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Class of 2020
Rachel is from the Chicago suburbs and received her B.S. in genetics and psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While in Madison, she was involved in a dance organization, was the Vice President of her sorority, Alpha Xi Delta, and was an undergraduate researcher. She worked one-on-one with children on the Autism Spectrum and became a crisis counselor for Crisis Text Line. Since graduating, she completed the Genomic Advocacy Certificate at Indiana State University. She has been working as a genetic counseling assistant at GeneDx in Maryland for the past two years, gaining lots of experience in cardiology genetics. In her free time, she enjoys coffee, yoga, and spending time with her dog.
Ellen Fellers, a 2015 graduate of Red Oak High School and a 2018 graduate of the University of Northern Iowa with a major in Biology and a Chemistry minor, has been accepted into the Genetic Counseling Master’s program at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana. While at the university of Northern Iowa, Ellen was a member of the University Panther Marching Band and Basketball Pep Band for four years, was on the Dean’s List for eight semesters, was a member of National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and was an active member of the University’s Chemistry Club.
Amanda Hoff, is from Park Ridge, Illinois, a northwest suburb of Chicago, Illinois. She graduated in May of 2018 from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with a BS in Biology. This past January, she was able to travel with Calvin’s biology department to Ecuador and the Galapagos where she was able to swim with sharks, sea turtles, sting rays, sea lions, and penguins.
Cartney Knecht is originally from Pierre, SC and just graduated with a bachelor degree in Human Development and Family Studies from South Dakota State University with minors in Chemistry and Biology. She loves to travel and experience new places and things and is looking forward to attending Indiana State University for genetic counseling. She has been very passionate about genetic counseling since her mom and daunts were diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago. She is very excited and proud to be taking this next step and beginning this new journey.
Alexis Lash grew up in Idaho Falls. She recently graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in genetics and biotechnology and a minor in writing and rhetoric. While at BYU, Alexis assisted her professor with alpha-beta crystalline research, acted as a consultant for a biotech company, and helped teach bioethics. She has also worked with genetic counselors in pediatrics cancer genetics. All of these experiences have helped encourage her to pursue a masters in genetic counseling; a field that combines her desire to help others with her favorite subject – genetics. When she isn’t studying, she loves reading Jane Austin novels, watching chick flicks, and skiing through powder.
Audrey is from Plymouth, Indiana and completed her undergraduate education at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, with a major in Human Biology and a minor in Anthropology. During the summer, she spent her time volunteering with Camp PALS, a camp for young adults with Down Syndrome. After graduation, she worked as a genetic counseling assistant at St. Vincent women’s Hospital and Peyton Manning children’s Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana for a year. In her free time, Audrey enjoys photography, cheering for the St. Louis Cardinals, and baking pies.
Courtney Schuiteman, from Valparaiso, Indiana, graduated with honors from Valparaiso University, receiving a Bachelor’s degree in biology. While in school, she spent a lot of time working for the Career Center, where she helped students develop professional skills. She also traveled to provide medical care in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, volunteered with Opportunity Enterprises to provide day services for adults with disabilities, and spent time as a volunteer crisis counselor for a crisis hotline. She enjoyed being part of the World Banquet at Valpo, where for three consecutive years she joined a group to perform a Bollywood dance at the event. She loves food and cooking and in her free time, she also enjoys painting, eating ice cream, and looking longingly at pictures of puppies, because she really wants a dog of her own.
Samantha Witt, from Huntington, Indiana, received a B.A. in biology from DePauw University in Greencastle, IN. During her time at DePauw, she was a member of the Alpha chapter of Alpha Chi Omega, Order of Omega, a leadership honor society, and Psi Chi, a psychology honor society. She assisted with ecological research in DePauw’s Nature Park. After graduation, Samantha worked for Centerpointe Community Based Services where she provided case management to survivors of domestic violence. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, friends, and dogs.
Class of 2019
Courtney is from Mount Clemens, MI, and received her B.S. in Neuroscience with a minor in Latin at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. While in Ann Arbor, Courtney volunteered on a youth crisis line and worked as a patient companion for those in hospice. She also worked throughout her undergrad in a genetics research lab studying transcription factors, while still finding time to coach elementary and middle school Science Olympiad teams in genetics, fossils, and chemistry. Despite a busy schedule, she was very active in her professional chemistry fraternity, Alpha Chi Sigma. She comes from a family of teachers and coaches, and finds a lot of purpose in helping people learn about their genetics through a field like genetic counseling.
Nicole is from Chicago, IL. She volunteered with UpWard basketball and helped establish a local team for children with special needs. She majored in biology at the University of Illinois at Chicago. At UIC she was a research associate in a research lab studying the genetic risk factors of Alzheimer’s disease. She has interests in the expanding fields of neurogenetics and psychiatric disorders. In her free time Nicole likes to cook and cuddle with her cats.
Irene is from Diamond Bluff, WI. She majored in genetics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she devoted much of her time to population genetic research in mice and mentoring for women in science and engineering. Following undergrad she collected early development toxicology data working as a study technician for Covance in Madison, WI. She also spent a year volunteering as a youth crisis counselor at Briarpatch Youth Services. In her free time, she enjoys collecting cats and playing strategy games.
Kassi Rain is from Greencastle, Indiana. She completed her undergraduate education at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), where she majored in Psychology and minored in Biology. During her time as an undergraduate she worked in a psychology research laboratory for 3.5 years. She also interned for a genetic counselor at Franciscan St. Francis Health for 4 years. In her free time she likes to watch movies, spend time with friends and family, and play with her two dogs.
Katherine Ross graduated with a B.S. in Biology from California State University in Fresno, CA. As an active community advocate and volunteer, she was drawn to genetic counseling for the opportunity to help as both a genetics clinician and as an empathetic caregiver. Her research background is in science education and cancer biology, with professional interests in evidence-based and improving the international network(s) of genetic counselors. When she’s not working on projects and graduate research, Katherine loves to read, bake, and play with animals.
Brooke Sample is from Menomonie, Wisconsin. She has a bachelor's degree in Genetics and History from the University of Wisconsin - Madison. After she graduated, she worked as a special education paraeducator in a middle school for a year. She also worked as a Genetic Counseling Assistant at Prevention Genetics in Marshfield, Wisconsin and gained invaluable experience in laboratory genetic counseling. In her free time, she enjoys watching Hulu or Netflix and attending fitness classes such as yoga.
Samantha Toy is from Fort Wayne, IN. She earned her undergraduate degree at Indiana University Bloomington in biology with an area of concentration in molecular genetics, and her Masters Degree in biology at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. In preparation for her career, she worked in various advocacy settings including group homes for adults with intellectual disabilities, dementia care units, and a domestic violence shelter. She also enjoyed volunteering with science outreach programs teaching elementary students about STEM careers, and tutoring international students with Chi Alpha Ministry. Samantha spends her free time hiking, eating ice cream, and running.