I grew up in Mason, Ohio. I graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2019 with a BS in biology and minor in gender studies. As an undergraduate, I developed my passion for teaching through a variety of settings. I worked as an undergraduate associate instructor teaching chemistry, an early childhood science education intern at WonderLab Museum of Health, Science and Technology, a teaching assistant for elementary-school children, and a peer tutor for Chi Omega. I also volunteered at a local winter shelter and various Brookdale Hospice locations in Cincinnati. Additionally, as a member of Global Medical Brigades, I explored and grew my passion for health promotion, working with under-served, under-resourced communities, and public health.
In 2022, I completed my master of public health in public health genetics with a certificate in global health at the University of Pittsburgh. During my graduate studies, I completed multiple practicums and aided in research projects that informed my desire to integrate public health into a career as a genetic counselor. I interned for New York Mid-Atlantic Caribbean (NYMAC) Regional Genetics Network where I focused on addressing access to genetic services in the state of Pennsylvania. I had the opportunity to practice my public health genetics skills by working for Cure HHT, a rare disease non-profit organization, where I created interventional radiology education materials for providers and compiled genetics-related resources for clinics in Singapore. A particularly impactful experience was my time as a LEND trainee. It solidified my commitment to advocating for people with disabilities, prioritizing family and patient-centered care, and centering equity in all of my future work.
In my free time, I enjoy exploring different coffee shops, bakeries, and restaurants, traveling and spending time with friends and family. I am thrilled to continue my journey in the field of genetics as a genetic counseling student in Cincinnati!
I grew up in Pueblo, Colorado, a small town in Southern Colorado. I then moved to West Virginia to complete my BS in animal and nutritional sciences with a minor in equine science at West Virginia University. During undergrad, I worked at our equine research facility and worked briefly in a genetics research lab studying the role of the WBC5 gene mutation in anthocyanin response to abiotic stress in Arabidopsis plants. I was heavily involved in our school’s service dog training program, Hearts of Gold. I fostered and trained a variety of dogs for veterans with disabilities and helped teach veterans in the program how to work with their paired companion. I also volunteered at three different therapeutic riding centers, bot during undergrad and post grad, working with children and adults with physical, cognitive, emotional, and social disabilities and challenges.
I worked at an equine hospital post-graduation and right before entering veterinary school, I discovered genetic counseling. After researching the profession and learning more, I realized it was everything I wanted out of a career and was the right path for me. I then looked for GCA positions and was hired on as a laboratory GCA at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. This job allowed me to immerse myself in the field and my passion for the career only grew from there. I am very excited to be continuing my education as a GC at the University of Cincinnati. In my free time, I still love spending time with animals, especially my dog and two cats. I also love exploring downtown Cincinnati from finding a good restaurant to yoga or movies at Washington Park, there is always something to do!
I grew up in the Greater Fort Lauderdale area of South Florida. I had an accelerated college experience, earning my associates degree with my high school diploma before attending the University of Florida to earn a bachelor's in 2 majors, religion and linguistics, with a minor in teaching English as a second language. After graduation, I began my journey as a teacher volunteering at a cultural exchange program at a technical college in Quito, Ecuador. I taught English to all levels from high school to working adults for 2 years before returning to South Florida to study biology. I studied post-baccalaureate courses at Florida Atlantic University, becoming a private biology tutor and teaching assistant.
While at FAU, I was on a pre-pharmacy track for a while, working as a pharmacy technician at CVS while doing my pre-reqs but after 3 years in retail pharmacy and going through my own personal medical diagnostic odyssey, I decided that the day to day realities of the healthcare workers I'd encountered in the western medical system would not be a good fit. Unsure what would be a better fit as a healthcare provider, I shifted to study the business of biotechnology, earning a professional science master's from Florida Atlantic University.
