Class of 2014

Kinley Cahill
Kinley (Salt Lake City, UT) received her B.S. in Biology
with a Chemistry minor (2011) from the University of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT), where she was a lab assistant at Huntsman Cancer Institute (Beckerle lab) and teaching assistant in genetics. She also worked as a healthcare assistant in the inpatient medical rehabilitation unit at the University of Utah Hospital and as a patient care technician in the Children’s Surgical Unit at Primary Children’s Hospital. Kinley was awarded an undergraduate research assistantship (Molecular Dissection of PINCH in Drosophila melanogaster) and presented this work in a poster and research abstract. Advocacy experience included serving as personal care assistant and advocate for an individual with lung cancer and English skills instructor for Latin American immigrants. Kinley looks forward to serving in the roles of advocate, educator, and researcher.
Randi Hanson
Randi (Ballwin, MO) received her B.A. in Biology with a Psychology minor (2009) from the Washington University (St. Louis, MO). She worked as a psychiatric therapist in the adolescent behavioral health unit at SSM DePaul Hospital, where she participated in extensive training in non-violent crisis intervention techniques. Advocacy activities include volunteering at a domestic abuse crisis hotline. Randi looks forward to the challenge and complexity of genetic counseling, and is interested in contributing to the written literature, prenatal counseling, and exploring the many career options open to genetic counselors. She enjoys reading and satching hockey – Go Blues!
Andrea Hendershot
Andrea (Port Matilda, PA) received a B.S. in Biological Anthropology with minors in Statistics and Biology (2011) from The Pennsylvania State University (University Park, PA). She was a genetic counseling extern at Geisinger Medical Center and a lab technician in the Departments of Anthropology (working with craniofacial genes and skin pigmentation data) and Biology (plant biochemistry). Andrea was President of the Penn State Anthropology Society and tutored in statistics, anatomy, and biology. She also enjoyed her time waitressing in a retirement community. Andrea is interested in tailoring educational interventions, research, and cancer genetics.
Valerie Kendall
Valerie (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) received her B.S. degree in Microbiology from California State Polytechnic University (Pomona, CA). Valerie received her M.S. degree in Biomedical Science  (2011) from Western University of Health Sciences (Pomona, CA). Her thesis work focused on identification and analysis of immune function genes in the newly sequenced snow leopard genome draft. She was a Laboratory Technician in the organic chemistry lab at Arlon Materials for Electronics, and a lab assistant at Keck Graduate Institute, where she assisted in the identification of biomarkers in the blood serum of pancreatic cancer patients. Valerie worked as a tobacco cessation counselor at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Regional Hospital in Bethel, Alaska promoting healthy pregnancies among Alaska Native women. She also has extensive experience working with children as a camp counselor, science instructor, and youth programs director. Valerie’s goals are to work in pediatric genetics, to conduct
research, and provide community education.
Jeraldine “Jeri” Lim
Jeri (Centerville, UT) was born and raised in Singapore. After migrating to NJ, she had to opportunity to work as a swim instructor and private mathematics tutor. She also participated in internships at Hydromer for summer research and Johnson and Johnson for cGMP training. She then moved to Utah to finish her B.S. in Genetics and Biotechnology from Brigham Young University (BYU). While at BYU, she was an academic scholar and teaching assistant in biology. She also worked in Dr. Kauwe’s and Dr. O’Neill’s research laboratories. After graduating, she worked as a Technical Writer for Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and a Quality Control Laboratory Technician at Myriad Genetics Laboratory where she was involved in actively building cancer test kits. Jeri is highly motivated by her family to become a genetic counselor. She would also like to hone her clinical genetic counseling skills in the US and eventually return to Singapore and China to help increase genetic counseling services.
Elena Moyle
Elena (Reno, NV) received a B.S. in Biology with a
minor in Psychology (2011) from the University of
Nevada (Reno, NV). She was a member of the Women in
Science and Engineering Program (a residential program
supporting women in science), Biochemistry/Biology Club, and Secretary of Big Brothers Big Sisters Club. In-depth advocacy activities included tutoring children and parents from disadvantaged families, and mentoring with Big Brothers Big Sisters. Elena is excited about the wide
career possibilities for genetic counselors, with the goal of
working in clinical practice in either private or public settings. She is also interested in community outreach and promoting overall health and well-being.
Rachel Palmquist
Rachel (Shoreline, WA) received her A. S. from Edmunds Community College and her B.S. in Cellular, Molecular, and Developmental Biology (2010, Cum Laude) from the University of Washington (Seattle, WA). Volunteer advocacy activities included counseling for the National Eating Disorder Helpline, Teen Clinic Facilitator at Planned Parenthood, aid at Genetics Clinic at UWMC, and classroom lab aid for genetics in a high school classroom. Rachel is interested in adult genetic disorders, expanding the availability of medical genetics at the community and global level, education, research, and advocacy.

