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Independent Study Projects

Each student in the MGC Program successfully completes an independent study project prior to graduation. The MGC Program is thrilled to announce the redesign of the independent study project. All students complete HGEN 703 (Research for Genetic Counselors in the Fall and Spring semesters of their first academic year). During this course, the students learn valuable tools in genetic counseling research, institutional review board (IRB) protocols and policies, and develop their own project. Students also gain instruction on small grant applications. Projects are submitted to the IRB for approval in the summer between the first and second year of training. Data collection and analysis is completed in the second year of study with the final journal ready manuscript completed prior to graduation. Students are encouraged to submit their manuscript for publication in addition to an abstract for platform or poster presentation at a national meeting.

Class of 2017

Thesis Projects:

Parkinson’s Disease: Patients’ Interest in Genetic Counseling and their Knowledge and Attitudes on Genetics and Genetic Testing
Dina Alaeddin

Investigating Student –Athletes’ Experiences with the NCAA Sickle Cell Trait Testing Program
Elizabeth Cutting

Genetic Counselors’ Experience with and Opinions on the Management of Newborn Screening Incidental Carrier Findings
Kristen Leppert

Preferences of Individuals with Familial Hypercholesterolemia on Cascade Screening
Rachel Schwiter

Patient Perspectives of Expanded Carrier Screening
Patrick Semesky

High School Biology Teachers’ Personal Experience with Genetic Counseling: An Opportunity to Collaborate and Increase Genetic Literacy
Kelsey Stauff

Genetic Counseling Awareness and Recruitment: How are Students Finding Information about the Genetic Counseling Profession
Katelyn Steike

An Investigation of the Satisfaction with the Diagnosis Experience of Hispanic Parents of Children with Down Syndrome
Julianne Whitleigh


Class of 2016

Thesis Projects:

Exploring the Psychosocial Experiences of Women who had Genetic Counseling via Telemedicine for Recently Diagnosed Breast Cancer
Jennifer Billiet 2016

*The Implementation of Whole Exome and Genome Sequencing based on Genetic Counseling Specialty
Allysa Blesson 2016

*Diagnosis of Fragile X Syndrome: A Pre- and Post-diagnosis Comparison of Carrier Mothers’ Emotional and Support Experiences
Amanda Catchings 2016

Exploring the Prenatal Genetic Counseling Experience for Social Mothers in Same-Sex Couples
Jennifer Gay 2016

*Endometrial Cancer Risk Perception in Women Diagnosed with Lynch Syndrome
Monique Lubaton 2016

*Career Advising about Genetic Counseling: A Look at the Current State of Familiarity Undergraduate Career Advisors have with Genetic Counseling
Carolyn Rogers 2016

The Impact of Clinical Genetics Exposure on Residents' Utilization of Clinical Genetics Skills and Genetic Counseling Services
Erin Syverson 2016

*Presented at NSGC 2016


Class of 2015‌

Thesis Projects:

Assessment of Current Practice and Athletic Trainers’ Knowledge of NCAA Sickle Cell Trait Screening
Melissa Crandall 2015

Barriers in Communication and Available Resources to Facilitate Conversation about Infertility with Girls Diagnosed with Turner Syndrome
Jessica King 2015

Recent Graduates’ and Current Students’ Perceptions of Training in Psychiatric Genetic Counseling
Ashley Low 2015

Investigating the Process of Authoring Genetic Disorder Blogs
Emily Pape 2015

Patient Attitudes Toward Informed Consent Regarding Incidental Findings in Whole Exome Sequencing
Kathleen Ray 2015

Factors Influencing the Assessment of Religion in Genetic Counseling Sessions
Kristopher Wold 2015


Class of 2014

Thesis Projects:

Current Practices in Breast Cancer Genetic Counseling for a Variant of Uncertain Significance: Perspectives of Genetic Counselors and Implications for the Profession
Ashley Allenby 2014

