Current Students: Class of 2020

Meet our first year students. Learn about some of the activities they enjoyed prior to beginning graduate school as well as what excites them most about training at the Brandeis Genetic Counseling Program.

Elise Arsenault

Elise Arsenault
BS in Biology, Emmanuel College

“I volunteered at Samaritans suicide prevention hotline. This was an amazing experience listening to and supporting people who may be dealing with difficult family or personal situations and also learning how to navigate a conversation where emotions are running high.”

“I’m most excited about meeting a lot of new people and learning from their experiences. This includes people with genetic conditions and their families, patients and current genetic counselors and GC students.”


Emily Collins class of 2020

Emily Collins
BS in Biomedical Sciences, Rochester Institute of Technology

“I volunteered for an iCan Bike Camp, a weeklong event where people with disabilities learn to independently ride a bike. As a part of that journey with both the riders and their families, I got to be a part of the learning process as well as the celebration of success after a week of hard work.”

“I’m excited to be learning in a program that has such a strong emphasis on the perspectives of patients and their families. I’m really looking forward to things like Family Pals and the Wintersession Programming that give students a chance to hear the experiences of these families firsthand.”


Rosetta Dowling Class of 2020

Rosetta Dowling
BS in Psychology, University of California Santa Barbara

“Working previously as a special education teacher and caregiver has prepared me to have more of an understanding of the lives of people with disabilities. I can empathize with the challenges and rewards that a family may face after receiving a diagnosis. I enjoyed being able to witness so many milestones with my students and teaching them how to be more inclusive!”

“What excites me most about the training at Brandeis is the internships and putting all my training and experience to use. I am looking forward to observing amazing genetic counselors in the area and gaining my own style of counseling!”


Eillen Hoffman - Class of 2020Eileen Hoffman
BS in Biology, Curry College

“I volunteered for Crisis Text Line as a Crisis Counselor and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I feel that the contact techniques I’ve learned from volunteering for CTL have strengthened my interpersonal communication skills in a way that will help me communicate effectively and empathically as a Genetic Counselor. What I’ve enjoyed most about volunteering as a crisis counselor is feeling like I’ve made a positive impact in someone’s life after a tough conversation.”

“I am most excited to be part of the Brandeis Genetic Counseling Program because of the close-knit community feel of the program and I’m looking forward to the prospect of being able to travel for Summer Internships!”


Ashley Kennes - Class of 2020

Ashley Kennes
BS in Public Health Sciences and Biochemical and Molecular Biology , University of Massachusetts Amherst

“I helped organize and plan a twelve hour Dance Marathon at UMass last year that fundraised $212,134 for the kids at the Baystate Children’s Hospital. I really enjoyed being able to give back to this amazing hospital and all the wonderful Miracle children that have been treated there with everything from cancer to different genetic conditions.”

“I am excited about all the different rotations we get to do throughout the program that will give us hands-on experience for our future careers and also trying out the different specialties. I’m also really looking forward to the NSGC conference our second year and meeting other students and genetic counselors from across the US.”

Stephanie Lucia - Class of 2020

Stephanie Lucia
BA in Biology and Psychology, Boston University

“I worked at Boston Children’s Hospital in the department of Genetics and Genomics where I learned about multiple genetic disorders and inborn errors of metabolism. It gave me the opportunity to interact and get to know patients and families with various genetic conditions and have the chance to see what life is like for them.”

“I am most excited to learn more about all areas of genetic counseling, especially the fieldwork and seeing life from the patient’s point of view.”


Haewon Park - Class of 2020

Haewon Park
BS in Biology, University of Massachusetts Amherst

“I volunteered at Partners for Youth with Disabilities as a mentor and an advocate. I helped my mentee navigate through challenges in her life and provided emotional support and resources that may have helped her with academic success and personal growth. Through this experience, I learned to see individuals beyond their disabilities and gained new perspectives. Furthermore, I worked as a clinical research coordinator at Massachusetts General Hospital. I conducted several clinical studies for patients with functional gastrointestinal disorders. I gathered medical histories, performed research-related clinical procedures, and also served as a liaison between study sponsors, healthcare professionals, and patients. I enjoyed interacting with patients from all walks of life, following up with them for several months to see how their conditions changed over time, and working as part of a team!”

“I am excited about applying classroom knowledge to clinical practice through rotations and I look forward to working with patients and future colleagues as I start my new journey! I am absolutely thrilled to become a member of this amazing profession!”

Rachel Rabenn - Class of 2020

Rachel Rabenn
BS in Biomedical Sciences, Rochester Institute of Technology

“I graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with a BS in Biomedical Science and a minor in American Sign Language (ASL) and Deaf Culture. I have progressive hearing loss and I was born with a muscular myopathy, so needless to say I have always been fascinated with genetics and the role of genetic counselors. Throughout college I volunteered with a local organization known as the Deaf Refugee Advocacy Association where I assisted Deaf refugees in learning English, ASL and advocacy skills.”

“I am excited to learn everything there is to know about genetic counseling through my classes, fieldwork and observations. Furthermore, I am looking forward to learning from all of the diverse genetic counselors and patients that I will interact with throughout my two years at Brandeis.”

Lathel Rolle - Class of 2020

Lathel Rolle
BS in Biomedical Sciences, University of Massachusetts Lowell

“I think an activity that has prepared me to be a genetic counselor is when I was a patient visitor at Tufts Medical Center. Being able to talk to a wide array of patients on good days, bad days and even some weird days opened my eyes to the different interactions that can happen when talking to patients.”

“I think that being able to have a different level of patient interaction through the internships and discussing these experiences with my fellow classmates is going to be a large part of what I look forward to in this program!”


Kelly Tripi - Class of 2020

Kelly Tripi
BS in Biomedical Sciences, State University of New York Brockport

“My employment at the Genomics Research Center at the University of Rochester allowed me to practice next generation sequencing techniques. I enjoyed experiencing the evolution of techniques and helping the center provide services nationally, and internationally. My volunteer experience at the Center for Youth as a phone crisis operator involved providing emotional support in crisis situations.”

“I am most looking forward to experiencing the many disability-awareness opportunities, as well as the numerous clinical rotation locations. I cannot wait to merge these experiences with my genetics knowledge!”