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Meet Our Students

Introducing the inaugural class of Bay Path University's MS in Genetic Counseling program!

ERICK ANDERSON
Erick comes to Bay Path University after finding his passion for genetics through lab work, focusing onP53. He graduated with a BS in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from the University of New Hampshire, and holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College. He has spent extensive time working for commercial laboratories that specialize in the application of technology for the diagnostic and prognostic benefit they provide to clinicians and their patients. He has a specific interest in Cancer Genetics, variant classification framework, and the application of functional studies and RNA analysis to better understand a variants impact on the protein level. Erick has chosen Bay Path University because of the program structure and ability to represent the inaugural class for the University. He looks forward to helping build the Bay Path University Genetic Counseling alumni network and program presence in the future. Outside of his professional and academic interests Erick spends as much of his time outdoors as possible and is an avid surfer and cyclist.

PAGE BRODY
Originally from Fort Worth, Texas, Page graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in biology, but changed course in 2001 with a move across the country to enter political campaign work.  Page has been working in Western Massachusetts for 16 years and has focused her skills on fundraising and event organizing--while inadvertently shedding her Texas accent-- and transitioned from politics to community non-profits. While working with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Page became familiar with the socio-emotional aspects of the many diseases under the MD umbrella, and grew close to families struggling to cope with their diagnoses, control their symptoms, and understand the genetic components.  This marked the start of her interest in genetic counseling. As time passed, Page had subsequent encounters with genetic counselors, each positive and intriguing.  These interactions, along with a desire to return to a science-based field, helped crystallize her desire to change careers and seek a graduate program that would fit within her life as a busy working mom.  Enter, Bay Path University’s new Genetic Counseling Degree program, in perfect timing.  Page enjoys music, hiking, baking and yoga, and is very active in her local community.  She and her husband, a clinical social worker, have two energetic young boys and live in Northampton, MA.

DEANNA CROSS
Deanna graduated from Texas A&M University with a PhD in Plant Pathology in 2000, since that time she has worked in health care research and more specifically at the intersection of health and disease. She has over 20 publications regarding the role of genetics and genomics in disease risk and treatment. She is an expert in bio-specimen science, having served as the Project Scientist for the Marshfield Clinic Personalized Medicine Research Project and on expert panels for bio-banking. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, and is an investigator with the IGNITE (Implementing Genetics in Practice) consortium.  She is most interested in how and when genetic information is communicated to patients, health care providers, and family members.  Genetic counselors are at the forefront of communication and education for genetics and genomics in medicine.  "Attending Bay Path will allow me to develop these skills in a technologically advanced and modern setting."  In her spare time she enjoys running, biking, hiking, and camping with her husband, friends, and dogs.

STEPHANIE GAGNON
Stephanie is from the small town of Mechanicville, New York. She graduated from the University at Albany in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in human biology. During her time in undergrad, she enjoyed working as a clerk at the local library, where she was able to serve her community while surrounded by books. Stephanie has always been interested in medical science but actually stumbled upon genetic counseling during her studies in 2015. Prior to this discovery, she had shadowed a variety of health care providers through the New Visions Health Careers Exploration Program, which gave her a firm understanding of the medical field and appreciation for how its members work together. Since then, she’s had the pleasure of shadowing two prenatal genetic counselors at Albany Medical Center who helped her to confirm her interest in genetic counseling. In her spare time, Stephanie enjoys reading (huge sci-fi nerd), crafting, gardening, and solving puzzles. Based on her experiences thus far, she thinks she would like to specialize in prenatal counseling and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. Her goal is to help make the field of genetics an approachable resource for the general public through both education and compassionate care. These aspirations led her to pursue an education at Bay Path University in a genetic counseling program that emphasizes didactic, research, and clinical learning and offers a variety of clinical rotations and a flexible program structure. Stephanie is thrilled to be entering the inaugural class and looks forward to joining the Bay Path community and the field of genetic counselors.

