Students and Alumni

Class of 2018

Tala Berro
Originally from just south of San Francisco, Tala moved to Boston and received a B.S. in biology from Boston College. During her junior year, she studied abroad in South Africa and volunteered with a mobile health clinic that served townships surrounding Cape Town. She has worked in a cognitive and affective neuroscience lab both during and after college. As the lab’s manager, she continued her investigation into the connection between sub-clinical social anxiety and emotional memory. She is also trained in crisis support and works as a hotline volunteer with the Rape, Assault, and Incest National Network. She spends her free time working with the organization Jewish Voice for Peace, practicing yoga, and reading fiction novels.

Brian Corner
Brian grew up in the quiet town of Scituate, RI before moving to South Florida for his undergrad at the University of Miami. He studied Chemistry and Education and was always seeking a career that encompassed both science and communication. He worked as a lab assistant in a graduate level chemistry lab as well as tutored students of all ages around Miami. He spent summers working on a charter boat out of RI assisting tourists with fishing and diving. He also interned at the RI Department of Health Laboratories doing water quality testing for the state. After graduating undergrad he moved to Colombia and taught English as a Second Language for a year. He also spent time volunteer teaching at a school for the blind. Back in the US, he was given the opportunity to intern with a genetic counselor in Denver, CO in a center for maternal fetal health. He quickly fell in love with the profession and was eager to learn more. After visiting BUMC, Brian was ecstatic at the idea of studying there and joining the ranks of the wonderful people he met there. In his free time, he likes basketball, ping pong, craft beer, and anything ocean related.

Lindsay Derby
Lindsay is from Santa Clara, CA, but spent many years living in Davis, CA. Lindsay went to school at the University of California, Davis and received her B.S. in Genetics and Genomics, with a minor in Psychology. During that time, she worked in a postharvest food safety lab as a research assistant. Lindsay also volunteered at the UC Davis MIND Institute, where she was able to work with children with neurodevelopmental disorders. After graduating, Lindsay worked as a clinical research coordinator at the MIND Institute with studies involving autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and fragile X tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS). She was able to shadow genetic counselors at the MIND Institute Genetics Clinic as well. In her free time Lindsay enjoys knitting, visiting with friends and family, and exploring the beautiful city of Boston!

Jessica Fallon
Jessica was born and raised in sunny San Diego, California and attended UCLA to get her B.S. in Human Biology and Society with a concentration in Historical and Social Studies of Science. During her time at school she filled her time with the UCLA Bruin Marching Band, the Tau Beta Sigma and Sigma Alpha Iota music organizations, contributing to the mental health advocacy organization Active Minds, working as an online listener for 7 cups of tea and the Crisis Text Line, heading up UCLA’s Genetic Counseling SIG, and working as a student volunteer in UCLA’s Pediatric Genetic Counseling department. Her other activities include movies, reading, playing the flute, listening to music and volunteering with IORG. She is so excited to be a part of the Genetic Counseling Program at BU, it is absolutely a pipe dream come true to join the amazing Class of 2018!

Christine Keywan
Christine Keywan moved to Boston from the University of Delaware where she majored in Biological Sciences with a minor in Disability Studies. Throughout her time in undergrad she was involved in an array of extracurricular activities which included both academic interests and athletic outlets. She became the president and co-founder of TEDxUD to spread local research developments and experiences with the UD community, and spent time each week as a Blue Hen Ambassador giving campus tours. She was worked as a camp counselor and head swim instructor at Camp Moe; a camp which was the first to integrate children with developmental disabilities with typically developing children. Most significantly, she worked at the Helen F Graham Cancer Center and Research Institute, where she was given the opportunity to conduct, present, and publish research on Lynch Syndrome and Familial Pancreatic Cancer, along with being able to practice leading cancer genetic counseling sessions under supervision of a wonderful set of genetic counselors who became her most esteemed mentors and friends. Christine is originally from Torrington, Connecticut and was welcomed to Boston by many family and close friends who have been the support system to whom she attributes much of her own success to. In her spare time, Christine enjoys competitive swimming, finding new chocolate shops in the city (there are way more than you may think), and anything outside or with the people she loves.

Kara Klemp
Kara is originally from St. Louis, Missouri and attended the University of Missouri – Columbia where she graduated in 2016 with a degree in biological sciences. Kara had her heart set on attending graduate school in Boston because of the city’s diverse population and wealth of educational resources. During her undergraduate career, she worked as a student research assistant in an OB/GYN and Women’s Health research laboratory and volunteered her time at a multitude of organizations such as, the Missouri Crisis Hotline and Cedar Creek Therapeutic Riding Center. During her senior year, she also gained experience as a student assistant for the genetic counselors at Ellis Fischel Cancer Center. Kara’s favorite pastimes include travelling, experiencing new cultures, visiting museums and watching a wide variety of television and film with her cat, Gatsby. She couldn’t be more thrilled to call Boston her new home!

