Students and Alumni
FIRST YEAR STUDENTS
Originally from Buffalo, New York, Deanna was very excited to have the opportunity to move to the city Boston for her graduate studies. In May of 2015 she received her B.S. in Biology with a psychology minor from SUNY Geneseo in upstate NY. During her time at Geneseo, Deanna worked as a genetics tutor and as a student researcher studying epigenetic modifications in E. coli. She also served as a peer advocate for her school’s peer-to-peer phone and Internet helpline service. It was her love of science and desire to work with people that made genetic counseling the perfect fit! After her junior year of college, Deanna spent the summer at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo where she interned with a group of genetic counselors and completed a research project focusing on the changes in standard of care for cancer genetic testing over the last decade. In her free time, Deanna enjoys paddle boarding, crafting, practicing yoga, and exploring new places around Boston!
Prior to moving to Boston, Jazmine Gabriel lived outside of Albany, NY in an old farmhouse with a big red barn across the street. She moved to Eugene, Oregon after college to pursue a PhD in philosophy at the University of Oregon, and it was her dissertation research in the philosophy of biology and bioethics that prompted her interest in genetic counseling. She has been teaching philosophy to undergraduates since 2009, but when she wasn’t grading or prepping for class, she could be found gardening and canning vegetables with her husband, jogging through the woods on the dirt path outside her house, meowing at her cats (they meow back), and complaining about owning a dog (he’s cute and sweet, but still a dog). She also enjoys photographing and painting interesting textures, shadows, and shapes—as well as taking blurry cell-phone pictures of the many creatures she encounters on her walks through the woods.
Emily is originally from the Wine Country of California, north of San Francisco, which was a beautiful place to grow up. She started dreaming of moving to Boston in middle school, and in high school she always hoped to go to graduate school in Boston after going to Los Angeles for college. She earned a BA in Spanish language at UCLA in 2015, and while there she was lucky to have amazing experiences in internships at Ambry Genetics, LA County USC Keck Cancer Center, UCLA Jonsson Cancer Center, and online peer counseling through 7cupsoftea.com. She loves to go antiquing, home decorating, reading, doing yoga, and visiting her family. After dreaming of BU’s GC program for the past two years, it is truly a dream come true to be joining the program with the class of 2017!
Amanda is originally from Seattle, Washington, but fell in love with Boston after visiting family in the city. She attended the University of Washington and graduated with a degree in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology in 2014. During that time, Amanda worked as a lab assistant and volunteered with multiple organizations, including Seattle children’s Hospital and a local therapeutic riding center. She has since spent her time working as a genetic counseling assistant at the UWMC Medical Genetics Clinic. In her spare time, Amanda enjoys running, bouldering, sailing, horseback riding, and playing her flute. She (and her two kitties) could not be more excited to start this new adventure in Boston!
Born and raised in the small village of Byfield, Massachusetts, Beth loves uncovering all the opportunities that Boston has to offer! Beth earned her B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Throughout her undergraduate career Beth had the opportunity to intern at Pfizer for three summers, most notably researching therapeutics for hemophilia and sickle cell disease. She also participated in a National Student Exchange Program at the University of Hawaii at Hilo where she volunteered in a special needs classroom at a local elementary school and explored the Big Island. In her spare time, Beth enjoys running, spending time with her family, and crafting!
For the past 5 years, Renee has been lucky enough to consider herself a Bostonian, as she attended Northeastern University (BU’s rival) for her undergrad. She studied Biology with a minor in Music Industry, and she fell in love with genetic counseling while doing her first co-op with Meghan Towne, a genetic counselor at The Manton Center for Orphan Disease Research, a genetic research study at Boston Children’s Hospital. She now works as a full-time research assistant doing recruitment and enrollment for both The Manton Center and The BabySeq Project, a new research study investigating the impact of incorporating whole exome sequencing into the clinical care of newborns. Additionally, she volunteers as a crisis hotline worker at Samaritans in Boston and is a “Baby Cuddler” at Boston Children’s Hospital. She is originally from the small town of Amesbury, MA, where her parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. grew up, so you could say she has some strong roots in New England. In her spare time, she loves writing and performing her music, skiing, traveling with friends and family, and exploring the beautiful city of Boston!