SHANNON HAINES
Bay Path offers a rare and extensive flexibility in course work that appealed to Shannon, who is a student with a diverse background. Graduating from Christopher Newport University in 2015 with a Bachelor’s of Science double major of molecular/cellular biology and music. Her passions directed her to get a Certificate in Premedical Science from Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine last year, and more recently, to work at the Free Clinic in Pulaski, Virginia. There, working alongside an Inter-professional team composed of a mental health counselor, nurse practitioner, and occupational therapist, she became interested in Genetic Counseling. "The location of Bay Path, while new to me, is flourishing with opportunities for me to root myself in the community. The Genetic Counseling Program is composed of a close-knit, yet varied class of individuals, each with their background of unique expertise, ready to learn and apply their own traits to create a stronger group of professionals. I very much look forward to the next two years and the growth I will experience!"

LINDSEY KELLEY
Lindsey started her career with an undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Sociology, working in research on behavioral interventions to treat substance abusers. She worked in several different substance abuse treatment clinics throughout Connecticut, and provided behavioral interventions as well as smoking cessation counseling. After completing her Master’s in Public Health, she joined the Office of Injury and Violence Prevention at the Connecticut Department of Public Health, where she works to prevent opioid overdoses and sexual violence on a systematic level in Connecticut. After discovering the career of Genetic Counseling, Lindsey knew that she had to pursue this degree that would combine her aptitude for probability and statistics, her interest in counseling, and her background of health education and health promotion. She chose Bay Path University because it will give her the skills, the clinical experience, and the networking opportunities to excel in this field.

CATHERINE KELLY
Catherine was born in Luxembourg, a small country in Europe, but grew up in Clarkston, MI. She graduated from Michigan State University, where she earned a BS in Genomics and Molecular Genetics with a minor in Bioethics, Humanities, and Society. During her time at MSU, she worked for a semester researching the way in which breathing rates and mindfulness affected mean arterial pressure and other physiological characteristics. She then worked for a year researching the mechanisms behind particular genes known to cause male infertility. In addition to her research experience, she also worked as an Undergraduate Learning Assistant for a junior and senior level evolution class, where she was able to help students learn material. With a passion for helping others, especially children, she began volunteering at the Care House of Oakland County. The Care House works directly with children who are being abused and neglected, along with the Oakland County Police and Child Protective Services, to help them through the interview and forensic investigation process in a way that is less traumatic for the children. "My experiences in research, volunteering, and job shadowing lead me to continue my education and pursue a career in genetic counseling at Bay Path University, where I will be able to make a difference in people's lives. This program has so many unique aspects and the flexibility, variety of clinical sites, and dedication of the faculty has made this program a perfect fit."

ELIZABETH KNORR
Elizabeth currently resides in Orlando, Florida. She graduated from the University of Florida with an undergraduate degree in microbiology and secondary science education. While at UF, Elizabeth worked on a number of Tier I research initiatives within the Biology Department. Elizabeth was also selected to participate in ecological research at the Mpala Research Centre in Laikipia, Kenya. Since graduation, Elizabeth has been committed to giving back to her community by sharing her life-long love of science with high school students through teaching Biology at Seminole High School. Passionate about the importance of education, her move to teaching was a natural fit. In her free time, Elizabeth loves to go to the beach, attend farmers’ markets, and watch football (Go Gators!). Elizabeth chose to attend Bay Path University because Bay Path’s curriculum extends beyond the classroom, providing a wealth of learning methods, including clinical activity, research, and laboratory experience, to ensure that each student is fully immersed in all aspects of Genetic Counseling. "Bay Path offers students the opportunity to gain work experience in a variety of industries, allowing students to create unique experiences and grow as individuals, while still being part of the close-knit Bay Path community. Attending Bay Path enriches the education of its students by being close to such diverse locations, increasing the learning to the people and places surrounding the school."