Kaylin O’Brien-Miner
Kaylin is originally from rural Pennsylvania (York area) and attended Bucknell University where she received a B.S. in Biochemistry and Spanish. She spent an awesome semester abroad in Granada, Spain during her junior year of college, and fell in love with the language and culture. She hopes to one day be able to work with both English and Spanish speaking patients in clinic.  Kaylin was lucky to have two amazing internships at NIH over the summers during college where she worked with a genetic counselor that specialized in methylmalonic acidemia, an inborn error of metabolism. She’d dreamed about being a genetic counselor for a long time, but her summers at NIH confirmed that it was the career for her.  She enjoys volunteering for causes that she cares about, so she spent a lot of time in college teaching adult GED students and helping out on the RAINN crisis hotline. Now in Boston, she recently started a job as an intern in the cardiology department at Boston Children’s Hospital. In her free time she likes to be outside exploring, whether in nature or in the streets of Boston. She also watches Scandal and The Bachelor religiously, and loves going to zumba classes.

Ellie Peacock
Ellie is originally from Arlington, VA, just outside of Washington D.C.  She earned her undergraduate degree from Duke University in 2012, where she studied religion alongside her pre-med classes. Outside of class she spent her time mentoring younger students, helping to run freshmen orientation, volunteering in the Duke Cancer Center, and camping out for Duke basketball games. She most recently worked as a Genetic Counseling Assistant in the Cancer Genetics and Prevention Program at BIDMC. She has lived in Boston for four years, and while she misses good barbecue and pimiento cheese, she loves exploring New England with her husband. On the weekends, you can find her baking and cooking meals for friends, reading, hiking, and spending as much time as possible outside.

Naomi Wagner
Naomi is originally from San Diego, CA. She attended Pomona College (in the Los Angeles area), where she was a biology major and Spanish minor. She was also a member of the varsity cross country and track teams. After graduating in 2013, Naomi spent a year working in a neuroscience laboratory in Munich, Germany and then two years working as a clinical research coordinator in New York City. She found genetic counseling through shadowing experiences and is excited to join this fascinating, growing field. Outside of school, Naomi volunteers with Achilles International (a running group for athletes with disabilities) and Crisis Text Line (a text-based crisis hotline). Naomi loves staying active, traveling, and eating ice cream. Despite her California roots, she has also developed a love for East Coast seasons.

Ellen Xu
Ellen is from Toronto, Canada and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and Psychology from McMaster University. Throughout undergraduate years, she worked for a spinal rehabilitation program, managed a food bank, and obtained research experience in various laboratory settings. She discovered Genetic Counseling while conducting Developmental Biology research and was greatly drawn by the profession. In preparation for her career, she shadowed genetic counselors and volunteered on a crisis hotline. In her free time, she loves city exploring, nature trail hiking, and paddle-boarding. Being an avid coffee drinker, she is adjusting to incorporate Dunkin’ Donuts into daily life.


Class of 2019

Morgan DanowskiFullSizeRender (5)
Morgan is originally from Connecticut, but has lived in Boston for the past five years while completing her undergraduate degree at Northeastern University. She studied abroad in Florence, Italy before receiving a B.S. in Health Science with a minor in Psychology. She has pursued a career in genetic counseling since the start of her undergraduate degree, but this decision was solidified after working as a research assistant at The Manton Center for Orphan Disease Research at Boston Children’s Hospital. In her free time, Morgan enjoys traveling and exploring new restaurants here in Boston.

Meghan DeanFullSizeRender (9)
Meghan is a Massachusetts native, leaving only to pursue her Undergraduate degrees in Biology and Psychology from Franklin & Marshall College. With her family back in MA, Meghan returned in 2015 to work as a clinical research coordinator at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH). During her two years at BCH, Meghan conducted multi-center rare neurogenetic disease research studies focused on further characterizing the neurological and neurodevelopmental outcomes of individuals with Tuberous Sclerosis, PTEN Hamartoma Tumor Syndrome, and Phelan-McDermid Syndrome. These experiences only supplemented her lifetime dedication to advocacy for individuals with a variety of special needs. Meghan is a long-time participant and teacher of inclusion dance classes, and currently works as a teacher with the Boston Ballet’s Adaptive Dance Program. Meghan spends the rest of her time traveling with family and friends, running along the Charles River, pretending she’s a yogi, and trying all of Boston’s fabulous restaurants.

