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Class of 2021

Introducing Bay Path's Genetic Counseling Class of 2021

Rachel Aron is from Mount Prospect, IL and graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University in 2016 with a BS in Biology and a double major in Hispanic Studies. During her undergraduate career, Rachel sought out opportunities to combine her love of science and the Spanish language. She interned as a medical interpreter for local community health clinics and the county’s Public Health Department serving Hispanic families of low socioeconomic status. In discovering the field of genetic counseling the fall semester of her senior year, Rachel knew that she had found her niche: a sphere of healthcare that incorporates both her passion for molecular genetics and her desire to facilitate effective bilingual communication and education in the medical community. After graduation, Rachel worked for multiple schools as an assistant educator to Hispanic students with cognitive and physical disabilities. She supplemented her work experience by volunteering as a crisis counselor for Crisis Text Line. For the past year, she has been working as an Infant and Toddler Specialist for a program that offers developmental evaluations and home visits to children birth to 3 years at risk due to economic, cultural, and linguistic barriers. Rachel is an avid animal lover and loves spending time outdoors and traveling. She chose Bay Path because she believes the program’s hybrid format will suit her learning style and offer her the possibility of working in a variety of clinical sites with diverse Hispanic populations.

Originally from Cambridge, MA, Robin moved to the Midwest to attend the University of Michigan for anthropology and, later, the University of Chicago for a Master’s Degree in counseling and clinical social work. The field of genetics was always a fascination, and she is delighted to pursue a career path that combines hard sciences, patient advocacy and compassionate care. Robin was particularly impressed by the unique hybrid online nature of Bay Path’s Genetic Counseling Program as well as the overwhelming investment in the success of students she felt from program directors and faculty. Robin lives in Chicago, with her young son, where she worked in infant, maternal and mental health for years. Past research focused on parenting and prenatal education, women's health and supportive services for survivors of trauma. Robin also worked as a sexual violence therapist and policy advocate, a college instructor in the social and health sciences and in bilingual family risk assessment. She is currently the Associate Director of a public health and environmental nonprofit called Chicago Physicians for Social Responsibility. Robin also freelances as a professional opera singer, a musical passion she feels privileged to have turned into a part-time career. Robin is particularly interested in cancer and preconception genetics as well as increasing accessibility to genetic counseling services. She is very excited to be part of the newest Genetic Counseling cohort at Bay Path University and eager for this next chapter.

Originally from just outside of Scranton, PA, Lindsay Burak currently resides near Blacksburg, VA. A graduate of Bryn Mawr College, she obtained her degree in Biology before becoming certified in autotransfusion. Currently, she still holds this certification while managing an office remotely while taking classes. Volunteer work with local nursing and hospice facilities is something that is very close to her heart and has contributed significantly into entering this field. Lindsay decided to pursue genetic counseling because it is a field that offers constant growth and fuels her love of science with her desire to be a patient advocate. She is very excited to learn and grow with such a supportive and welcoming community and contribute meaningfully to the future of this career. In her spare time, Lindsay has a passion for travel, cooking, and being crafty.

Veronica Cadavid grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, but originally immigrated to the United States with her family from Medellin, Colombia in South America. She is a recent 2017 graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from Millersville University of Pennsylvania where she performed research on nematodes and turtles. Previously, however, she graduated from La Salle University with a Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry and Chemistry with a minor in French in 2013. Since graduating in 2013, Veronica relocated to Wilmington, Delaware to work in clinical trials with ICON Clinical Research, but then returned home to work as a scientist at Eurofins Lancaster Laboratories Inc. in their method development and validation group. Eventually, her search for her niche in healthcare led to her positions at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Hospital currently as a qualified Spanish interpreter in the emergency room and formerly as a patient care assistant in the LG Health Physicians Maternal-Fetal Medicine office. It was her position in Maternal-Fetal Medicine that introduced and exposed her to the field of genetic counseling. She was always confident that her place was in healthcare, but it was not until her work with genetic counseling and high-risk pregnancies, that she was captivated by genetic counseling. She is enamored by the immense ability to empower and educate patients in their healthcare and lives using genetic counseling; all beliefs shared by Bay Path University. Veronica hopes that her education at Bay Path University will allow her to empower all patients, especially minority communities that are still unaware of this marvelous field, which has such powerful tools to enhance the health and lives of all patients.

