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Students

Current Students: Click here for a list of links to commonly used resources.

Class of 2017

Dina Alaeddin  
Dina Alaeddin

Born and raised in the small Middle Eastern country of Jordan, Dina was exposed to genetics at a young age and has been interested in the field ever since. Dina graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Genetics from Cardiff University in Wales, UK. During which she volunteered at a Breast Cancer Program, ran laboratory diagnostic tests, sequenced DNA and researched prevalence of genetic disorders in her home country. Dina then moved to Virginia - where she completely lost her British accent and became a DC sports fan - in hopes of finding her niche in the healthcare system. Upon learning more about the Genetic Counseling field, she fell in love with it. Genetic Counseling comprised exactly what she was looking for; Genetics with the clinical, research and educational aspects, all combined. After familiarizing herself with the essentials of the US healthcare system, through working with several physicians and being exposed to several genetic disorders, Dina shadowed genetic counselors and started working as a Genetic Counseling Assistant in the Whole Exome Sequencing program at GeneDx. Dina enjoys travelling and playing sports; specifically basketball. She loves being outside, and cannot wait to further explore the city of Baltimore. She is beyond excited and proud to be part of the UMD GC program.

Liz Cutting  
Liz Cutting

A born and bred Baltimorean, Liz, is excited to join the MGC program at the University of Maryland. Liz is from Towson, MD and graduated from Princeton University with a B.A. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. While at Princeton, Liz fell in love with genetics after her freshman year epigenetic seminar taught by renowned scientist, Shirley Tilghman. When not in the lab, Liz kept busy at school as a member of the women's varsity lacrosse team. After graduating in 2014, Liz returned to Baltimore to work at the University of Maryland School of Medicine's Program for Personalized and Genomic Medicine. While at UMB, Liz ran focus groups that aimed to improve the way in which clinicians and laboratories communicate genomic data to patients, as well as, designed software that could potentially assist clinicians when viewing a genetic test result. In her spare time, Liz enjoys running, yoga, and exploring her favorite city, Baltimore!

Kristen Leppert  
Kristen Leppert

A Maryland native since birth, Kristen is originally from Harford County but moved to Baltimore County to attend college at Towson University. There, she earned her B.S. in Cellular and Molecular Biology and fell in love with the city of Baltimore. During her undergraduate career, she was an active member of Kappa Delta Sorority, holding multiple leadership positions and enjoying many new experiences - including a trip to Chicago for a leadership training academy. During her time as an undergrad, her coursework and research experiences led Kristen to discover her passion for genetic counseling. Her desire to attend graduate school for genetic counseling continued to grow during her shadowing experiences at Kennedy Krieger, as well as during her time as a volunteer counselor at Whole Woman’s Health, a women’s health clinic which provides abortion care. She is extremely excited to be a part of the genetic counseling program at the University of Maryland, while also living in the heart of Baltimore and experiencing all that the city has to offer. In her free time, Kristen enjoys trying new recipes, cheering on the Orioles at Camden Yards, yoga, and craft beer.

Rachel Schwiter  
Rachel Schwiter

Rachel, from Fairmount Springs, PA, graduated summa cum laude from Lycoming College in Williamsport, PA. She completed a B.S. degree in Psychology in 2015. During her undergraduate years, she was a member of the Lycoming College Scholars Program, played the flute in many musical ensembles, taught tap dance classes, and interned for a family-based mental health service. Rachel completed an individual research project that focused on finding associations between dopamine degradation and personality traits. She also volunteered at Camp Victory, a camp for children and adults with special needs, in the summers. Her interest in genetic counseling comes from a history of Osler-Weber-Rendu Syndrome in her family. After job-shadowing her family’s genetic counselor, she continued to observe genetic counselors in other specialties and loved the variety of cases that they saw each day. She is excited to be a student in the Genetic Counseling Training Program and is grateful for all of the opportunities that the University of Maryland, Baltimore and the city of Baltimore have to offer! In her free time, Rachel enjoys playing her flute semi-professionally and attending Zumba classes.