Katie DunnFullSizeRender (8)
Originally from Fairfax, Virginia, Katie found her home in Boston as a Behavioral Neuroscience major at Northeastern University. At Northeastern, Katie was an intern at The Manton Center for Orphan Disease Research at Boston Children’s Hospital. She continued this position after graduation as a full time Research Assistant, where she worked on genetic studies such as The BabySeq Project and the Beggs Congenital Myopathy Research Program. Katie also volunteers as a crisis hotline counselor for Parents Helping Parents, a 24-hour hotline that provides counseling and resources to parents in crisis. In her spare time, you can catch Katie scoping out (and Instagraming) Boston’s bustling restaurant scene, planning her next vacation, and spending time lakeside with her friends.

Chandler MeansFullSizeRender (3)
Chandler grew up in Simi Valley, California and attended San Diego State University where she graduated with a degree in biology. During her time at SDSU, she worked in the Cancer Disparities and Cancer Communications Lab where she was able to explore the implications of media in healthcare, as well as study the fears, concerns, and misconceptions associated with bio specimen donation. Chandler also worked as a resource counselor for Community Interface Services where she worked one-on-one with individuals with developmental disabilities. After graduation, she took a year off and traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina for a public health internship with InterAmerican Heart Foundation. Chandler also spent that year as a crisis counselor for Crisis Text Line and a caregiver at Right Choice In-home Care, which gave her additional exposure to individuals in the disability community. In her free time she loves to go camping, do yoga, read non-fiction books, and travel to new places. She is very excited about her move across the country and cannot wait to embrace all that Boston has to offer.

Madeline MillerFullSizeRender (6)
Born and raised in Colorado, Madeline studied Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and Spanish at the University of Colorado. During her college years she studied p53 in a cancer research laboratory as well as spent a semester abroad traveling Latin America and studying in Lima, Peru. Following graduation she volunteered with a Christian organization in Big Bend National Park, Texas for seven months before backpacking Europe. Most recently she worked in the emergency department as a medical scribe and volunteered as a Spanish/English medical interpreter at a free Denver healthcare clinic for underserved patients. In her free time she enjoys traveling, climbing mountains, running, and swing dancing with her husband.

Abby Sassaman FullSizeRender (1) (1)
Abby is originally from San Antonio, Texas and moved to California to attend UC Berkeley where she majored in Integrative Biology with a minor in Global Poverty. During her time as an undergraduate she was involved in an array of social impact organizations, which incorporated her passion for poverty alleviation and healthcare advocacy. This included volunteering with the local homeless population through the Suitcase Clinic, helping pilot the Decision Services team at UCSF to allow patients to make informed decisions about their care, and setting up mobile medical clinics in Honduras and South Africa. After her time at UC Berkeley, Abby moved to San Francisco where she spent three years at Counsyl in patient and clinic facing support and advocacy roles. Here she discovered the amazing potential of the genetic counseling field and became eager to get involved. To expand her counseling skill set, she spent the past year volunteering at a crisis hotline, catering to the elderly and disabled communities across the nation. One of her greatest passions is traveling and exploring new places, so she is eager to start a new adventure in Boston.

Courtney StudwellFullSizeRender (10)
Courtney is from Colchester, CT and graduated in 2017 from the University of Connecticut (Go Huskies!) with a B.S. in Diagnostic Genetic Sciences and a minor in Molecular and Cell Biology. Courtney recently completed a six-month internship at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in the Laboratory for Clinical Genomics and Advanced Technologies, where she was trained in molecular diagnostic techniques and completed a research project focusing on molecular HPV testing in low and middle income countries. While at UConn, Courtney served as a student leader for COPE, a program that teaches coping strategies to children going through difficult times, and volunteered as an HIV tester/counselor in a nearby city. Courtney also started figure skating at the age of 5 and was honored to represent UCONN at intercollegiate competitions throughout the east coast. She enjoys spending time with friends, binge watching Grey’s Anatomy or The Office, traveling, and anything that is nerdy and genetics related. She is looking forward to exploring all that the city of Boston has to offer!

Victoria SuslovitchFullSizeRender (2)
Victoria (Tori) is from New Hampshire and graduated from the University of Tampa with a degree in Biology and minors in Chemistry and Education. In her search for a career that combines science and service, she explored both public health and teaching experiences before finding genetic counseling. Tori studied abroad at the University of Oxford where she took tutorials in population health and sustainable agriculture. This experience led her to an internship at the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, where she worked primarily on policy reviews for vaccines and monoclonal antibodies. Tori have also worked in both general and special education settings, and is particularly interested in pediatric genetic counseling and the genetic aspects of autism spectrum disorders. Outside of work and school, Tori enjoy running, reading, cooking, and traveling.

