Class of 2019

2019Students Group crop

Audrey Morrissette

Morrissette Audrey

Audrey is from Laconia, NH. She graduated from Quinnipiac University in 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in Health Science Studies and minor in Psychology. She went on to pursue a Professional Science Master’s Degree in Health Care Genetics at the University of Connecticut, graduating in 2016. As an undergraduate student, Audrey developed an interest in cancer genetics, after interning at the Yale Cancer Center for Genetic Counseling. During graduate school, she completed an internship in Community Health Education at Dartmouth’s Norris Cotton Cancer Center, and worked as a Patient Experience Coordinator at a hospital in her hometown, before coming to Rutgers.

Why she chose Rutgers:
I chose Rutgers for a variety of reasons: location, program structure, the ability to be involved in research, clinical rotation sites, the faculty and program director, and the overall positive experience I had during interviews.

 

Caitlin O’Brien

OBrien CaitlinCaitlin is from Glenville, New York. She graduated from Hartwick College in Oneonta, NY in May of 2017, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Biology. During her time there she held internships with Family Planning and the Violence Intervention Program, working to educate the community about services that were available to them. In the spring of 2017, she presented her research on white and blue color stereotypes and the Pollyanna Effect at the Eastern Psychological Association conference in Boston.

Why she chose Rutgers:
I chose Rutgers because of the innumerable opportunities for research, clinical, and industry experience that New Jersey offers. I am excited to be joining the inaugural class because it gives us, as students, the ability to help mold the program. I am thrilled to be working with such an experienced and well-rounded faculty and I know that when I graduate I will be prepared to leave my mark on the genetic counseling profession.

 

Taylor Reeve

Reeve TaylorTaylor is from Cherry Hill, NJ. She is a graduate from Rutgers University Camden, January 2016 and majored in Biology with a minor in Psychology. After graduation, Taylor worked full time for an Endocrinologist in Cherry Hill, NJ, and continued volunteering at Contact (a Burlington county crisis hotline). She was a starting defender on the Rutgers Women’s soccer team in Camden, NJ, held the Parliamentarian role in her sorority and was a research assistant in a Psychology lab where they collected data to analyze memory. She is interested in researching Progeria, a rare genetic disorder which causes rapid aging of children.

Why she chose Rutgers:
I chose Rutgers as pioneering a new program was exciting to me! Rutgers placed great emphasis on obtaining not just hospital based rotations but also a great deal of exposure to industry roles. Genetic counseling is a rapidly advancing field and being part of a new program makes it easier to adapt to changes in field by gearing curriculum and clinical opportunities toward the way in which the field is moving. Even more of a draw for me was the location. Being in a program within the Tri-State area offers a wealth of opportunities, but more importantly, Rutgers is the FIRST program in New Jersey, allowing us to leave our mark!

 

Amanda Roth

Roth Amada

Amanda Roth is from Concord, North Carolina. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Minor in Chemistry. After graduation, she worked as a Crisis Response Assistant at the Orange County Rape Crisis Center and worked with people with disabilities through The Arc of the Triangle. During her junior year of college, she traveled to Panama to work in a medical clinic where a young girl with Treacher Collins syndrome arrived for healthcare. Since this experience, Amanda has had a strong research interest in rare genetic disorders and hopes to work in a specialty clinic after graduation.

Why she chose Rutgers:
I chose to attend Rutgers University because of the opportunities for leadership and ability to help shape a new program. I am also excited to explore New Jersey and the surrounding areas!

 

Laurie Simone

Simone Laurie

Laurie Simone is from Elmwood Park, New Jersey and graduated from Seton Hall University in 2012 with a major in psychology. Post-graduation, Laurie attended the post-baccalaureate pre-med program at William Paterson University and also worked as a job coach for adults with disabilities. Laurie was also the lead job coach of the new pilot program for students with disabilities, Project SEARCH, at Hackensack University Medical Center for their first academic year.

Why she chose Rutgers:
I chose to attend the genetic counseling program at Rutgers due to the program being geared towards the constantly evolving nature of the field, interest in being a pioneer in a new program, as well as the diverse teaching and clinical resources.

 

 

Francesca Spinosi

Spinosi Francesca

Francesca Spinosi is from Englishtown, NJ. She graduated from Rutgers University in 2017 and majored in Genetics with a certificate in Genetic Counseling as part of the School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program. As an undergraduate, Francesca was the Vice President of the Association of Undergraduate Geneticists, Service Director of Omega Phi Alpha, and Vice President of Community Enrichment of the Rutgers University Panhellenic Council. She also served as a crisis counselor, as a mentor to Rutgers University students with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and as a research assistant at the Waksman Institute of Microbiology in a C. elegans laboratory studying fertilization.

Why she chose Rutgers:
I chose Rutgers University because I felt as though the program was personally invested in each of the students, especially with the small class size. Having an understanding of the genetics department from my undergraduate experience, I knew that the faculty and resources available to students here are unparalleled. By being part of a new program, I wanted to leave an impact that would truly make a difference for students to come. I knew that studying at this institution would help me grow exponentially not only as a genetic counselor, but also as a person.