An Investigation Into The Factors That Influence Parental Decision To Disclose Carrier Status To Daughters In Families With Hemophilia
Katharine Bisordi 2014
Poster presentation at 2014 NSGC conference

Assessment of the Readability of Genetic Counseling Patient Letters
Emily Brown 2014
Poster presentation at 2014 NSGC conference

Huntington Disease: An Evaluation of Factors Affecting the Disclosure Process
Sonal Desai 2014

Topics of Discussion in Families with Youth with Special Health Care Needs during Healthcare Transition 
Caitlyn Grabarits
Poster presentation at 2014 NSGC conference

Does Providing a Pre-visit Information Sheet on Genetic Testing Improve Client Preparedness for Pre-test Counseling?
James Welch 2014


Class of 2013

Thesis Projects:

Opinions on Communicating Hereditary Cancer Information within the Family: The If, When, and How of BRCA ½
Christine Bell 2013
Poster presentation at 2013 NSGC conference

Mutuality in the Marital Relationship in Huntington’s Disease
Christopher Ciliberto 2013

Assessment of Healthcare Providers’ Awareness of Barriers to Ethnicity-Based Carrier Screening: The Potential Role of the Universal Carrier Screen
Alix D’Angelo 2013

Quality of Life for Families with a Child with Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS): Differences between Families Based on the Child’s Primary Residence Location
Alena Egense 2013
Poster presentation at 2013 NSGC conference

An Assessment of Music Exposure in Children with Down Syndrome
Jeni Herrera-Mullar 2013
Poster presentation at 2013 NSGC conference

Genetic Counseling Effectiveness and its Psychological Impact in the Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Setting
Jennifer Sabatino 2013
Poster presentation at 2013 NSGC conference

Genetic Counselors’ Understanding and Assessment of Eating Disorders in a Prenatal Setting
Katilin Sesock 2013


Class of 2012

Thesis Projects:

Assessing Certified Nurse Midwives’ Knowledge and Feedback of Newborn Screening Education Tools
Chloe Farkas 2012

An Investigation of Genetic Counseling for Coronary Artery Disease Susceptibility
Kristin Maloney 2012

A Comparison Study Evaluating Screening Practices Post Genetic Counseling in Individuals with Lynch Syndrome versus Individuals with HNPCC
Kathryn Orio 2012
Poster presentation at 2012 NSGC conference and at 2012 CGA conference

Assessment of Genetic Counseling Satisfaction among Adolescent Patients
Elysia Pagano 2012

An Assessment of Financial Barriers for Adolescent to Adult Transition Clinics
Linda Rodgers 2012

An Assessment of Transition Services Provided by Genetic Counselors and the Training Received for These Roles
Darrow Speyer 2012


Class of 2011

Thesis Projects:

A Survey of How Genetic Counselors Access Online Genetics-Related Information
Jessica Abel 2011

The Use of Complimentary and Alternative  Medical Treatments in Individuals with Smith-Magenis Syndrome
Rio Friday 2011

Patient Education and Subsequent Satisfaction with Genetic Counseling. An Assessment of  the Clinical Utility of "Making Sense of  your Genes: a Guide to Genetic Counseling"
Valerie Kantor 2011

Beyond the Book: Assessment of High School Biology Teachers use of Textbooks and Supplementary Materials to Teach Genetics
Sara Shelley 2011

Determining the Efficacy of Educating Consumers about Lysosomal Storage Disorders with a PowerPoint Presentation
Jessica Stransky 2011

A Study of the Cystic Fibrosis Newborn Screen
Vaishnavi Subramani 2011


Class of 2010

Thesis Projects:

Developing Pre-Operation Support Materials for Children and Adolescents with Loeys-Dietz Syndrome Undergoing Invasive Cardiovascular Surgery: A Pilot Study
Laura Hutchins

