About Us

The Genetic Counseling Club at the University of Pittsburgh aims to be a source of information and support to students interested in genetic counseling or considering a career in the field. Throughout the academic year, we discuss the basics of genetic counseling, how to apply to graduate school, and host numerous guest speakers from each of the major specialties within the overall field of genetic counseling. We also publish a newsletter each semester, Genetic Counseling: Undergrad Edition, and podcast interviews with various professionals. 

Meet our officers!

President: Daisy Ritenour

Major: Biology and Psychology

Minor: Chemistry

Year: Senior

Why do I want to become a genetic counselor? Genetic counseling is a perfect blend of what I am skilled at and what I am passionate about. I appreciate that genetic counseling involves a combination of biology and psychology because those are two areas of study I not only find interesting, but also come rather naturally to me. More importantly, I love how genetic counseling allows me to leave a positive impact on those around me.

Vice President: Dakota Kolbe

Major: Biology

Minor: Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies

Year: Senior

Why do I want to become a genetic counselor? I joined the Genetic Counseling Club in its first year as the vice president and have been an active member ever since. I am interested in becoming a genetic counselor because I grew up with a family member who had a chronic illness. This gave me a front seat view for the good, bad, and ugly of our health-care system. I want to be a genetic counselor so that when I am seeing clients I can help make the experience as helpful and pleasant as possible.

Business Manager: Maria Rhine

Major: Biology

Minors: Chemistry and Social Work

Year: Senior

Why do I want to become a genetic counselor? I am planning on graduating in April 2019 with the hopes that I will be starting my Master’s in Genetic Counseling in the fall! I realized I wanted to be a genetic counselor when a close family member was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer and was referred to a genetic counselor. Those appointments had a major impact for my family, and I hope to be able to provide that same knowledge and support to patients in the future. Genetic counseling is such dynamic field, and I can’t wait to immerse myself in all there is to learn!

Volunteer Coordinator: Carolyn Maxwell

Major: Biology

Minor: Chemistry

Certificate: Conceptual Foundations of Medicine

Year: Junior

Why do I want to become a genetic counselor? I am a junior undergraduate student interested in becoming a genetic counselor. I am studying biology with a minor in chemistry and a certificate in conceptual foundations of medicine. As the volunteer coordinator I plan volunteer events for the club such as making dinner at Family House. I became interested in genetic counseling in high school while taking an aptitude test, and I have yet to find a career path as interesting and dynamic as genetic counseling!

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