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The University of Maryland Genetic Counseling students want to share with you a short video of what it means to become a Genetic Counselor.

Class of 2018

Class of 2018


Devin Fendlay

Born and raised in the wonderful state of Maryland, Devin graduated from the University Maryland, College Park Honors College in 2014 with a B.S. in Cell Biology and Molecular Genetics. While in college, Devin was a varsity cheerleader and a captain of the Hospital Relations committee for the university’s charity dance marathon Terp Thon. She chose to pursue a career in genetic counseling because of her passion for genetics and desire to work with families in need of information and comfort. Devin spent her time after college preparing for a career in genetic counseling by interning at Johns Hopkins Institute of Genetic Medicine, volunteering with the Baltimore Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Hotline and working with the Muscular Dystrophy Association as a camp counselor. She also enjoys serving as President of the Miss Greenbelt Scholarship Organization, Inc., an organization that teaches young women public speaking, interview skills, poise and self-confidence. In her free time, Devin enjoys baking, fitness, attending music festivals, and traveling.


Laura Goodell

Laura Goodell was born and raised in Lincolnshire, a suburb outside of Chicago, Illinois and graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biochemistry in 2014. During her time in college, Laura served in various leadership and mentorship roles. She discovered Genetic Counseling during the fall of her senior year and focused her attention on shadowing genetic counselors in a variety of specialties. She began volunteering at Planned Parenthood on the Counseling and Referral Hotline and loved the information and support she could provide to each caller. After graduating, Laura worked at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) as a Research Assistant in International Cardiology Projects. She gained valuable experience working with IRB applications and the various stages of clinical research, but missed interactions with patients. She is excited to be joining the Genetic Counseling Training Program at the University of Maryland and excited to see all that the city of Baltimore has to offer. In her free time, she enjoys trying new recipes and exploring new places.


Xin Li

After graduating from East China Normal University with a BS in Biotechnology, Xin further obtained her PhD from Vanderbilt University, studying developmental genetics. As a postdoctoral fellow, she researched on human cell-free RNA and pregnancy conditions at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where she enjoyed both research and the interaction with medical professionals and patients. Outside of the lab, Xin is keen on promoting women’s and children’s health and education. After shadowing genetic counselors at Mayo Clinic, Rochester MN, she realized genetic counseling is the career which satisfies her interest in genetic, her love to work with people and her passion in helping people and making a difference in someone’s life. Having previously lived in the east coast for five years, Xin is thrilled to come to Baltimore with her young family and join the MGC program at University of Maryland. She looks forward to developing her thesis project on the implementation and implications of modern technology in genetic testing and genetic counseling as well as the outreach of genetic counseling in language minority communities. In her spare time, Xin enjoys cooking, skating and swimming.


Katherine Lincoln

A Cleveland native, Katie earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology from Miami University in Oxford, OH. Katie was introduced to genetic counseling in a high school biotechnology class, and after several shadowing experiences, she was certain it was the career for her. As an undergraduate, Katie worked as a research assistant in a cell biology lab which studied intercellular signaling involved in muscle development in fruit flies. She also worked as a teaching assistant for an introductory psychology class, was involved in Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity, worked as a primary care provider at a summer camp for adolescents with developmental disabilities, and played for a couple years on the Miami Women’s Club Ice Hockey team. At the beginning of her junior year, Katie began to volunteer for a local crisis hotline, and eventually advanced to a paid Crisis Consultant position, which she continued after graduation. Katie loves going to indie music concerts, biking, hiking, playing guitar, and eating brunch. She is thrilled and proud to have the opportunity to study Genetic Counseling at the University of Maryland, and can’t wait to explore her new home, Baltimore!


Amy Malinowski

As a Maryland native, Amy is very excited to join the MGC program at University of Maryland. Amy is from Carroll County, Maryland, and attended James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA, where she earned a BS in biology with minors in both family studies and sociology. It wasn’t until late in her undergraduate career that she learned of genetic counseling and found that it was the perfect fit for her varied interests. After graduation she gained incredible exposure to the field as a genetic counseling assistant at GeneDx. She also volunteered as a STAR (sexual trauma advocate and resource) at the Rape Crisis Intervention Services of Carroll County and as a mentor with ArtStream, an inclusive theater company for adults with cognitive impairment. In her free time, Amy loves attending almost any concert, trying (and often failing) trendy new hobbies such as CrossFit and yoga, quoting her favorite movies with her sister, and pretending to appreciate craft beer with her brother.


Julie Solimine

Originally from Haverhill, MA, a town just north of Boston, Julie completed her undergraduate degree at Providence College in Rhode Island. She graduated summa cum laude with a BS in Biology in 2015. In addition to her studies at Providence College, Julie also competed for four years on their Division 1 Cross Country, Indoor, and Outdoor Track teams, during which time the cross country team won a national championship. Julie also served as captain during her senior year, learning valuable leadership skills. Julie’s extensive coursework in the sciences and psychology mixed with her own very personal encounter with a genetic disorder led to her passion for the field of genetic counseling. Her commitment to the profession was solidified after shadowing genetic counselors at Women and Infants Hospital in RI. During the past year, Julie has worked as a patient care coordinator at Northeast Dermatology Associates, scribing, performing the duties of a medical assistant, and gaining extensive patient care experience. She also volunteered as a crisis counselor for the organization Crisis Text Line. In her spare time, Julie enjoys running and staying active, hiking, going to the beach, and spending time with her friends and family. She is excited to move to Baltimore and begin her studies in the genetic counseling program at the University of Maryland.