I've worked in the biomedical industry since 2017, first for a medical device company as product specialist, educating ophthalmologists on how to use specialized cataract lenses while managing business development. For the past 3 years, I've worked as a clinical specialist for one of the largest medical supply companies in the US, providing skin health education to nurses and certified nursing assistants in post-acute care settings.
I thankfully discovered genetic counseling, a role that combines my love of molecular biology and teaching skills with my desire to provide in depth support for patients on their diagnostic journeys. I'm incredibly honored and stoked to begin training at the University of Cincinnati as a genetic counselor.
More personally, I am an avid reader and movie buff, particularly fond of Sci Fi and fantasy, and I love a good stand up special. I am a yogi, an amateur belly dancer, and heavily meditated, loving to spend days at a time in silence at retreats.
Hello! My name is Haley Grimes and I was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. I attended Saint Louis University (SLU) where I graduated with a degree in health sciences and minors in both Spanish and urban poverty studies.
As an undergraduate student, I volunteered with the Crime Victim Center as a victim advocate, helping those affected by all types of crimes navigate their crisis, emotions, and paperwork via phone calls and in-person consultations. I also spent my time at SLU’s Health Resource Center, a free health clinic for residents of St. Louis. I completed a capstone project focusing on the disparities of the healthcare system, specifically amongst the Hispanic population, and how access to healthcare affects these individuals’ lives. This research project furthered my awareness and understanding of the experiences endured when it comes to their health, including obstacles to receiving care. These opportunities strengthened my passion for working with underserved communities. Additionally, I expanded my skills for explaining complex topics to students over the two semesters I worked as a teacher’s assistant for genetics while at SLU. In my free time, I danced on a student-led dance team, continuing my love for dance that began at a young age.
Since graduation, I have been working as a direct support professional, caring for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in a day program. My hobbies include trying new foods and recipes, traveling and exploring different cultures, working on puzzles, and spending time outdoors. I am beyond excited to join the University of Cincinnati Genetic Counseling class of 2024!
I am a Cincinnati, Ohio native and attended Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina, where I received my bachelor of science in biology in 2021. While attending Furman, I worked as a resident assistant for two years and later studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark during the spring of 2020 (until COVID sent me home!). After graduation I returned to my hometown of Cincinnati to begin working as a genetic counseling assistant at TriHealth Precision Medicine and Genomic Services, focusing on oncology, cardiology, and pharmacogenomics genetic counseling support.
Outside of my experience within the field of genetic counseling, my personal health journey inspired me to help create a national collaborative learning network for pediatric Autoimmune Liver Disease (AILD). Motivated by my own diagnosis of an AILD and experiences with lack of patient community and dismal patient outcomes, I began my involvement in the newly created Autoimmune Liver Network for Kids, or A-LiNK. As a pediatric AILD-specific learning health system, A-LiNK is committed to creating a welcoming and safe community for newly-diagnosed and veteran patients, alike, to share their experiences, shortcomings, and hopes for the future of AILD research and patient outcomes. In my free time I enjoy indoor rock climbing, quilting and embroidery, and planning my upcoming wedding!
I am from Newtown, Pennsylvania, a suburb outside the Philadelphia area. I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2022 with a BS in molecular biology. I explored several different scientific opportunities during my time in college. In 2019 I began working in a lab investigating the role of the protein TMEM127 in the signaling pathway that prevents polyspermy during fertilization. In the summer of 2021, I joined a student-led team partaking in the iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) competition. In this project, we attempted to engineer a probiotic which could detect colon cancer through a color-change mechanism upon exposure to the tumor microenvironment. I learned briefly about genetic counseling in high school, but researched the career much more during my sophomore year of college. Since this was around the time covid began, shadowing a genetic counselor became nearly impossible. In an effort to prepare myself for a graduate program and help others in a time when the field was highly inaccessible, I created a YouTube channel to share information about genetic counseling. By posting videos discussing the career, application process, and informational interviews with counselors, I have since grown this platform to a following of over 100 subscribers. During my college years I also worked as a teaching assistant and volunteered as a counselor through the Crisis Text Line, solidifying my passions for education and helping those in need. In my free time I love to workout, travel, and spend time with friends and family. I could not be more excited to be a part of the Cincinnati Genetic Counseling Class of 2024.