Patrick Semesky  
Patrick Semesky

Born and raised in Lutherville, MD, Patrick received his B.S. in Biology and his B.A. in History at The University of Virginia. After four years of explaining to people in Charlottesville that Baltimore is not “just like ‘The Wire,’” he returned home to work as a patient service coordinator in the Department of Otolaryngology at Johns Hopkins University Hospital. Working alongside audiologists, otologists, and speech-language pathologists, he built a connection with the deaf and hard of hearing community and aided in research focused upon quality of life for older patients and emergent reading and communication skills for younger patients receiving cochlear implants. He was introduced to genetic counseling by his high school biology teacher, and as an employee in a medical center he was able to do some invaluable shadowing. Seeing counselors in action confirmed his passion to become a member of the field. Before applying to the UMD MGC program, he joined Crisis Text Line, a text based crisis intervention service tailored toward adolescents. He has enjoyed CTL as a platform to make a difference in the lives of at-risk youth. In his free time, he enjoys playing music, sports, cooking breakfast, and quoting movies excessively. He is thrilled to be a part of the program and is looking forward to building the skills to become an effective counselor.

Kelsey Stauff  
Kelsey Stauff

Kelsey graduated from the University of Maryland in College Park, MD in May 2010. She graduated with a B.S. in Biology and in Secondary Education. During college, she was a part of the College Park Scholars Earth, Life, and Time program, a leader in the Alternative Spring Breaks program, and a sexual and domestic assault peer advocate. After college, she started teaching high school biology in southern Maryland as well as coaching soccer, basketball, and track. Kelsey also has volunteered as an adult mentor to youth in Southern Maryland for the past four years. Kelsey enjoyed sharing science with teenagers each day but after a few years, she felt that her heart was leading her into the medical world to find her true passion. She began to research genetic counseling and shadow counselors after narrowing down her interests. She is excited to join the UMB MGC program and become a student again. In her spare time, Kelsey enjoys writing poetry, going to country concerts, exploring new places, and being active in any form (but especially running and playing basketball)!

Katie Steike  
Katie Steike

Originally from a small town called Carmel in upstate New York, Katie graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in molecular genetics, a minor in music, and a cluster in psychology from the University of Rochester. Although she’ll miss the snowball fights and skiing, Katie is thrilled to be settling into the warmer weather and exciting culture of Baltimore. While an undergraduate, Katie was a teaching assistant for several chemistry courses at the University of Rochester, tutored students in biology and chemistry, and was an academic coach/peer counselor for students with intellectual disabilities who were auditing classes at the university. Katie found out about genetic counseling the summer before her senior year and immediately knew that it was for her. She shadowed the genetic counselors at her university that fall and fell in love with the profession. Katie is excited to begin her career as a genetic counselor and couldn’t be happier to be attending the University of Maryland for her studies. In her free time, Katie enjoys skiing, hiking, rock climbing, juggling, and cooking, and looks forward to exploring more of Baltimore.

Julianne Whitleigh  
Julianne Whitleigh

Julianne graduated cum laude from Franklin and Marshall College in 2013 with a BA in Biology and minor in Religious Studies. During her four years at F&M, Julianne played on the college’s softball team, pursuing her lifelong passion to play competitively without sacrificing a top-notch education. Julianne was also a Gray Scholar, affording her opportunities to serve the community of Lancaster, PA, while navigating college with other students traditionally under-represented in higher education. Julianne was chosen to serve as a research assistant in the Hackman Scholars program, a position from which her work on synthesizing, purifying, and characterizing thiophene derivatives was published. After graduation, Julianne began volunteering working with women facing crisis pregnancies. Her counseling work with these women, along with her work in the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program, helped her realize the value of truly addressing clients’ needs; combined with her love for human biology, Julianne found her perfect career in genetic counseling. From the beautiful Jersey Shore, Julianne is excited to move to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and begin her studies in the genetic counseling program at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Class of 2018

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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

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 
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.

Katie Lincoln  
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  
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  
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 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 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.