Class of 2021

Alexandra Barbarese

Alexandra BarbareseAlex is from Moorestown, New Jersey. She graduated from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA with a degree in Biological Anthropology. As an undergraduate, Alex worked as a research assistant at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania on a project that explored the needs and experiences of genetic counselors with prenatal microarray testing. This experience inspired her to become a genetic counselor. After graduation, she worked in a clinical microbiology laboratory, volunteered as a crisis counselor with Crisis Text Line, and gained experience as a genetic counseling assistant at A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children. Alex chose Rutgers because of the reputable program leadership, strong sense of community within the program, and diverse clinical opportunities.

 

Matthew Emery

Matthew EmeryMatt is a New Jersey native from South Plainfield. He graduated from Seton Hall University in 2011 and 2014 with his BS and MS degrees in Biology. After graduation he spent a year working at Bioreference Laboratories in their GenPath Women’s Health Lab. Matt also spent four years performing research in genetics and genomics technology development at Mount Sinai’s Icahn School or Medicine. Matt chose the Rutgers program because of its great rotation opportunities and its fantastic teachers and counselors.

 

Melissa Gandhi

Melissa GandhiMelissa is from Lodi, New Jersey. She graduated from Rutgers University in May 2019, as a part of the School of Arts and Sciences Honors Program, with a major in Genetics and a minor in Psychology. As an undergraduate, she was a biology, statistics, and biochemistry tutor for the School of Arts and Sciences Honor Program, a member of Habitat for Humanity, and Vice-President of HOSA. She completed her Honors thesis in a mouse lab, studying how touch impacts the ability to move. Melissa chose Rutgers because of the diverse patient population she will be exposed to and the connection she made with the leadership during her interview. She looks forward to her rotations and growing as a student and a genetic counselor.

 

Natalie Jacob

Natalie JacobNatalie is from Newtown, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Stetson University in 2018 and majored in Molecular Biology with minors in Chemistry and Psychology. As an undergraduate, Natalie worked as a Resident Assistant, Teaching Assistant for Chemistry, as well as the Lead Peer Health Educator within the Wellness and Recreation Department. Following graduation, she worked as a Laboratory Genetic Counseling Assistant for PreventionGenetics, where she learned more about non-traditional roles of a genetic counselor. While in Wisconsin, she volunteered for the Children's Advocacy Center and as a SANE Advocate at the local hospital. Natalie chose Rutgers because of the immediate connection she felt to the leadership of the program as they are truly invested in each of their students. She is most excited about the diverse clinical rotations and specialty rotations that are available by being at Rutgers.

 

Olga Latosh

Olga LatoshOlga is from Minsk, Belarus but moved to South River, New Jersey at a young age. She graduated from Rutgers University in 2019, where she majored in Biological Sciences and minored in Psychology within the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. While an undergrad, Olga was a fieldworker at the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center and has been a TA for General Physics for the past three years. Through her undergraduate experience, Olga has seen the multitude of opportunities Rutgers has to offer as well as its affiliations with many nearby medical centers. This factored into her decision to continue her graduate education there. She also loves the program leadership and opportunity to do an industry rotation in the second year.

 

Enrique Lopez

Enrique LopezEnrique is originally from Poro Alegre, Brazil, andmoved to Marlton, New Jersey at a young age. He graduated from Rutgers University from the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences in May of 2019 with a Bachelors degree in Biological Sciences and a minor in Psychology.. As an undergrad, Enrique worked in a genetics research laboratory, studying mice with postpartum depression that were stathmin deficient. Enrique chose Rutgers for his graduate work because as the only program in New Jersey, it offered unique experiences that were not available in other programs. The faculty was a major factor as they are the most caring, resourceful, and well-planned people you will meet. He felt they cared about the students and that was extremely important in his decision. He is excited to continue his studies at Rutgers.

 

Erin McGraw

Erin McGrawErin is from Youngstown, Ohio. She graduated from Duquesne University in 2018, where she majored in Biochemistry and minored in Mathematics. As an undergraduate, she was a member of the American Chemical Society and the National Society of Leadership and Success. She also worked in a research lab that studied Fragile X syndrome from a biochemical standpoint. After graduation, she volunteered in Mercy Health Youngstown’s oncology infusion department, where she was introduced to the genetic counseling profession. Erin chose Rutgers because it was a newer program whose leaders were open to new ideas. Furthermore, she felt that both the leaders and the students created a welcoming environment.

 

Alexis Morgan

Alexis MorganAlexis is from Walnutport, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Wilkes University in 2018 with a degree in Biology and a minor in Neuroscience. As an undergraduate, Alexis was involved in the National Honors Society, biology honors society, member of the women’s volleyball team, and served as a teacher’s assistant and resident assistant. She also participated in research for a genetics lab, studying novel genes affected by the EGFR pathway in Drosophila melanogaster. After graduation, she worked at Geisinger as a genetic counseling assistant in cancer genetics and research, as well as volunteering for the Crisis Text Line. Alexis is excited for the many diverse clinical rotation sites and contributing to a fairly new program.

 

Kelly Roche

Kelly RocheKelly is originally from Downingtown, Pennsylvania. She graduated from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. At NC State, Kelly majored in Genetics and minored in Psychology. During her time as an undergraduate, she enjoyed learning more about genetics while assisting in a plant biology lab studying Arabidopsis thaliana her freshman and sophomore year. Kelly also spent a summer during her time as an undergraduate student interning at a shelter for youth facing homelessness and other crises. Kelly chose Rutgers because of the great learning environment. She is excited to continue her journey to becoming a genetic counselor here at Rutgers.