My hometown when I was a student was:
I graduated from Alma in:
I currently live in:
What is your current career/professional role?
I am a pediatric genetic counselor at Children’s Wisconsin and Medical College of Wisconsin. Genetic counseling is a master’s level allied health profession where I work in collaboration with medical geneticists to diagnose and care for individuals with genetic conditions. As a genetic counselor, my role is especially focused on the needs of the family - I help the individual and parents understand and adapt to having a diagnosis of a rare genetic condition by educating about DNA, inheritance, and genetic testing, as well as providing psychosocial support and resources.
My most vivid/best memory of my time at Alma is:
I really enjoyed being a member, and eventual co-chair, of the Orientation Committee during my sophomore, junior and senior years at Alma. The Orientation Committee was a group of upperclassmen who joined the freshmen on campus during Preterm. We helped to welcome the freshmen with events and activities designed to get them acclimated to campus and excited about being a Scot! The camaraderie, creativity, and fun the OC group as we designed and executed these events created lifelong memories and close friends I still have today.
Statement about how Alma impacted your personal and professional life since graduating.
The liberal arts education I received at Alma College complemented my graduate training and now profession as a genetic counselor. Rather than being pigeonholed into taking a narrow tract of science and math classes for my biochemistry degree, I was able to take classes in the English, Anthropology, Psychology, and other departments as it fit my interests and desire to round out my knowledge base. Working now in a field that marries the hard science of molecular genetics with the human side of disease experience and adaptation, I believe the Alma liberal arts experience provided me with the perfect foundation on which to build.
What current service and/or philanthropy activity are you involved in?
I serve as a Medical Outreach Committee member for the Down Syndrome Association of Wisconsin. Through this role, I help to plan invited speakers for grand rounds at hospitals statewide, parent and family member conferences, and organizational programming with a focus on health issues for individuals with Down syndrome.
Advice I would give a new graduate:
Trust your instincts, trust what you know, and don’t fear the unknowns. The future is yours for the making!
What would you say to a prospective student and their family who was trying to decide if Alma was right for them?
How I have given back to Alma since graduation:
By talking up Alma College every chance I get! I’ve encouraged cousins, friends, friends’ kids, and even strangers to consider going to Alma. On a fun networking note - I love to wear an Alma sweatshirt when I fly. It’s surprising how often I run into another alum or parent of an alum from our small school!