Joanna UrliFullSizeRender (11)
Joanna is from Massapequa, NY, which is on Long Island. She is a graduate of the University of Alabama (Roll Tide!) with a degree in Biology with minors in Women’s Studies and Psychology. Joanna also had the opportunity to study abroad in Italy and have internships at Penn State and Mt. Sinai during her undergraduate career. She loves spending time with her big Italian family and doing their favorite activity together, which is eating! Joanna has two younger brothers who are twins and her best friends. They both just started college; one at Georgia Tech and one at the University of Maine. Joanna’s favorite things to do in her free time are watch college football, work with activist organizations, listen to folk music, and read pretty much any book she can get her hands on. She is excited to begin her career as a genetic counselor at Boston University, since attending BU for graduate school has been her plan since she was a senior in high school!

Ashley WongFullSizeRender (4)
Ashley was born and raised in Hong Kong where she attended an international school taught in both English and Chinese. Having gained exposure to the genetics field through interning at labs and shadowing a clinical geneticist, she knew she wanted to work in a field that encompassed both her interest in medical genetics and its psychosocial aspect. Ashley completed her undergraduate studies at Cornell University studying Biological Sciences with a concentration in Genetics, Genomics and Development. Ashley also volunteered as a peer counselor and worked in a plant genetics lab in college. In her junior year, she studied abroad in Paris where she discovered her love for farmer’s markets and cooking. One of Ashley’s favorite things to do in her spare time is to people watch at corner cafes with a black coffee, a croissant and a lot of sunshine.


CLASS OF 2017Class of 2017 Spring -1

Deanna Brockman – Boston, MA
Jazmine Gabriel- Harrisburg, PA
Emily Glanton – Boston, MA
Amanda Harding- Boston, MA
Beth Parks – Boston, MA
Renee Pelletier- Boston, MA
Ali Schwartz- Boston, MA
Molly Valle- Martha’s Vineyard, MA



Elli Brimble – Palo Alto, CA
Margaret Emmet – Boston, MA
Hayley Green-Morfesi – Boston, MA
Lauren Hogan – Boston, MA
Courtney Manning – Springfield, MA
Catie Neumann – Orange, CA
Emily Palen – Lewisburg, PA
Grace VanNoy – Boston, MA


CLASS OF 2015Class of 2015

Sarah Cochrane – Boston, MA
Casie Genetti – Boston, MA
Lauren Gotsell – Boston, MA
Alex Ing – Boston, MA
Amy Mueller – Boston, MA
Kelsey Newell – Boston, MA
Erika Palmaer – Boston, MA
Hillary Porter – Washington, DC




Lilly Torrey – Boston, MA
Shannon Stasi – Seattle, WA
Elizabeth Krieg – Boston, MA
Samantha Stickevers – Boston, MA
Tessa Field – Boston, MA
Phil Connors – Boston, MA
Sheila Sutti – Boston, MA
Elizabeth Smith- Atlanta, GA



CLASS OF 2013Class of 2013

Nadine Channaoui – Boston, MA
Laura Fisher – Buffalo, NY
Nan Doyle – Boston, MA
Carmelina Heydrich – Boston, MA
Marie Discenza – Boston, MA
Erica Vaccari – Boston, MA
Lindsay Conant – Portland, OR



CLASS OF 2012Class-of-2012

Shana White – Boston, MA
Natalie Vena – Boston, MA
Laurel Calderwood – Boston, MA
Tabitha Abrazinski – Chicago, IL
Kristin Levandoski – Englewood, NJ
Jennifer Walsh – Providence, RI
Andrea Muirhead – Boston, MA


CLASS OF 2011Class of 2011

Laura Fuerstman – Arlington, MA
Meg Sheehan – New York, NY
Kat Lafferty – Portland, ME
AJ Stuenkel – Chico, CA
Erin Hoffman – Denver, CO
Laura Benedict – Rockville, MD
Diana Toledo – Hanover, NH


CLASS OF 2010Class of 2010

Mari Morse – Portland, OR
Jilliane Miller Sotelo – Boston, MA
Kunal Sanghavi – Baltimore, MD
Erin Thorpe – San Diego, CA
Katharine Coles – Boston, MA
Jennifer Hardt Boomsma– Honolulu, HI
Jocelyn Davie – Hanford, CA


CLASS OF 2009class of 2009b

Emily Brown – Boston, MA
Ian Wallace – Pullman, WA
Meghan Connolly – Boston, MA
Jennifer Dick Hair – Rockville, MD
Denise Lautenbach – San Diego, CA
Molly McGinniss – Sacramento, CA




CLASS OF 2008Class of 2008

Leann Bartomioli – Rochester, NY
Tara Sousa – Washington, DC
Beth Hopkins – Wilmington, DE
Lindsay Paull – Washington, DC
Monica Dandapani – Boston, MA



CLASS OF 2007Class of 2007

Chandra Oksala Somerman – Lancaster, PA
Anya Revah – New York, NY
Amy Lovelette Hernandez – Boston, MA
Samantha Baxter – Boston, MA
Christina Choi – Singapore