Class of 2022
Hi everyone! I’m Kristy, a first-year student from a small town outside of Erie, PA. I attended Penn State University to earn a degree in Biobehavioral Health and a minor in Psychological Science. While there, I participated in a fulfilling research project called The Child Health Study, I volunteered at Centre Helps, a 24/7 crisis hotline, and I was a research intern during a summer at Geisinger where I worked with chatbots. After graduating, I became a genetic counseling assistant for Geisinger. I ranked CWRU’s Genetic Counseling Program because I loved our options to rotate through many hospital systems, and the people truly stood out to me. Outside of academics, I am enjoy exploring outdoors and hiking trails, sipping wine especially at wineries, and exploring what the Cleveland area has to offer.
Hi there! I’m Nikki Dumigan and I’m from the little beach town of Lewes, Delaware. I went to University of Delaware for my undergraduate degree, where I had majors in both Biology and History. While at UD, I was a genetics TA and worked as an Honors Program Writing Fellow, helping freshmen learn the skills of writing college papers. In the two years between college and starting at Case Western, I had two jobs—a server at Buffalo Wild Wings and a research assistant in a microbiology lab (studying bacterial genetics!)—and two volunteer positions—a Crisis Text Line counselor and a volunteer at the cancer center doing therapeutic art projects with the chemotherapy patients. In my free time, I love going to the beach and breweries, creative writing, and traveling to see historic sites or museums. I’m so excited to be part of Case’s class of 2022!
Hello my name is Jordan Johnson and I am excited to be a part of class 2022. I received my BS is molecular and cellular biology from Lawrence Technological University, a small school outside of Detroit, MI. While at LTU I played on the varsity volleyball team and served as a board member for our chapters of ASBMB and ACS. My interest in genetic counseling started my senior year of my undergrad and solidified during my year spent as a GCA in a cancer clinic. In my free time I love exploring Cleveland and trying out new coffee shops.
Hi! My name is Emily Marckini and I'm from a small town north of Grand Rapids, MI called Cedar Springs. I received my BS in Cellular and Molecular Biology with a minor in music from the University of Michigan in 2015. During my undergrad, I was a member of the Michigan Marching Band, Michigan Basketball Band and Tau Beta Sigma sorority. After graduation, I worked three years as a genetic counseling assistant in the Cancer Genetics Clinic at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids where I was able to work alongside genetic counselors and interact directly with patients. I was also a volunteer mentor for Alpha Women's Center where I provided emotional support to pregnant women and mothers in an underserved area. When I'm not studying, I enjoy hanging out with family and friends, checking out Cleveland, researching my genealogy, attending church, traveling, and listening to music. I am a movie enthusiast and especially enjoy Disney, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and documentaries of all kinds.
Hi! My name is Megan Mayers, and I am from North Carolina. I grew up in Durham and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Neuroscience. During my time as an undergraduate, I worked as a teaching assistant for Cellular and Developmental Biology, and I was involved in research with the Clinical Genome Resource (ClinGen) project. I continued this work with ClinGen postgrad during my gap year, where I was involved in both gene and variant curation for cardiovascular, inborn errors of metabolism, and neuromuscular clinical domains. Outside of classes and work, I also volunteered for the Crisis Text Line as a crisis counselor. I very grateful and excited for the opportunities I will have attending the Genetic Counseling Training program at Case Western! In my free time, I like to hang out with my cat, watch too much Netflix, and spend time with my friends and family.
Hello, my name is Tania Montenegro. I am a first year student from San Diego, California. I completed my undergraduate degree at Point Loma Nazarene University and earned my BS in biology. After my undergrad, I went to Indianapolis to complete my Master’s in Public Health with a concentration in social and behavioral sciences at Indiana University. While there, I volunteered for the 24/7 Families First crisis hot line and did an internship with Brookside Community Play. With Brookside Community Play, I was able to create educational and fun science material for the children of the community to encourage them to learn more about science. In my free time, I enjoy hiking and baking!
Hello, my name is Emma Nelson and I am from Ypsilanti, Michigan! I graduated from Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania in 2020 with a BA in Biology and Political Science. In undergrad, I worked as a tutor for writing and biology, which grew my love for helping and educating people. Over the summer, I’ve also worked with a program in Michigan that helps distribute and repair accessible bicycles! I’m excited to be here at Case Western to become a genetic counselor, and part of what drew me to CWRU was the opportunity to dual enroll in the Bioethics program. I hope to use my education in genetic counseling and bioethics in my career to work with the interaction of genetic counseling and policy. In my free time, I follow Formula 1 racing and listen to all kinds of music!
Hi! My name is Alexa Weiss. I’m from Yorkville, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. I went to Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois where I got my BA in biology. I graduated in December 2019. While at IWU, I did research on the genetics of chlorophyll synthesis in a bacterium called Synechocystis. I also volunteered as a call center specialist at PATH Crisis Center. In addition, I worked as a TA for gen bio lab. I got the opportunity to shadow some genetic counselors in the Chicagoland area, and it affirmed my decision to pursue genetic counseling as a career. I am so excited and grateful to be at Case Western! I’ve enjoyed exploring Cleveland and trying the cuisine the city has to offer. In my free time, I enjoy going for walks, swimming, and relaxing with Netflix.