Ali was born and raised in Pearl River, NY, a small suburb of New York City. She graduated from NYU with a BA in psychology and a minor in genetics. During her last year of college, Ali received the Dean’s Undergraduate Research Fund for her research on perception between partners in relationship conflict. She first discovered her passion for genetics when she was assigned to do a year-long presentation on Tay-Sachs disease for a molecular cell biology class. Ali then pursued genetic counseling by interning at Beth Israel Medical Center, in the Michael J. Fox Foundation’s Genetics of Parkinson’s studies. There she shadowed genetic counselors on the research team, and collected data by interviewing participants for their family medical histories. To gain counseling experience, Ali volunteered at a mental health practice as an intake counselor. Presently, Ali works at Beth Israel as a data manager for a study investigating the relationship between family medical history and Parkinson’s disease. Ali has always loved Boston and is excited to finally live there! In her spare time, Ali loves baking with her twin sister, watching movies, and binge watching shows on Netflix.
Molly is a Boston native, leaving briefly after high school to attend college at the University of New Hampshire, where she studied Health Management and Policy and Public Health. Upon graduating in 2009, she returned to Boston to fulfill her dream of working at Boston Children’s Hospital. While at BCH, she has worked as a Clinical Research Coordinator in Neurobiology, mainly focusing on longitudinal neuro-developmental studies looking at early biomarkers for epilepsy and autism spectrum disorder in infants with a rare genetic disorder. Molly loves books and usually has a few going at once, much to the chagrin of her roommates who she will readily ignore while finishing the latest thriller. On weekends she often spends time on the Cape, where she loves to be out on the water, fishing or sailing with her family, which includes her twin sister and five amazing nieces and nephews.
SECOND YEAR STUDENTS
Elli is a Canadian who finds herself in Boston after falling in love with both the city and the BU genetic counseling program. After graduating from Western University with a BSc in genetics, she worked for a year studying epigenetic regulation of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition in renal proximal tubular cells at McMaster University. The many opportunities at this position influenced her decision to enter a MSc program at the University of Toronto in the department of Molecular Genetics. There, she studied gene contributions to the neurological profile of Williams-Beuren syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by a microdeletion on chromosome 7. Studying at one of the great human genetic hubs and working with an incredibly inspiring patient population only strengthened her passion for genetic medicine. Throughout this time, she was active in her community, volunteering with underprivileged youth and working with the Toronto Distress Centre on both the Distress and Crisis Link hotlines. She was also fortunate enough to shadow the wonderful genetics team at the Fred A Litwin Family Centre for Genetic Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital. In her spare time, Elli enjoys thinking about Drake, EZH2, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Proving once again that mother is always right, Margaret first learned about genetic counseling during a breakfast table life-chat with her mom. She has since fallen in love with a field that represents a meaningful blend of science, medicine, education, advocacy and endless possibilities. Margaret grew up in Haddonfield, New Jersey. In 2013, she graduated magna cum laude from Villanova University with a B.S. in biology and a minor in Spanish language. Margaret explored her passion for travel as an undergrad, studying abroad in Ireland and Spain. She also rode for Villanova’s equestrian team, volunteered at a therapeutic horseback riding program and as a counselor at Camp Sunshine, and worked with Mass Audubon to develop teaching tools for their wildlife sanctuary. After graduation, Margaret moved to Wellfleet, Massachusetts and spent a year working with a wonderful group of primary care providers as medical assistant. In her free time, Margaret enjoys cooking, yoga, spending time outdoors and worshiping her cat, Hazel. Moving to Boston and attending Boston University is a dream come true!
Hayley is originally from New Zealand but attended Stony Brook University in New York, where she ran on the cross country and track teams. Her athletic highlight was becoming an All American in cross country. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.S in psychology and minor in biology and went on to complete an MA in Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care and Bioethics at Stony Brook. During this degree the ethical areas of genetic testing were often discussed, which made her decide that she wanted to become a genetic counselor. In her final semester she was fortunate to be able to spend some time with genetic counselors and other staff in the NICU at the Stony Brook University Hospital. After graduating with her MA in 2013, she worked with staff in the NICU to turn her capstone into a review article for the Journal of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, which was published in 2014. Before coming to BU Hayley lived in Australia for a year, where she worked part time at Family Planning Queensland. She also helped a patient with Multiple Sclerosis do his physical therapy exercises, and temporarily co-facilitated a self-help group for drug addicts. In her spare time she enjoys baking gluten-free goodies while listening to Disney music, exploring Boston, planning her upcoming wedding, and running many miles along the Charles!