2010 Motivation for the Amish Populations Participation in Genetic Research
Casey Lord 2010 Poster presentation at 2010 NSGC conference

Newborn Screening: An Attitude and Knowledge Assessment of Nurses and Other Healthcare Providers in Maryland
Johanna Loewenstein

2010 Do Good, Not Harm: Assessment of the Guidance and Training Provided by Disease Advocacy Organizations (DAO’s) to Prepare their Members to Become Effective Resources for Newly Diagnosed Individuals and Families Joining their Group
Zlatka Kostova

2010 Support Service Needs of Adult Siblings of Persons with Cornelia de Lange Syndrome
Veronique Weinstein, 2010 Poster presentation at 2010 NSGC conference

The Impact of Children with Special Needs on Reproductive Decisions: Parent Reports of Birth Order and Influential Factors within the Child, Family, and the Community
Jennifer Weiss 2010 Poster presentation at 2010 NSGC conference


Class of 2009

Thesis Projects:

Assessing Genetic Counselors’ Knowledge About Spinal Muscular Atrophy and Attitudes Toward a Carrier Screening Program
Natalie M. Beck 2009 Platform presentation at 2009 NSGC conference

Is it Enough? A Review of High School Genetics Content and Its Role in Promoting Biologic Literacy and Informed Decision Making in Genetic Counseling
Lauren E. Doyle 2009

Genetic Counseling for Pediatric Neuromuscular Disorders in Neuromuscular Clinics: A Survey of Parents’ Experiences and Genetic Knowledge
Jacquelyn A. Francis 2009 Platform presentation at 2009 NSGC conference

Genetic Counselors’ Experience with Adolescent Patients in the Prenatal Genetic Counseling Session
Catherine M. Griswold 2009 Poster presentation at 2009 NSGC conference

An Assessment of Current Knowledge, Practice and Needs of Genetic Counselors and Diabetes Educators Regarding Counseling Patients with Diabetes Mellitus (DM) and Available Genetic Testing
Stephanie E. Miller 2009 Poster presentation at 2009 NSGC conference

Class of 2008

Thesis Projects:

Determination of Risk Assessment Protocols or Midtrimester Amniocentesis in Prenatal Care Centers
Jodie M. Martin 2008 Poster presentation at 2008 NSGC conference

The Use of Invasive Prenatal Diagnostic Tests in Patients with a History of Infertility
Carolyn M. Dinsmore 2008 Platform presentation at 2008 NSGC conference

The Mother-Daughter Breast Cancer Connection: Risk Perception, Cancer Worry and Impact of Event Study
Rosemarie C. Keefe 2008 Poster presentation at 2008 NSGC conference

Assessment of Physicians' Screening Practices and Knowledge of Genetic Disorders in the Ashkenazi Jewish Population
Andrea M. Short 2008 Poster presentation at 2008 NSGC conference

Attitudes of Genetic Counselors Toward a Pictorial Representation of Genetic Disease
Karen R. Siklosi 2008 

Class of 2007

Thesis Projects:

Comparing Family History Information as Recorded in a Family Medicine Chart Versus that Obtained by a Genetic Counselor
Laura A. Krass 2007 Platform presentation at 2007 NSGC conference

Core Competencies in Family History for All Health Care Professionals
Emily A. Malouf 2007 Platform presentation at 2008 NSGC conference

Current Resources, Methods, and Strategies for the Identification of Clinically Important Cytogenetic Abnormalities: A Survey and Independent Analysis
Aimee Piurek 2007 Platform presentation at 2007 NSGC conference

Prediction of Parenting Stress Levels Using Maladaptive Characteristics Observed in the Cornelia DeLange Syndrome Behavioral Phenotype
Elizabeth Peterson Platt 2007 Poster presentation at 2007 NSGC conference

An Examination of Sleep Disturbances in Cornelia DeLange Syndrome
Georgette Saba 2007 Poster presentation at 2007 NSGC conference