NICOLETTE LAWRENCE
Nicolette graduated from the University of Kentucky in the spring of 2016 with a BS in biology. As an undergraduate, she split her time between serving several individuals in the special needs community and conducting species delimitation research on Madagascar's mouse lemurs. After graduating, with honors at U.K., she accepted a position in her undergraduate research lab as a technician/manager, heading a project on the speciation of North American tiger salamanders. She worked with retired racing greyhounds in her free time, and has fostered and adopted out over 7 hounds from various race tracks across the United States. "I look forward to combining my love for analytical genetics and hands in work with the public as a future genetic counselor. I was drawn to the program at Bay Path for several reasons, including the new approach to distance learning and the diversity of clinical work that affords. However, the most important reason for choosing this program was my desire to be part of a new program, and create a strong foundation for future students to succeed from." 

MEGAN PARKER
Megan graduated from North Carolina State University with a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences with a concentration in human biology and minors in Spanish and genetics. Throughout college she spent her time volunteering as a mentor for the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the triangle and as a Front desk translator for Urban Ministries Open door clinic. She was also a member of the International cultural leadership program, VOLAR Spanish service organization, Campus Crusade for Christ, HOSA, and the National Society for Leadership and Success. After college Megan was hired as a Research Technician II at Duke Eye center and worked on projects related to looking at the underlying molecular mechanisms of Exfoliation Glaucoma. She also worked for Maxim health Care as a Habilitation Technician working with people with various disabilities in order to help them lead meaningful purposeful lives. She also began volunteering for the Crisis Text line as a Crisis Counselor helping all types of people through various crises via text messaging. She also volunteered at CURO pregnancy Care Center as a Pregnancy Care Coordinator supporting women in pregnancy crisis. She gained exposure to genetic counseling by shadowing various types of Genetic Counselors and by taking the Genetic Counseling: Career for the Future course offered by the University of South Carolina. She chose to attend Bay Path University due to their novel approach in equipping students to become Genetic Counselors and their supportive and collaborative faculty. In her free time, Megan enjoys scuba diving due to the unfortunate fact that she was not born a mermaid, participating in church activities, playing the guitar, and eating tacos and chocolate cake with friends.

REBEKAH WAIKEL
Rebekah currently lives in Lexington, Kentucky with her husband and two young daughters (3 and 5 y/o). She spends a lot of her free time with her girls. Outside of her day job and being a mom, she enjoys reading, painting, and exploring. Prior to having her 2 girls, she traveled a lot both in the states and internationally, but now uses her adventurous energy checking out new things closer to home. She is originally from northeastern Indiana and completed her BS in Biology at Indiana University in Bloomington. Knowing she wanted a career in biomedical science, she continued on to a PhD program in Molecular and Cellular Biology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. She was able to be involved in some exciting genetic work modeling epithelial cancers in mice, as well as, deciphering the connection between stem cells and cancer. Fast forward several years, cities, and research projects, she is currently an undergraduate professor in biology at Eastern Kentucky University. "My interest in genetic counseling began a few years ago both through a personal medical experience and through my involvement with clinical studies at the University of Kentucky. I gained a first-hand appreciation for the need for more genetics in the treatment of patients."

CARA WEINSTEIN
Cara is from Bucks County, Pennsylvania. She graduated in the spring of 2017 from the University of Delaware with a BA in psychology and a minor in biology. She has been a crisis counselor with Crisis Text Line for about a year. She has also interned for two years at the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center and Research Institute and worked with genetic counselors, as well as, assisted in research on breast cancer gene panels. "I decided to attend Bay Path because I liked the idea of a new program and being part of an inaugural class that helps shape the program into what it can be in the future. I also think the idea of a hybrid program can be very beneficial in that you can focus more on your clinical experiences and how you can apply what you've learned online to the clinicals. I am really looking forward to this opportunity and know I will make the best of it."  In her free time she enjoys traveling with her family, as well as, anything adventurous (she's been skydiving and bungee jumping and is a certified scuba diver).