Program News

Message from the Director

Thank you for visiting our website.

Like every educational endeavor, from preschool to graduate studies, our Master’s Program in Genetic Counseling has been weathering the unprecedented COVID 19 pandemic. Since Wednesday March 11, the last day we were all on campus together, we have been working hard to continue to educate our students in the virtual classroom, provide meaningful clinical opportunities without patient contact and complete the 2020 admissions cycle minus in person applicant interviews.  This has all occurred with a combination of unending university support and resources, dedicated staff and faculty as well as flexible and resilient students and applicants who have risen to the challenges of this new normal.

Zoom has become a mainstay of our operations this semester.  From lectures, to journal clubs to faculty meetings to applicant interviews to social hours, to our recent graduation ceremony we have all been reduced to a small rectangle on a screen in a grid of our peers.  For a program that highly values its strong sense of community, this has been a huge paradigm shift.  For our colleagues in the clinical setting who have migrated to telehealth, they have had to create new ways to meet the needs of their patients using unfamiliar technology. When possible, they have invited our students into their new world to get a glimpse at another service delivery model, one very different from how the genetic counseling profession began. And while not ideal, all of this has worked because of the adaptability of everyone involved. Resiliency has been evident on so many levels, both in our little microcosm and the larger world around us, and it makes me confident that we will all get past this.

When the dust has settled on this crazy time that has brought heartache to so many individuals and families, there will also be positive outcomes. We will all have learned to take fewer things for granted. We will have realized that the same situation affects different people in different ways.  We will have come to an even greater appreciation of science and healthcare. We will have embraced flexibility and will have mastered “thinking outside the box”. In a profession that is already devoted to meeting the needs of every patient in an individualized and impactful way, this promises to transform genetic counseling forever in ways we may have never imagined. We hope you will consider joining us to prepare to enter a new era in this amazing profession.

Gretchen Schneider
Director, Genetic Counseling Program