Class of 2013


brandalyn Brandalyn Andreasen Chidsey
Brandalyn (Rio Rancho, New Mexico)  received her B.S. in Genetics and Biotechnology (2011) from Brigham Young University (Provo, UT), where she received multiple academic scholarships. Brandalyn managed a molecular biology research laboratory, which studied he regulation of gene expression during skeletal development and cartilage degeneration in osteoarthritis. She also was an internship counselor for college students. Her advocacy activities include the Center for Women and Children in Crisis, Utah State Mental Hospital, Summer Special Olympics and Riders’ Cup, Therapeutic Riding Center, and church leadership. Brandalyn is especially interested in the translational aspect of helping patients to understand complex genetic information at a time of crisis.


chinmayee Chinmayee Bhimarao Nagaraj
Chinmayee (Mumbai, India) received her B.S. in Biotechnology  (2009) from the University of Mumbai and her M.S. in Biomedical Genetics (2011) from Vellore Institute of Technology (India), where she received merit scholarships for outstanding academic performance. She carried out her master’s thesis at the National University of Singapore on Combined inhibition of telomerase and ataxia telangiectasia mutated in human brain cancer cells. She has also worked on a group project with cell-specific antigens to understand the cell growth and differentiation process using human embryonic stem cells at Reliance Life Sciences. Her advocacy activities include co-organizing a music camp in a remote area of India and raising money for an AIDS organization. Chinmayee is a professional Carnatic classical singer and also enjoys playing violin and painting. She has given concert performances throughout India, won multiple performance awards, and taught music students at Krishna Gana Sudha Global Academy. She is an athlete, and has competed in multiple meets at the state and national level and has a green belt in Tae kwon do (Martial art). She speaks Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, and Tulu. She loves travelling and exploring different cultures. Chinmayee is interested in ethical and societal issues in public health genetics such as lack of services and support, multicultural issues, non-medical use of genetics, and workforce issues.


laurene Lauren Eimers-Wangrud
Lauren (Salt Lake City, UT) received a B.A. in Spanish (2002) from the University of Utah, a B.S. in Zoology with a minor in Chemistry (2005) from Weber State University (Ogden, UT), and a M.Ed. in Professional Counseling (2011) from the University of Utah. As part of her graduate program, Lauren did clinical internships at an adoption agency. She speaks Spanish and spent summer semesters at the Universidad Catolica (2001) in Valparaiso, Chile and Instituto de Idiomas (2002) in San Jose, Costa Rica. Lauren has held many positions involving aquatics (lifeguard, teaching, coaching, supervising), was a medical genetics laboratory technologist at ARUP Laboratories, and was a teaching specialist for Granite School District health classes. Lauren has undertaken innumerable leadership and advocacy activities, including service learning, AIDS awareness, Horizonte (serving minorities and refuges), university service clubs, anatomy instruction, student government, hunger advocacy, health and first-aid organizations, youth programs, nature programs, sports programs, arts programs, and an international medical mission. She received the Weber State leadership scholarship and is a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society. Lauren’s leisure time interests include sports, arts, gardening, travel, and literature. Lauren is interested in melding genetics and psychosocial counseling to serve genetics patients who need extended mental health care and support, as well as genetics research.


stephaniej Stephanie Jez
Stephanie (Dallas, TX) received her B.S. degree (2011) in biology with a psychology minor from Texas A&M University (Corpus Christi, TX), where she received several scholarships. During her undergraduate training, Stephanie was a member of the Science Talent Expansion Program, mentored and tutored freshman biology students and general undergraduates through a leadership program, worked as an undergraduate researcher in a physiology laboratory studying blood cortisol levels in fish, and served as an officer of Beta Beta Beta National Biological Honor Society. Stephanie is interested in prenatal and pediatric genetics, genetic research, and education and public policy.


amara Amara Lauritzen
Amara (Portland, OR) received a B.S. in Biology (2003) from the University of Oregon, Eugene, OR, where she received scholarships, including the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology Summer Scholarship. Amara worked as a lab technician at Huntsman Cancer Institute (Salt Lake City, UT) studying signal transduction by growth factors and adult human stem cell biology. She currently works as a research assistant at Knight Cancer Institute (Oregon Health and Sciences University) studying leukemia and hematopoietic failure. She also volunteers at a sexual assault crisis line. Amara is interested in extending genetic services to underserved populations and the intersection of genetic information and psychosocial counseling.


jeanettes Jeanette Saffir
Jeanette (Valencia, CA) received her B.S. in Biology with a Cellular and Molecular Biology concentration and her B.A. in Psychology with a Counseling and Developmental concentration (2011) from California State University Northridge (Northridge, CA). She was a student leader of a supplemental instruction class teaching genetics and introductory statistics, and research assistant in a molecular biology lab studying epigenetic regulation of a B cell specific gene. She also did a genetic counseling internship at Genzyme Genetics. She has worked as a medical assistant in dermatology and done tutoring and crisis hotline counseling. Jeanette also studied at American Jewish University (Jerusalem, Israel) with a concentration in Jewish and Israel studies. Jeanette speaks conversational Hebrew, has lived and traveled abroad, and is interested in sports. Jeanette is particularly interested in working with children in a diagnostic setting.


alizabeth Alizabeth Woodruff
Alizabeth (Ronan, MT) received her B.S. (2008, Magna cum laude) in Biology with a Chemistry minor from Walla Walla University (College Place, WA). In high school, she won the state VFW essay scholarship and placed 5th in the national competition. She has worked as a cardiology medical assistant, a certified nurse aide (CNA) working with dementia patients and end-of-life issues, and a microbiology laboratory technician. Advocacy activities include HIV counseling, testing, and advocacy; student volunteer in psychiatry; youth soccer coach; and working with troubled youth. Originally studying to becoming a physician’s assistant, Alizabeth discovered a passion for genetic counseling and changed her career path. Alizabeth is excited about research, public education, bioethical issues, extending genetics services to underserved client populations, and the potential for new areas of subspecialty.








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