Class of 2023
Hi! My name is Brynn Riley and I am from Grand Rapids, Michigan. I graduated in 2021 from the University of Michigan with degrees in Biology, Health, and Society (BHS), and Spanish. During undergrad I worked in a lab determining the genes that are involved in the metabolism of signaling molecule c-di-GMP, and its role in biofilm formation and motility in A. baumannii, a multidrug resistant pathogen. Outside of class, I volunteered as a crisis line counselor at Ozone house, a shelter & support non-profit organization for youth. In my free time I love to travel, watch sports, and spend time with my friends and family. I am very excited to be a part of the class of 2023 here at Case and looking forward to learning alongside an incredible cohort!
Hi! My name is Kayla Johnson and I am from Ypsilanti, Michigan. I graduated in 2019 from Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan with a degree in Allied Health Sciences and Biology. After graduating, I moved back to east Michigan and spent two years working at the University of Michigan - Kellogg Eye Center. While there, I served as a GCA for the Retinal Dystrophy Clinic and Clinical Coordinator for an ophthalmic genetic research study, which aimed to define new gene variants associated with various eye conditions such as glaucoma and nanophthalmos. I also volunteered with Crisis Text Line as a crisis counselor and with The ENOUGH Initiative, a non-profit organization focused on domestic violence prevention. I am excited to be a part of the 2023 genetic counseling cohort at Case and am so thankful to learn with, and from, so many incredible people! In my free time, you can find me with my family and friends, attending sporting events (specifically football and softball), trying new restaurants, and watching competition reality shows
Hi! My name is Natali Semerad, and I am from Savage, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis/St. Paul. I graduated from Creighton University in 2019 with a BS in Biology and a minor in Behavioral and Cognitive Neuropsychology. After graduation, I volunteered for the Omaha Women’s Center for Advancement with their domestic violence hotline and was a co-facilitator for a weekly teen support group. I also worked as a Genetic Counseling Associate for two years at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, assisting their hereditary cancer and pediatric genetic counselors and exploring the growing genetic counseling field. In my free time, I love to spend time with my friends and family, explore new places, and listen to music. I am so grateful to be part of the 2023 CWRU Genetic Counseling class and am looking forward to the next two years in Cleveland!
Hi my name is Sydney Bruggeman and I am from Neenah, Wisconsin. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2020 with a BS in Genetics and Genomics. During undergrad, I worked in a research lab studying metabolism in mice, volunteered as a crisis text line counselor, and served as VP on the executive board of Delta Delta Delta sorority. I was also able to spend a summer at Johns Hopkins Hospital as a genetic counseling intern which made me confident this is the right field for me. After graduation, I started working at PreventionGenetics as a laboratory GCA. There I was also able to volunteer at the local hospice center and as a sexual assault victim advocate. In Cleveland, I love finding new hiking places and exploring fun neighborhoods like Little Italy!
Hello! My name is Justin and I'm from Perrysburg, OH. I graduated from Miami University with a Bachelor of Arts in Microbiology with a minor in Management. While attending Miami University, I was a brother of the Chi Psi Fraternity, Vice President of Men Against Rape & Sexual Assualt, and a Sexual Assault Crisis Advocate with Women Helping Women. I'm very grateful and excited to be a part of Case Western's Genetic Counseling Training Program! Aside from school, I've worked throughout the last few years at various restaurants as a dishwasher, server, food runner, and host. Some of my hobbies include cooking, estate sale shopping, and more recently, indoor plant collecting.
Hi! My name is Christina Mealwitz and I am one of the current first year genetic counseling students here at CWRU. I am from a small town called Lagrange, Ohio which is only an hour west of Cleveland. I attended Heidelberg University in Tiffin, Ohio for the past four years where I earned my Biology degree with Chemistry and Psychology minors. While there, I was very involved in World Student Union and TriBeta. I also spent my last two years as a TA for the Genetics and Cellular and Molecular Biology labs as well. During my senior year, I volunteered and eventually worked at Sisters in Shelter where I was able to work with and empower human trafficking and domestic violence victims on their journeys to freedom and independence. Throughout my coursework and experiences at Heidelberg, I was able to find a passion for genetic counseling as it combined my love for genetics and desire to help people better understand their own genetics. In my free time, I love cheering on all of the Cleveland sports team, getting to know my classmates, and traveling!
Hi everyone! I’m Erin, a first-year student from Butler, PA. I graduated from Bowling Green State University in May 2020 where I majored in Biology with a minor in Psychology. While at BGSU, I was a member of the Honors College where I completed my thesis exploring the role genetics can have in children’s literature. I worked as a genetics tutor, academic coach, and was a member of Alpha Phi Omega. I also volunteered with a local domestic and sexual violence agency. During my gap year, I worked as a domestic violence advocate where I worked directly with survivors in a variety of settings. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my dog, painting, knitting, exploring Cleveland, and watching true-crime documentaries.
My name is Hannah and I'm a 1st year GC student. I am from Strongsville, OH, a suburb of Cleveland. I graduated from John Carroll University in 2019 with an MS in Cell and Molecular Biology and minors in Spanish and Peace, Justice, and Human Rights. After completing undergrad, I spent a year on the US-Mexico border in Agua Prieta, Mexico and another year working in healthcare administration in Cleveland, while applying to GC programs. Outside of class I spend my time on the emotional rollercoaster of Cleveland sports, biking around the city, and hanging out with my dog, Stanley.