Meet our new Genetic Counseling Assistant Team
We have recently expanded our Genetic Counseling Assistant (GCA) team. The creation of GCA roles in the laboratory setting has proven beneficial to our Lab Genetic Counselor team, our company, and the GCAs who are preparing for genetic counseling careers.
Under GC supervision, GCA job duties include communicating with clients, triaging phone calls, and drafting reports. Our GCAs have found that these responsibilities provide them with valuable experience and prepare them for graduate programs. “It’s rewarding work with a group of motivated, aspiring genetic counselors, knowing that the experiences they are gaining now are preparing them to be future leaders in our profession,” said Christina Zaleski, director of genetic counseling & client services. “I can’t wait to see all they accomplish in their careers,” Zaleski added.
As we bid farewell to previous members of our Genetic Counseling Assistant team who are moving on to their next adventure, we’d like to take a moment to recognize and thank them. Two of our GCAs, Allysa Olson and Brooke Sample will be starting graduate school this fall. Allysa will enter University of Wisconsin’s Genetic Counseling Program, and Brooke enter Indiana State University’s Genetic Counseling Program. Kaitlyn Waldron and Grace Hagan will be relocating to be closer to their families and continue preparing for graduate school. We look forward to following them on their future journeys.
We are excited to welcome our new team of aspiring Genetic Counselors who have recently accepted positions with us. If you speak to them by phone or receive an email reply drafted by them, please help us welcome them!
Jordyn Prell graduated from the University of St. Thomas in 2016 with her Bachelor’s in Biology. She has been on our GCA team for the past year and is the senior team member who, fortunately for us, chose to stay with us another year as she prepares for graduate school.
Chelsea Reierson graduated from UW Stevens Point in December 2016 with her Bachelor’s in Biology and Spanish.
Madison Aliff graduated from Austin College in Sherman, TX this spring with a Bachelor’s in Molecular and Cellular Biology and a minor in Chemistry.
Ben Schilz graduated from UW LaCrosse this May with a Bachelor’s in Biology with minors in Psychology and Chemistry as well as a Cellular and Molecular Biology Concentration.
Bridget Winchester graduated from UW Madison this May with a Bachelor’s in Genetics.
Dan Serber graduated from Truman State University with a Bachelor’s in Biology and from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill with a PhD in Genetics and Molecular Biology.
Kaegan Mestel graduated from Southern Illinois University this May with a Bachelor’s in Biomedical Sciences.
Chelsey Walsh graduated from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2012 with a Bachelor’s in Molecular and Cellular Biology. Chelsey has been working as a Public Program Specialist for the Champaign County Forest Preserve District.
About our GCA Program
In 2014, we recruited two existing laboratory technicians with an interest in genetic counseling to pilot a GCA role. The success of this pilot program allowed us to hire an additional four full-time GCAs in 2016, with further expansions this summer. The experience gained has been invaluable for the GCAs, but also for our company. Since the addition of GCAs, we have been able to expand the role of Lab GCs at our company. Some of these expanded GC roles include: involvement on our exome team, maintenance of our clinicome gene list, and organization of special business project opportunities.