principles of Genetics’ course, in which she completed an honors research project assessing the effectiveness of various teaching strategies in students' understanding of molecular genetics. In her free time, she volunteered for a crisis line in Raleigh, NC, where she acquired many practical counseling skills. Leighton worked for a year following graduation as a genetic counseling assistant at The University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill in their Cancer and Adult Genetics Clinic. Most recently she worked as a technologist within the core chemistry lab at LabCorp’s headquarters in Burlington, NC.

     

    Hannah Walter

    Hannah is a Birmingham, Alabama native. She is a 2019 Cum Laude graduate of Auburn University where she received a Bachelor of Science in microbial biology with a minor in human development and family studies. As an undergraduate, she served as director of Student Relations for Auburn University Dance Marathon raising funds for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and vice-president of STARS advocating for survivors of rape and sexual assault. She worked as a genetics tutor for high school students in the Auburn/Opelika area and volunteered with My Brother’s Keeper after school program. Shadowing in the UAB Cancer Clinic and Marfan Syndrome Clinic allowed Hannah to gain more exposure to the work of a genetic counselor; volunteering with the NF-1 Walk allowed her to gain enriching exposure to affected individuals and their families. Upon graduation Hannah joined a research lab at UAB where she continues to work on a project reevaluating mice as a model of human disease due to structural differences between the two genomes. During this time, she volunteered at the Birmingham Crisis Center and was selected to sit on Mitchell’s Place Junior Board, on which she continues to serve.