I grew up in Nashville, TN and attended Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. As a Bonner Scholar, I participated in community service and volunteered with animal care nonprofits, at an HIV/AIDS resource agency, and ran a field trip program at a local elementary school. After graduating with my B.S. in Biology in 2008, I taught high school science through Teach for America. I later relocated to Asheville, NC and continued teaching chemistry and biology. One of my favorite memories from my time in the classroom is leading student road trips across the American Southwest. I have also volunteered with NAMI to lead classes and support groups for family members of people affected by mental illness.
In my free time, I love cooking, gardening, traveling, and spending time with my husband and kids. I'm thrilled to be part of the Cincinnati genetic counseling program!
I grew up in Loveland, which is a suburb of Cincinnati. I first learned about genetic counseling from my high school’s biotechnology teacher. It immediately interested me and through more research and shadowing; I knew that this was the profession for me. I graduated from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio with a major in biology and a minor in psychology. During my time in undergrad, I was a teaching assistant for Capital’s Modern Genetics course and volunteered at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. I also played lacrosse, was active in my sorority Alpha Sigma Alpha, and a member of a National Biological Society: Beta Beta Beta. Additionally, I shadowed different GCs which helped me learn more about the profession. I then spent a summer working as a genetic counseling student worker at Versiti in Milwaukee, WI. Working with different physicians, geneticists, and genetic counselors really solidified that this was my passion. I graduated in spring of 2020 and spent the past two years working at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center as a genetic counselor assistant. This has been an amazing experience with so many great opportunities to learn and grow. This past year I have also spent time volunteering for Crisis Text Line. In my free time, I really enjoy crocheting, listening to podcasts, reading, and spending time outdoors. I am thrilled to be able to pursue my interests at Cincinnati’s GCGP!
I grew up in Hong Kong, India and the US! I graduated from St. Olaf College in Minnesota with a major in psychology and a minor in neuroscience in 2018. I have always been passionate about counseling and psychology and knew I wanted to work in a field where I could support others. In college I fell in love with genetics and eventually stumbled upon genetic counseling. I was immediately drawn to the opportunity to combine my passion for psychology and genetics.
At St. Olaf, I was an active member of student government. I also TA’d for intermediate genetics and did research within the departments of psychology and neuroscience. After graduating I spent two years working at a mental health crisis center, supporting adults with severe and persistent mental health issues. I then went on to work at the University of Minnesota at the Minnesota Center for Twin and Family Research as a clinical researcher.
I moved back to India in 2021 and participated in a genetic counseling certificate program, allowing me to be qualified to apply to be genetic counselor in India. I also worked at a crisis counselor at Crisis Text Line and a counselor at Exhale Pro-Voice. In my free time, I love to listen to podcasts, work on art projects and attempt to upcycle furniture. I’m thrilled to move to Cincinnati and being a part of the University of Cincinnati class of 2024!
I am from Southeast Idaho, and graduated with a BS in molecular biology from Brigham Young University in 2021. As an undergraduate, I was a teaching assistant for cell biology and genomics courses, and developed a love for teaching and education. I also participated in several laboratory research internships where I harnessed bacteria to produce human proteins, studied genetic changes underlying pancreatic cancer, and learned about epigenetic mechanisms that control gene expression.
After graduating, I worked as a clinical research intern at Lineagen. In this role, I assisted genetic counselors with their research responsibilities, including guiding participants through research processes, documenting consent, coordinating sample collection, and providing testing reports. I also volunteered as a mentor with Pathways Adult Learning Center, an organization that provides continuing education to adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities after high school, and as a compassion counselor with the Chronic Illness Hotline.