Marlene was born and raised in Westfield, NJ and has over 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Ms. Edmonds started her career as a research chemist for the FDA and later held progressive marketing management positions with GlaxoSmithKline, Astra Merck, AstraZeneca and Shire. She currently consults with pharmaceutical clients to develop and execute launch plans; manage HCP and consumer market research; and assist with agency selection and management. Marlene gained significant advocacy experience through the Big Brother/Big Sister organization, as a Court appointed special advocate, and by advocating for her youngest child who survived a neuroblastoma as a toddler. Her passion is to combine her love of science with advocacy work. Marlene earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the College of William and Mary, and an MBA from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. She currently resides in Wayne, PA with her husband and two children.

Sonia Ehrlich grew up north of Chicago, Illinois, and graduated from the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities in 2018 with her degree in Genetics, Cell Biology, and Development. While at the U of MN, she worked as a teaching assistant for undergraduate students in an introductory biology course, which focused primarily on interactive, dissection-based learning supplemented with bioethics discussions. Throughout her education, she worked on various research projects studying: population genetics, protein evolution, zebra mussel infestation, racial bias in the field of genetic counseling, and screening programs for familial hypercholesterolemia. Outside school, she worked as a medication technician at a treatment center for adults with chemical dependency. From this she learned more about counseling in the context of health and medicine as well as how to advocate for underserved, marginalized groups. Since graduating, she has worked as support staff at a charter high school in Minneapolis through the Minnesota Alliance with Youth. When not at work, Sonia has spent time volunteering at camps for children with heart conditions and other disabilities. While the unique format of the program, including a large emphasis on telecommunication, is what prompted her to apply, it was meeting the program faculty and talking with current students that confirmed Bay Path as the best fit for pursuing her graduate education.

Emily Eneberg graduated from University of California, San Diego with a bachelor’s of science in biology and a minor in psychology. Knowing she had wanted to pursue genetic counseling since the beginning of her college career, she reached out to the genetic counselors at the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center in Santa Barbara, and went on to intern at the facility. During her time there, she was able to connect with patients while documenting their medical history, assist with clerical responsibilities, and shadow genetic counselors during patient consultations. In addition to working at Ridley-Tree, she also volunteered as a crisis counselor for Crisis Text Line. Both of these experiences gave her hands on opportunities to help people in their time of need. She is so thankful for the opportunity to study at Bay Path and pursue her goal of being a genetic counselor!

Bridgette Meyers grew up in Newington, Connecticut. She graduated from Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania where she earned her M.S. in Biotechnology. There she shared her love of science by working as a graduate assistant and an adjunct faculty member in the chemistry department. Directly following college graduation, Bridgette began her career in clinical genetics at The Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine in Farmington, CT where she has been working now for the past two years as a Clinical Genomic Analyst. Bridgette also holds a board certification in Molecular Biology through the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) and continues to advance her training in patient testing and clinical applications research for both oncology and inherited disorder genetics. It has been working in this CLIA/CAP accredited laboratory, alongside genetic testing professionals from diverse backgrounds (including GCs) that solidified her interest in genetic counseling. She is excited to be a part of the Genetic Counseling Program at Bay Path University as it will provide her the flexibility needed to continue to grow as an analyst while providing the necessary clinical training and skills to practice counseling. She is eager to begin this journey into such a rewarding career and hopes her background, determination and passion for the field of Genomic Medicine will make for a great addition to the Bay Path Genetic Counseling Program. Bridgette and her husband currently live in Wethersfield, CT with their Yorkshire terrier, Rory. In addition to hanging out with her friends and family, Bridgette enjoys reading and refinishing old furniture.