Stephanie Spaulding

Stephanie graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 2013 with a BS in Genetics. While studying at Wisconsin, Stephanie spent several years volunteering at a parent crisis line, as well as working in a group setting with at-risk youth. She also worked in a lab studying hormone production in mosquitoes and played the flute in one of the university's bands. After graduating, Stephanie lived and worked in Nebraska and California as a special education aide and, later, as a substitute teacher. The time that she spent there with children with special needs, as well as their families, solidified her desire to become a genetic counselor. Stephanie is currently a Registered Behavior Technician in Virginia and is looking forward to bringing her experience in the education field back to the University of Maryland. In her free time, she enjoys spending time exploring Washington, DC with her family and two dogs.


Morgan Thomas

Morgan graduated with honors from the University of Delaware in May 2016 with a B.S. in Biology (cellular, molecular and genetics concentration) and Neuroscience, and a minor in art. During her undergrad she served as a victim advocate on UD’s Sexual Offense Support hotline and was an active member of the Gamma Sigma Sigma National Service Sorority. As a member of her sorority she participated in projects helping Special Olympics athletes and assisting children with developmental disabilities during therapeutic horseback riding lessons. atataShe has presented and been recognized for her research on the role of N-linked glycosylation in Drosophila development at national and local meetings. After spending a great deal of time in the lab, Morgan is looking forward to applying her love of genetics in a clinical setting and is thrilled to be joining the class of 2018. In her free time, Morgan enjoys reading, knitting, playing videogames, cooking, and baking. Having spent most of her life in suburban Pennsylvania, she can’t wait to have the city of Baltimore to explore and call home.

Class of 2019

Class of 2019

Brittany Allen

Originally from Wisconsin, Brittany earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Michigan in 2017 with a double major in Biology and Cognitive Science. She discovered the genetic counseling profession early in her undergraduate career and found it to be a perfect fit for her passion for genetics and desire to serve others. Her experiences working as a genetic counseling assistant at the U of M Comprehensive Cancer Center, as well as shadowing genetic counselors in the Fetal Diagnostic Center, solidified her desire to pursue this path. Brittany spent many hours volunteering at Ozone House, a 24-hour crisis hotline for youth in her community, where she provided support and resources to young people and their families. In her free time, she enjoys running, playing guitar, and trying new restaurants. She is very excited for the opportunity to join the Genetic Counseling Training Program at the University of Maryland, and begin exploring the city of Baltimore.

Paige Babb

Born and raised a Hoosier, Paige is from Columbus, Indiana. She graduated from Indiana University Bloomington in 2017 where she completed her B.S. in Biology with a concentration in Cellular Biology and Molecular Genetics along with a Psychology minor. During her time at IU, she was an active member of Delta Gamma Sorority, holding multiple leadership positions and participating in various philanthropic opportunities. She is proud to have been a four-year Student Coach for her sorority's Little 500 Bike Team. During her junior year, Paige completed a Health Psychology study abroad program in Vienna, Austria where she also had the opportunity to travel throughout Central Europe. Paige discovered her passion for genetic counseling early on and continued to refine her interest in the field through her college coursework and experience as a volunteer on the crisis counseling line at a local domestic violence shelter. She is extremely excited to make the move to the East Coast and begin exploring the city of Baltimore. As a huge fan of the St. Louis Cardinals and baseball in general, she is especially looking forward to catching games at Camden Yards. In her free time, you can find Paige marathoning Star Wars with her three younger siblings, reading whatever book she can get her hands on, and enjoying craft beer with her friends. She is thrilled to join the Genetic Counseling Training Program and continue her education at the University of Maryland.

Arianna Guillard

Arianna is happy to be back home in her native state of Maryland after receiving her undergraduate degree from the University of Richmond, where she graduated summa cum laude with a double major in Biochemistry and Psychology. Arianna learned about genetic counseling at a young age when a family member went through the process. Her genetic counseling shadowing experiences and a 10 week internship at Mercy Medical Center for Advanced Fetal Care in Baltimore solidified her decision to pursue a career in genetic counseling. Arianna also worked in a biochemistry lab throughout college and gained valuable experience as a volunteer hospital advocate for survivors of sexual and domestic violence. Arianna has always had a passion for theatre, travelling and “I Love Lucy” reruns. She is thrilled to join the MGC program at the University of Maryland and is eager to see what this new experience will bring.