I discovered genetic counseling at a laboratory internship, when I met a pediatric genetic counselor at a seminar. This experience was foundational to my decision to become a genetic counselor and my enthusiasm grew as I learned more about the field by interviewing genetic counselors, shadowing sessions, and attending seminars.
In my free time, I enjoy playing the cello, knitting, baking, and reading biographies.
Hi! My name is Sydney, and I was raised in West Des Moines, Iowa and attended the University of Iowa, where I graduated in 2021 with a BS in biology and a minor in psychology. As an undergraduate, I served as a supplemental instruction leader in several introductory chemistry courses and conducted an independent research project in evolutionary biology. I also worked as an administrative assistant with the Iowa Institute of Human Genetics, coordinating educational events for people hoping to learn more about genetic counseling. Additionally, I was able to serve as an advocate for survivors of sexual violence with the Rape Victim Advocacy Program.
Following my graduation, I elected to take a gap year to gain hands-on experience as a GCA in a Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease clinic at the University of Iowa. As the coordinator of a multidisciplinary clinic, I developed an appreciation for a team-based and cross-disciplinary approach to healthcare and observed the unique role that genetic counselors play in their patients’ diagnostic journey. I also served as a research support coordinator for the Inherited Neuropathy Consortium (INC) and presented an abstract at the 2022 Peripheral Nerve Society meeting. In my free time, I enjoy cooking, puzzles and board games, spending time with my partner and my cat, Betty, and birdwatching! I’m excited to apply my past experiences and my passion for genetic counseling at the University of Cincinnati’s Genetic Counseling Graduate Program!
Hi! My name is Alexis and I was born and raised right here in Cincinnati. I attended the University of Cincinnati and graduated in 2022 with a BS in biological sciences and a certificate in biology of animals. As an undergraduate, I did research working with Northern Bobwhite Quail chicks and studying their social relationships. I also spent my time volunteering with hospice and Matthew 25 Ministries. I was also involved in various organizations.
My initial love and knowledge of genetic counseling began in high school and grew stronger during my undergraduate career. In my free time I enjoy reading, cooking, traveling, watching documentaries, and trying new foods and restaurants. I am so excited to be a double Bearcat and continue my education at the University of Cincinnati’s program as a part of the class of 2024!
Hello! My name is Emelia, I was born in St. Louis, MO and moved to Kansas City, MO to attend Rockhurst University (a very small school) where played lacrosse and graduated with a degree in biochemistry with minors in bioethics and Spanish in 2021. During undergrad, I participated in instructor-led research studying the relationship between melanocytes and hair phenotypes. Additionally, I served as a supplemental instructor for introductory biology and chemistry courses my senior year. Outside of school, I was able to raise money for my sorority’s charity, special Olympics and volunteer as a crisis counselor on the crisis text line.
After graduation, I took two gap years and stayed in Kansas City to work as a GCA at Children’s Mercy Hospital. In this role, I wore multiple hats. I worked partly as a research coordinator for our research study, Genomic Answers for Kids (a pediatric rare disease repository). Other roles included maintaining the database, writing case reports, collecting family histories, and assisting the genetic counselors with any tasks they needed in their own research studies. This role allowed me to really understand a lot of the hats genetic counselors wear outside the exam room in the pediatric setting. During this time, I also started volunteering with CASA (court appointed special advocates) to advocate for children’s wants/needs in foster care, and visited Down Syndrome Innovations, KC to hang out with adults with downs syndrome and other delays in an assisted living home.
Outside of work, I still coach lacrosse and love to be active! I am passionate about cooking and trying new foods/cuisines. I’m going to miss downtown KC, but I am elated to begin my future career as a genetic counselor in Cincy!