Prevalence of Six Co-Morbid Non-Bladder Conditions in Multiplex Families with IC/PBS; a Case-Controlled Study
Rebecca Crosetto 2007 

Class of 2006

Thesis Projects:

Primary Care Screening for Hereditary Cancers
Melissa Fe Kramer 2006 Poster presentation at 2006 NSGC conference and at 2006 ASHG conference

Assessing the Barriers to Newborn Screening in the Primary Care Setting
Lucy H. Talbot 2006 Poster presentation at 2006 NSGC conference

Effects of Family History on the Quality of Life in Patients with Interstitial Cystitis
Ania W. White 2006 

A Parent’s Assessment of the Individual Educational Plan for Children with Down syndrome in Maryland
Brad Williams 2006 Poster presentation at 2006 NSGC conference

Development of an Assay to Detect Pepsin in Respiratory Aspirates of Children to be used in the Diagnosis of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Megan Skinner 2006 

Class of 2005

Thesis Projects:

Behavioral Phenotype and Predictors of Maladaptive Behaviors in Cornelia de Lange Syndrome
Colleen Landy 2005Poster presentation at 2005 NSGC conference and at 2005 ASHG conference

Comparison of the Dietitian and Genetic Counselor Professions As a Model for Professional Advancement
Jessica Scott 2005 Poster presentation at 2005 NSGC conference

I'd Rather Be FISHin': Detection of Chromosome 6q Abnormalities in Lymphoid Malignancies Using Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization
Aliza Sara Ricklis 2005  

Development of Educational Materials for First Degree Relative of Individuals with UninformativeBRCA1/2 Test Results and Determining the Interest for Intervention and Support
Heather Marie Bremmer 2005  

Health Providers’ Genetics Education: A Needs Assessment from Consumers of Genetics Services
Chana Esther Fogel 2005 

Class of 2004

Thesis Projects:

Qualitative Study Investigating the Knowledge and Attitudes of Obstetricians Regarding Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis
Stephanie Ashley 2004 Poster presentation at 2004 NSGC conference

Association Between Polymorphisms in Cytochrome P450CYP3A (CYP3A5) and Tamoxifen Metabolism in Breast Cancer Patients
April Deigert 2004 Poster presentation at 2003 ASHG conference

Group Study on Eighteen Children with Holoprosencephaly: Do Facial and Clinical Measurements Uphold or Refute the Face Predicting the Brain
Whitney Ducaine 2004 Poster presentation at 2004 Holoprosencephaly conference

Assessment of the Effect of Prenatal Vitamin Use on AV Canal Defects in the Down Syndrome Population
Kyla Schmidt 2004  

Class of 2003

Thesis Projects:

Surveying obstetric and neonatal nurses about carrier screening for cystic fibrosis
Scott Audlin 2003 Platform presentation at 2003 NSGC conference

Assessing the attitudes of physicians performing preimplantation genetic diagnosis toward controversial applications of this technology as a prenatal diagnostic tool
Karen Benson 2003 Platform presentation at 2003 NSGC conference

The Predictive value of family history for Neuropsychiatric phenotypes in young adults with Down syndrome
Kathryn Mosman 2003 Poster presentation at 2003 NSGC conference

Incorporation of a Genetic Education Module and Its Impact on Students’ Genetic Knowledge and Role Definition: A Survey of Graduate Nursing Students
Cheryl Pendergrass 2003 Poster presentation at 2003 NSGC conference

Class of 2002

Thesis Projects:

Characterization of Psychiatric Patients Diagnosed with a 22q Deletion: Implications for Genetic Counseling
Crystal Tichnell 2002 Platform presentation at 2002 NSGC conference

The Relationship Between Genetic Counselors and Support Groups
Elizabeth Kramer 2002 

Supplemental Newborn Screening Using Tandem Mass Spectrometry: Attitudes of Parents, Pediatricians, and the Public of Maryland
Rebecca Kern 2002 Poster presentation at 2002 NSGC conference