Shaydah Kheradmand

As a University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) alumni, Shaydah is delighted to return to Baltimore and join the MGC program at the University of Maryland. Shaydah earned her BS in Psychology in 2012 with concentrations in both Biopsychology and Human Services. Shaydah spent the following year immersing herself into the world of tea (another love of hers) while simultaneously searching for a career that married her passions for genetics and human services. During this period Shaydah discovered genetic counseling and later earned a BA in Biological Sciences at UMBC in 2014. After earning her BA, Shaydah worked as a Rehabilitation Counselor at Humanim and helped those with developmental disabilities work towards both personal and economic independence while enhancing their growth and quality of life. Shaydah has also volunteered as a call specialist at a local crisis hotline, and has spent her most recent years as a genetic counseling assistant at GeneDx. Shaydah describes her work and volunteer experiences as only solidifying her deep passion and interests in the genetic counseling field. In her free time, she enjoys playing video games, dancing, and most importantly, sharing tacos with close friends.

Ryan Kuehl

Originally from Springfield Massachusetts, Ryan graduated in 2017 from Providence College with honors and a B.S. in Biology. Ryan took on various leadership roles while at Providence College, including two years as a resident assistant learning essential crisis management and counseling skills. At Providence College, Ryan conducted research on DNA samples from two different species of African fish, leading to a publication and an increasing interest in genetics. In the fall of his junior year, Ryan discovered that the genetic counseling career combined his two main interests:  to support and advise others and the science of genetics. While finishing his undergraduate work, Ryan conducted a 13 week internship with genetic counselors within the Lifespan Network including those employed by Rhode Island Hospital, Hasbro Children’s Hospital, and the Miriam Hospital. Through observing genetic counseling sessions, Ryan gained an authentic look at what it means to be a genetic counselor and pushed him to pursue genetic counseling. In his spare time, Ryan enjoys playing sports, finding new places to eat, traveling, spending time with family, and baking the world’s best banana bread. Ryan is excited to live in another fascinating city and begin his studies at the University of Maryland.

Emma Perez

Emma was raised in Long Island, New York and traveled north to Boston University for her Bachelor’s degree in Health and Behavioral Science where she graduated in December 2015 with honors. During her time at BU, she was a devoted member of the Women’s Rugby Club, worked in a lab studying pheromone detection and behavior, and took part in piloting a program for women facing cognitive difficulties after breast cancer treatment. She discovered genetic counseling her sophomore year and after a few informational interviews with local genetic counselors, she knew this was the path for her. Emma spent her gap year working as a research assistant for the Partner’s Biobank at Brigham and Women’s Hospital where she gained valuable experience talking to patients about their genetic information, obtaining informed consent, and working professionally in a hospital setting. During her time at the Biobank, she was able to shadow cardiovascular genetic counselors and return of research result sessions. She saw first hand the need for genetic counselors in the clinical and research sector and is beyond excited to be a part of this burgeoning field. In her spare time, she volunteered at the Astra Zeneca Hope Lodge and with Crisis Text Line, offering comfort to those who needed it. Emma is looking forward to exploring Baltimore, meeting new friends, finally getting around to watching The Wire, and of course, eating the famous blue crab. In her spare time, she enjoys being outside, playing board games, exercising, baking, and reading.

Rebecca Sheedy

Originally from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Becky graduated summa cum laude from Lebanon Valley College with a degree in biology and a minor in chemistry. Involved in ΒΒΒ, Colleges Against Cancer, and Servants of Christ, Becky remained extremely involved around campus. Becky participated in genetics research involving the origins of functionally repetitive expansins in polyploid plants, specifically Actinidia deliciosa, kiwi fruit! Becky’s love for genetics flourished during an international internship in Ponferrada, Spain during which she was exposed to a number of unique genetics cases. Working as an Emergency Medical Technician, Becky thoroughly enjoys using her knowledge and skills to help others. Becky is excited to begin her career in genetics in Baltimore, Maryland!

Ashlee Vargason

Originally from Humboldt, TN, a small town in rural West Tennessee, Ashlee graduated summa cum laude from Mississippi State University with a B.S. in Biology and minors in Microbiology and Psychology.  Hoping to mix her interests in genetics, education, and psychology, Ashlee discovered genetic counseling provided the patient interactions and meaningful experiences she desired.  During her undergraduate career, she gained many valuable experiences as a molecular lab assistant studying parasitic resistance genes in Glycine max and as a teaching assistant for undergraduate biology courses at MSU.  She also volunteered as a crisis counselor for the organization Crisis Text Line and worked as a genetic counseling intern at the University of South Carolina.  During the internship, Ashlee was able to observe many different genetic counselors and cases in cancer, prenatal, pediatrics, and Huntington’s disease, and this opportunity confirmed that genetic counseling was how she wanted to serve others. In her free time, Ashlee enjoys reading all kinds of books, traveling to new places (but specifically, Disney World), drinking too much coffee, pilates, and laughing with friends and family. Although Baltimore will be a change from her Southern roots, she is thrilled to embrace the city life and honored/humbled to have the opportunity join the Class of 2019 at the University of Maryland.