I grew up in Denver, Colorado and attended the University of Colorado at Boulder for my undergraduate education. I graduated in December of 2020 with majors in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology & ecology and evolutionary biology. In college, I worked in the labs of Dr. William Robinson, Dr. Yiqun Shellman and Dr. Andrew Martin, and defended an honors thesis of my work evaluating novel therapeutics in melanoma. I also volunteered at the Boulder Shelter for the Homeless, worked as a learning/teaching assistant for general biology 1 and genetics, and served on the leadership board of my college’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance and UU student ministry.
After college I moved to Bethesda, Maryland where I worked as a postbaccalaureate fellow in Dr. Hong Xu’s laboratory of molecular genetics. While in Bethesda I spent my free time volunteering for the Red Cross at Walter Reed Military Medical center, at Shepherd's table shelter and food kitchen, and as a crisis counselor for Crisis Text Line. My hobbies include cooking, baking, gardening and spending time with my partner and cat.
My family and I immigrated to Canada when I was 4 years old, and have grown up in Mississauga, Ontario ever since. In 2022 I graduated from Wilfrid Laurier University with an honors BSc in health sciences and a minor in biology and psychology. As an undergraduate, my involvement as a peer mentor and biology instructional assistant (IA) reinforced my passion for teaching difficult concepts to support individuals in finding some clarity, themes consistent in the role of a genetic counselor. My initial introduction to genetics was in grade 11 biology, and I have since been fascinated by the complexity of the human genome and child development. Partaking in both a genetics and social determinants of health course during my undergraduate degree solidified aspirations to pursue a career as a genetic counsellor. More specifically, I hold a strong interest in health literacy in underserved populations and ethnic minorities, and hope to research its relevance in early screening practices for genetic diseases.
Following my graduation, I spent my gap year strengthening my application while taking the time to travel. I continued volunteering for the Crisis Text Line and the Sexual Assault Support Centre while additionally taking on a genetic assistant volunteer position at Trillium Health Partners Credit Valley Hospital. Apart from my volunteer experiences, during the year I also held a full-time position as an assistant to a chronic pain physician and as a relief mental health worker for the Canadian Mental Health Association. Both positions allowed me to work in-person with individuals suffering from mental and/ or physical pain by determining their goals and referring them to necessary resources.
In my free time, I enjoy traveling, spending time outside, having game nights with my friends, and trying out new foods and restaurants!
Hello! My name is Shruti, and I was raised in Hyderabad, India. I graduated from the University of California, Davis in 2021 with a BS in genetics and genomics and minor in psychology. As an undergraduate student, I’ve worked in a plant biology, evolutionary genetics, and psychology lab, each of which gave me a unique insight into the different forms of research. Given my passion for reproductive rights and justice, I also volunteered with Exhale, a Pro-Voice organization aimed at providing post-abortion support via text, as a peer counselor. In my role, I learned how to actively create space for a texter’s full range of emotions in a crisis counseling setting and work with them to discover new strategies to support their emotional wellbeing. This experience further solidified my interest to be in the field of genetic counseling and I hope to similarly help my patients feel at ease as they make healthcare choices that are aligned with their values.
Following my graduation, I began working at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital as a research assistant. The aim of our project was to study the development of proximal tubules in the kidney through mouse models. This gave me the opportunity to further hone the skills I had learned as a student and apply it in my individual projects. In 2022, I transitioned to working as genetic counseling assistant at Cincinnati Children’s, supporting the Genetics and Genomics Diagnostic Laboratory, and the Hereditary Cancer Program. In this role, I was introduced to the behind-the-scenes work done by genetic counselors and the many different facets of the profession, all of which deepened my understanding of the field and prepared me for my graduate education.
In my free time, I love playing video games, working out, reading, and spending time with my cat, Phoenix! I am thrilled to be bringing my passion for genetics to UC and Cincinnati Children’s Genetic Counseling Program and beginning my journey as a genetic counselor!