Originally from snowy and spirited Buffalo, New York, Lauren is already charmed by the vibrant city of Boston. She studied Human Development at Cornell University, with a minor in Policy Analysis and Management. During her college years, Lauren dazzled the stage with her musical theatre group, Anything Goes! and worked as a Marketing and Public Relations intern at Niagara Hospice. Her passion for genetic counseling was sparked while working as an administrative assistant in the Lymphoma Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Eager to gain counseling experience, Lauren volunteered as a Recovery Room Assistant at Planned Parenthood of NYC and as a “Big Buddy” at Comfort Zone Camp, a bereavement camp for children. Lauren is currently working part-time at Dana Farber Cancer Institute, creating electronic pedigrees for the genetic counseling team. When she has a free moment, Lauren can be found singing jazz standards, oil painting, dancing in step aerobics classes, exploring Boston with friends, and practicing yoga.
Courtney is originally from Connecticut and received a B.S. in Psychology with a research concentration and Neuroscience minor from the University of Connecticut in 2011. After that she worked for three years as a research assistant at UConn for the Early Detection Study of Pervasive Developmental Disorders, which validated the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers, Revised (M-CHAT-R). While there, she published an autism spectrum disorders fact sheet for the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology, was a co-author on several conference posters, and is currently working as a co-author on a paper examining the concordance of a general developmental screener and an autism-specific screener in identifying children at risk for autism spectrum disorders. Courtney discovered genetic counseling through this research experience when working with multiplex families, and has since been elated to start her career in the field, especially with the diversity that Boston has to offer. In her spare time, Courtney enjoys repurposing furniture from the side of the road, cooking Thai and Indian dishes, taking pottery classes, working as a bartender, and cake decorating.
Originally from Philadelphia, Catie stayed local for her undergraduate career at Lafayette College. She graduated magna cum laude in 2012 and received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology. During her junior year of college, she traveled abroad to the amazing Sydney, Australia. There she worked with cystic fibrosis patients at lung transplant clinic and became interested in careers dealing with genetic disorders. A quick google search turned up genetic counseling, and she never looked back! After graduation, she volunteered at a domestic violence hotline until finding a job in and falling in love with the city of Boston. There she worked as a research assistant for a study that examined the genetic and environmental factors of Macular Degeneration. After moving to Los Angeles, she began working at UCLA on a clinical trial for lung cancer patients. Although the weather in Boston will be a bit colder, she is excited to experience seasons again and watch her brother play soccer for the New England Revolution. In her spare time, you’ll find her running, cheering on Philadelphia sports teams (Sorry Boston), and looking up YouTube videos of cute baby animals.
Emily is originally from central New Jersey but moved to Pennsylvania with her mom and her obese (“pleasantly plump”) schnauzer, Fred for her teenage years. She attended Hamilton College, a small liberal arts school in upstate NY, where she was a Neuroscience major. Upon graduating in May of 2014, Emily began prepping for the move to Boston, a city she’s dreamed of living in since she was a little girl. Her non-practical (but sometimes practical) hobbies include speed walking, interpretive dancing, croquet, acrostic poetry, and consuming coffee in all shapes and forms. Her irrational phobias include dense fog, slipping on icy sidewalks, and large bodies of water (she’s working on them, though). Genetic counseling has been her dream since high school, and her related experiences include shadowing, a semester-long internship at the New England Center for Children, working as a counselor at a camp for children with special needs, and volunteering for a domestic violence hotline.
A native of New Hampshire, Grace has always loved New England. Her interest in genetic counseling began during high school in a biomedical ethics course. She pursued her love of science at Bates College, where she studied biology and anthropology. As an undergraduate, Grace was involved in establishing and volunteering at a free health clinic in Lewiston, ME. Additionally, she interned in an art class at a center for adults with disabilities. She was also very involved in her college’s office of admission. While researching novel techniques to prevent transmission of mitochondrial DNA disorders as an intern at the Montefiore Einstein Center for Bioethics, her interest in genetic counseling was reawakened. Following a semester studying in Copenhagen, Grace spent her senior year focusing her coursework to prepare her to pursue a career in genetic counseling. In the spring of 2014, Grace graduated with a B.S. and was inducted into Sigma Xi for her thesis research on chronic wound biofilms. In her free time, Grace enjoys yoga, doing New York Times crosswords, cooking, and learning to navigate the T so that she can explore Boston.
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
CLASS OF 2014
Lilly Torrey – New York, NY
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
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 2012
Shana White – Boston, MA
Natalie Vena – Boston, MA
Laurel Calderwood – Boston, MA
Tabitha Abrazinski – Chicago, IL
Kristin Levandoski – Boston, MA
Jennifer Walsh – Providence, RI
Andrea Muirhead – Boston, MA
CLASS 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 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