Down Syndrome and Autistic Spectrum Disorder: Prenatal, Neonatal and Neurological Risk Factors
Krista Borman 2002  

Class of 2001

Thesis Projects:

Depression and ApoE Genotypes in Young Adults with Down Syndrome
Amy Heffner 2001 

Speech Patterns in Children with Kabuki Syndrome with and without Cleft Lip and/or Cleft Palate
Sheila Poulin Upton 2001 Poster presentation at 2001 NSGC conferencePublished journal article Upton S, Stadter CS, Landis P, Wulfsberg EA. Speech Characteristics in the Kabuki Syndrome. Am J Med Genet. 2003 Feb 1:1116A(4):338-41

Does Hepatitis C Infection (HCV) Explain Otherwise Unexplained Elevated Maternal Serum Alpha-Fetoprotein (MSAFP) in Pregnant Women?
Renee Genovese 2001  

The Role of the Physician in Family Decision Making: Enrollment of Adolescents in Genetic Susceptibility Research
Melissa Yelton 2001  

Genetic Differences in Tamoxifen Metabolizing Enzymes in Breast Cancer Patients
Hetal Sheth 2001 Recipient of University of Maryland Women’s Health Research Group Grant 2001Poster presentation at 2001 NSGC conference

Class of 2000

Thesis Projects:

The Impact of a Genetic Diagnosis and Etiology of Mental Retardation or Learning Disabilities: A Survey of Special Educators
Jessica Rispoli 2000 Poster presentation at 2000 NSGC conference

An Evaluation of Different Recruitment Strategies Used in a Family Study
Amanda Scaffe 2000 Poster presentation at 2000 NSGC conference

Adolescent Referrals for Prenatal Genetic Counseling Services
Marcia Ferguson 2000 Poster presentation at 2000 NSGC conference

Class of 1999

Thesis Projects:

Development of a Computer-Based Tutorial for Primary Care Physicians for The Management of Abnormal Newborn Screening Results
Nikki Justice 1999 Awarded 1998-99 Mid-Atlantic Region Human Genetics Network (MARHGN) grantPoster presentation at the 1999 NSGC conference.

Cancer Risk Perception, Management, and Role of Genetic Testing Among Men with a Family History of Breast Cancer
Debra West 1999

The Impact of Genetic Testing in The Jewish Community
Karyn Schmeidler 1999 Poster presentation at the 1999 NSGC conference

Prader-Willi Syndrome Due to Maternal Uniparental Disomy and Suspected Trisomy 15 Mosaicism in a Liveborn Infant: A Case Report and Review
Erika Olander 1999 Poster presentation at the 1999 ASHG conference Published journal article Am. J. Med. Genet. 93(3):215-218 (200)

Risk Factors of Coarctation of the Aorta with and without Ventricular Septal Defect: Analysis of the Baltimore-Washington Infant Study
Dana Swartzberg 1999 Poster presentation at the 1999 NSGC conference Published journal article Teratology 64:229-236 (2001)
 

Class of 1998

Thesis Projects:

Development of a Booklet for Families of Individuals with Noonan Syndrome
Maura Kenton 1998 Booklet printed and distributed by the Noonan syndrome support group

Survey of Master-Level Genetic Counseling Programs and Cancer Genetic Counselors Concerning Cancer Genetics and Cancer Genetic Counseling Training
Amy Lundgren 1998 Poster presentation at the 1998 NSGC conference

Physician Follow-Up of Normal Maternal Screening Results
Aimee Hodgkins 1998 

Survey of Parents of Children with Mucopolysaccharidoses and Mucolipidoses Concerning Medical Complications and Treatment Options
Karen Fleshman 1998 Poster presentation at the 1998 NSGC conference.

Class of 1997

Thesis Projects:

Research for Beginners and a Case Example
Virginia Norris 1997