I grew up in Columbus, OH and attended the Ohio State University for my undergrad and Master of Education. I taught full-time for a total of three years at Lima Senior High School, Ohio Hi-Point Career Center, and Gahanna Lincoln High School. (One of my former students matched to Case Western’s genetic counseling program!)
After becoming a parent, I built a freelance writing and digital marketing business focused on serving small business owners, particularly women of color. One of the best parts of that work was using my skills to help business owners free up time and energy to do what they were best at. I started a blog and podcast, and also developed and sold several digital products. From there, I transitioned to a staff writer role at the tech firm Awesome Motive.
I also write novels and creative nonfiction. My work has been published in The Temper, Scary Mommy, and the Los Angeles Review of Books China Channel, among other digital outlets. I’m currently working on a series of contemporary novels featuring Asian American women.
When I’m not working or writing, I enjoy working out, reading fluffy romance and YA books that I am too grumpy to write myself, cooking new recipes, and spending time with my family.
Hi! My name is Darby Holman and I am from Westerville, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus. I got my degree in biological sciences with minors in psychology and chemistry from the University of Cincinnati in May of 2022. I have always been passionate about science and psychology and I knew I wanted a career that combined the two! During the pandemic, I explored career options and fell in love with this field. After taking human genetics and more psychology classes, my choice was solidified. I am so excited to be a Bearcat again and to start my journey in genetic counseling!
In undergrad, I worked mainly in educational services which strengthened my passion for helping students and others in transitional periods. I worked as a Peer Leader in the University of Cincinnati Learning Commons where I walked first year students through the transition from high school to college. I fell in love with being a mentor and seeing the impact that I could have on my students, which led me towards wanting a career in counseling. I also worked as a Supplemental Instructor for Organic Chemistry, where I led review sessions and mock exams for current students. I loved being able to connect with my students and find ways to make the material click for them. It was amazing figuring out how each student learned and seeing what I could do to best assist them in both 1:1 and group settings. This solidified my interest in education and led me towards wanting a career in which I got to work with people and help them understand and work through difficult concepts. I was fortunate to stumble upon genetic counseling through career searches and when I realized it could combine all of my passions and wants in a career, my choice was clear.
After graduating from UC, I moved back to Columbus, Ohio to work as a clinical research coordinator at the Wexner Medical Center. Working in the Hepatology clinic, I got to see anywhere from 2-5 patients a week and talk with them about their diagnoses and educate them about our clinical trials. My job allowed me to connect with patients and work with them through a difficult time in their lives. I loved being able to build deeper connections with them and see them improve over longer periods of time. This really deepened my excitement for genetic counseling since I got to experience first hand working with patients and discussing medical results with them, while also working closely on teams with other coordinators and physicians.
I am very excited to be coming back to Cincinnati and to be a Bearcat again! I’m mostly looking forward to being close to Skyline and Coffee Emporium!
I grew up in Santa Clarita – a suburban town about 30 miles north of Los Angeles, California. While I attended UC Merced in central California for the first 2 years of my undergraduate studies, I ultimately transferred to and graduated from UCLA with a BS in microbiology, immunology, and molecular genetics. It was shortly after returning to UCLA from an extended leave of absence that I discovered the existence of genetic counseling. This discovery motivated me to work past health and life challenges as it was a healthcare field that combined my interests of psychology and genetics, and I jumped at the opportunity to help found UCLA’s genetic counseling student interest group. I graduated with confidence that I wanted to become a genetic counselor after gaining some work experience, unaware at the time that would end up being more than “some” work experience. Over the course of 8 years, I was fortunate to gain exposure to the healthcare field outside of the classroom by working for UCLA Health. After a brief stint in the hospital billing department and finishing up the CICARE Assessment program (a healthcare practice emphasizing meaningful communication and quality of care) volunteer duties I had started as an undergraduate, I transitioned to a role as a UCLA Neurology patient coordinator. In this clinic, I assisted many of the subspeciality teams, and was concurrently volunteering for the Sojourn Domestic Violence Services organization, particularly within children empowerment playgroups. These experiences fostered my communication skills with populations of varying ages and from diverse backgrounds, as well as with their family members and caretakers.