Sara Pugsley hails from sunny San Diego, California and graduated from Northern Arizona University with a BS in Honors Biomedical Science, minors in Chemistry and Social Work. Sara’s commitment to the community as a mentor for out-of-state college freshmen, work as an advising assistant, and academic discipline awarded her a spot in the top 1% of the graduating class and title of a Golden Axe recipient. During her time at NAU, Sara created a Support Package to better assist the student population with crisis management and lead a staff-wide training on how to best support students in crisis. Her Honors capstone project, “23&me and You,” focused on direct-to-consumer genetic sequencing kits and the social, economic, and legislative impact they may have on the general public. She was able to present this literature-base research project at the NAU Undergraduate Symposium to her peers and faculty. Sara is excited to attend Bay Path University, as its innovative, flexible, and community-based program is unique to the field. Aside from genetics, she also is passionate about soft-pretzels, hockey, and spin classes.

Tresa Rai is a bit of a traveler. She was born in Nepal, raised in Singapore, and now resides in the USA. She attended George Mason University in Fairfax, VA (BSc in Biology, concentration in Biotechnology and Molecular Biology, and Northern Virginia Community College (ASc in Biology). She spent about 5 years in Seoul, South Korea where she received her MSc in Biological and Environmental Science and then stayed on to work and travel to more places in the region. After spending some time studying how traditional eastern medicinal plants affect the human body and how the authenticity of the plants are in question because of fraudulent activity by farmers and the vendors, she once again started becoming interested in medical science. Considering her background in genetics and her current life in Washington DC, she found the perfect fit for herself - Genetic Counseling at Bay Path University. Because of the influences from traveling and meeting people from all walks of life, she is highly interested in equal access to healthcare, the current state of our healthcare system, and Global Health.

Rachel Roesch is from Ridgewood, New Jersey. She graduated Ramapo College of New Jersey with a Bachelor’s in Social Science and a minor in Biology. She currently works with BioReference Laboratories as a Molecular Laboratory Technician in their genetics and genomics department, performing laboratory testing in the detection, diagnosis, and prognosis of disease. Her compassion towards people and her interest in the influence of genetic makeup is what drove her to become a Genetic Counselor. Bay Path University’s online program allows her the flexibility to earn her degree and rise towards her future while continuing the work she does in New Jersey.

A respite caregiver for over 8 years, Ignelly assisted special needs families in her home county of Ventura, California before enrolling in Bay Path. She graduated from the University of California Irvine where she received her bachelor's degree in biology, with a minor focus in psychology and social behavior. As a Mexican immigrant she is excited at the opportunity of bringing continued cultural awareness to genetic counseling, as well as bringing the resource to the residents of Ventura County. Ignelly chose Bay Path for their unique hybrid program because it allows her to utilize contacts and networks she established in California during her 3 year post graduate preparation for her training as a genetic counselor, and for the opportunity to be a part of a revolutionary approach to how the career is taught. She is a current alum of the Genetic Counseling Program at UC Irvine Special Interest Group and a contributing admin on their public Facebook page.

Sara Watson grew up in Simpsonville, South Carolina in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. In 2019, she graduated from the University of Central Florida with a BS in Biology and a minor in Psychology. Currently, Sara works as a peer mentor for Global UCF, an organization that helps acclimate international students to life in the United States. She also volunteers with the Genetics and High-Risk Center at Orlando Health. She chose Bay Path University because its online format would be a boon to her goal of using technology to create learning tools and provide access through telecommunication to those who may not be able to physically interact with a genetic counselor. In her free time, Sara loves to create costumes, experiment with gluten-free baking, and do aerial arts. She hopes to incorporate some of that creativity into her career as a genetic counselor.

Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, Katie recently graduated from Saint Leo University with a degree in Biomedical and Health Sciences in May 2019. While pursuing her degree, she obtained a position as an intern working with children in foster care. Upon graduation, Katie remained in Florida working as a counselor for the same organization. Her interest in genetic counseling is rooted in a personal experience and drove her to pursue a future in the field. In order to fully realize her goals, she realizes a postgraduate degree would be beneficial. Katie knew that Bay Path University’s program was the right fit for her, as it allows her to pursue her education and still help others! In her free time, Katie enjoys running, going to Disney World, watching Penn State football (We are!) and spending quality time with her friends and family!