I enrolled in the UC Berkeley post-baccalaureate program for counseling and psychology professions in the summer of 2019 to gain more familiarity with psychology classes. Completing the online program a couple of months after the Covid pandemic had many of us working remotely, I recognized that I had learned all I could in my patient coordinator position and looked for opportunities that would provide intellectual stimulation and growth, while addressing the interests I still had in psychology, biology, and clinical care. It was practically a decade later that I came across these “Genetic Counseling Assistant” (GCA) job postings, which were nonexistent when I had graduated many years ago. I applied, interviewed, and started the year 2022 as a reproductive genetics GCA. The rest, as the saying goes, was history. I am incredibly grateful and stoked to take this journey to the next level through the University of Cincinnati/Cincinnati Children’s Genetic Counseling Program!
In my free time, I take pleasure in deepening the meditation practice I started engaging in 5 ½ years ago, and recently rediscovered my love for reading. I also enjoy watching plays and catching up with friends, spending time with family, and volunteering. In addition, I do like hiking (truly beginner level – walks in parks also work for me!) and regularly find myself dancing in my own living room (whether anyone’s watching or not!)
I grew up in the Piedmont pines of Central North Carolina and attended college in Raleigh, at North Carolina State University. At NC State, I majored in genetics and minored in biotechnology. While studying, I had the opportunity to work in a molecular toxicology lab. In the lab I supported work to characterize the role of a long-noncoding RNA in protecting our bodies from skin cancer caused by sun exposure. Working in the lab instilled the importance of being able to describe our work to anyone. It is this same quality, the ability to make genetics meaningful and relevant to the individual one is speaking with, that I was first struck by when shadowing a genetic counselor. It has been this mindset that I have continued to grow, learning from and working alongside genetic counselors at Geisinger, in Central Pennsylvania. As a genetic counseling assistant, I've supported genetic counselors in clinical and research spaces to help make genetics meaningful to patients. This opportunity has strengthened my passion for the field and my awareness of the diverse roles genetic counselors have.
Outside of work moving to Central Pennsylvania pushed me to learn how to build community. I am grateful for the opportunities that have come from getting involved in the Central Pennsylvania towns that I called home after college. Through volunteering with hospice and local organizations that address housing and food insecurity I was able to join in community with others in a way I could have never anticipated. In my free time, I love being outside, enjoying public transit & listening to podcasts. I am thrilled to be a part of the UC Genetic Counseling program and excited to get to know Cincy!
Hello! My name is Paige Oklon and I was born and raised in Lakeville, Minnesota. I am returning to school after five years of working as a special education paraprofessional in the Lakeville Area School District. I was initially introduced to genetic counseling through a personal connection with genetic testing during secondary school. Following this introduction, I focused on gaining shadowing and other helpful experiences to solidify my interest in the career. Through these experiences, my dedication to further bring accessibility and representation to the genetic counseling field was ignited. In 2018, I graduated from the University of Minnesota Rochester with a BS in Health Sciences and spent a semester in Colorado as part of National Student Exchange. During my undergraduate career, I explored my passions of educating, communicating, and building relationships through a number of activities. These activities included peer counseling and mentoring, a medical brigade to Nicaragua, English conversation groups at my local library, and an internship involving access to social services.
Following my undergraduate career, I further explored these passions through supporting elementary students with distance learning, serving as a standardized patient for genetic counseling students, and volunteering with Crisis Text Line and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Outside of school, I enjoy spending time with my dog, exploring nature, challenging myself with puzzles and escape rooms, and relaxing with diamond painting projects. I am thrilled to be pursuing my dream career as a genetic counselor at the University of Cincinnati!
Hello, I’m Claire! I grew up in Seattle, Washington, and I got my degree in biology with a concentration in pharmacology/toxicology. During undergrad, I served on the orientation team and as a peer mentor. In my culminating honors thesis, I partnered with the Latine/x community in Phoenix to explore what parts of their culture influence the decision to disclose or not disclose genetic and health information. This project allowed me to develop my qualitative research skills and explore one of my research interests in healthcare barriers. After graduating, I worked as a clinical research coordinator in gastroenterology and volunteered with the Crisis Text Line. I have also served on the executive board of the Genetic Counseling Prospective Student Network to increase awareness of the field and create a community where future GCs can come together. I look forward to this next life stage of being a GC student at UC! When I’m not at work or in school, I enjoy cooking, thrifting, going to farmer’s markets, and reading.
I grew up in Centerville, Ohio before attending the University of Texas at Austin. In May 2023, I received my Bachelor of Science in biology (genetics and genomics track!) from UT Austin, along with a minor in social and behavioral sciences. As an undergraduate, I worked as a lab assistant in a molecular biology lab and volunteered as a peer supporter for students coping with sexual assault and other forms of interpersonal violence. I also volunteered with a non-profit organization that hosts STEM competitions and develops educational resources for middle and high school students. My interest in genetic counseling started in high school and grew throughout the course of my undergraduate journey. Through my coursework in social sciences, I learned about disparities in healthcare and became passionate about how genetic counselors might target inequities in their practice and serve as advocates for their patients.
In my free time, I enjoy doing puzzles, keeping houseplants, and going to concerts. I am thrilled to join the University of Cincinnati Genetic Counseling Class of 2025!
I am originally from Danville, Illinois, and attended the University of Illinois where I graduated with a BS in integrative biology with a certificate in integrative health and a minor in Spanish. During my time as an undergraduate student, I had the opportunity to engage in a research internship project that explored systems-level genetics. Specifically, I focused on plant genetic diversity and its connection to the evolution of the root microbiome. As a result, I developed a great appreciation for research, prompting me to continue my involvement with the lab as an undergraduate research assistant. Additionally, I dedicated time to collaborating with the Illinois admissions and fundraising offices, advocating for affordable and accessible education. My efforts were particularly geared towards fostering inclusivity and addressing the role of underrepresented groups within the education system. As an undergraduate, I also spent time volunteering with the Crisis Text Line, Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, and Letters Against Isolation, allowing me to contribute to the well-being of others and engage with my community. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, baking, dancing, and unwinding with a good (or not) TV show.
Throughout my undergraduate career, I had the privilege of shadowing and interviewing genetic counselors, an experience that solidified my desire to pursue a career in the field. My fascination with science and research, and aspiration to help others, combined with my own family's history with disease and healthcare providers, has ultimately brought me to the University of Cincinnati! I am eagerly looking forward to embarking on the next chapter of my educational journey as I work towards becoming a genetic counselor.
Hi, my name is Hannah and I am a Cincinnati native. I graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2021 with a BS in biology and psychology. As an undergraduate, I was a research assistant at Cincinnati Children’s where I contributed to a study with the goal of further developing academic executive functioning skills in adolescents with autism spectrum disorders. As a Peer Leader, I also spent my time mentoring and teaching biology I review to first year students. I also participated on campus as a microbiology TA, Chi Omega sorority sister, and Barrett Cancer Center volunteer.
After graduating, I worked for a genetic testing company as a laboratory genetic counselor assistant. Prior to that I was a microbiology laboratory assistant where my passion for teaching and mentoring came to life. During this time, I was also volunteering at Autism Connections as a co-facilitator of a support group for parents of children with autism. These rewarding opportunities only strengthened my already existing passion for genetics and genetic counseling, which is why I am beyond excited to be a part of the University of Cincinnati Genetic Counseling class of 2025!
In my free time I enjoy reading, baking, traveling, and spending time with friends and family at Cincinnati Bearcat’s sporting events. Go Bearcats!