Muhammed Bajo

Sarah Lawrence College

Timbria Burke

Boston University

Kristen Connors

Boston University

Shannon Gray

University of Pennsylvania

Destini King

Rutgers University

Angelia Manuelito

University of Pennsylvania

Ariel Modeste

Sarah Lawrence College

Ivana Moore

University of Maryland

Ashana Neale

Boston University

Matthew Nikzad

University of Maryland

Andy Peralta

Sarah Lawrence College

Jasmin Perkins

University of Maryland

Jordan Peters

University of Pennsylvania

Dessiah Phillips

Sarah Lawrence College

Erika Pittman

Rutgers University

Evelyn Ramirez

University of Pennsylvania

Lupita Sanchez

Boston University

Nicole Sanchez

Rutgers University

Stephanie Soto Mangandi

University of Maryland

Hien Tran

Rutgers University

Class of 2024

Kristen Conners | Boston University

Kristen graduated from James Madison University where she studied Biomedical Illustration and Inequalities in the Biological Sciences, with minors in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies, Biology, and Sociology. After graduation, Kristen moved to Madrid, Spain, where she pursued a master’s degree in Bilingual and Multicultural Education and taught English at a secondary school. She is interested in addressing inequities in healthcare.

Shannon Gray | University of Pennsylvania

Shana graduated from Ohio State University where she received a degree in Molecular Genetics and Zoology. After graduation, she worked for two years as a clinical research assistant studying melanoma at the James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. Shana has volunteered for the Sexual Assault Response Network, helping survivors of sexual assault and providing services via in-person and telehealth. She has also volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

Destini King | Rutgers University

Destini graduated from Drexel University where she received a degree in Biology. She also interned as a genetics research assistant and contributed to the research on sea turtle nesting habits while studying abroad in Equatorial Guinea.  After graduation, Destini spent a year working as a Veterinary Assistant at a non-profit veterinary clinic before working as a GCA at Nemours Children’s Hospital.  She has a wealth of volunteer experience, namely working as an education mentor with Minds Matter Philadelphia and volunteering as a crisis counselor with Crisis Text Line.

Angelia Manuelito | University of Pennsylvania

Angelia graduated from Columbia University where she received a degree in Evolutionary Biology of the Human Species. In high school, Angelia conducted a community-based research project on the benefits of genetic testing and population screening for the prevention of congenital diseases within indigenous communities. She is interested in addressing and repairing the relationship between western science and indigenous medicine allowing both to benefit from genetic technologies.

Ivana Moore | University of Maryland

Ivana graduated from Randolph Macon College where she received a degree in Behavioral Neuroscience with minors in Psychology and Biology. She holds a graduate degree in Biomedical Sciences with an emphasis in Biopsychology from Liberty University. While continuing her education, Ivana has worked in several medical offices with genetic counselors, volunteering at Rappahannock Council Against Sexual Assault (RCASA) and was a COVID-19 case investigator.

Ashana Neale | Boston University

Ashana graduated from Marist College where she received a degree in Biomedical Sciences. She was the Resident Assistant for her college’s newfound multicultural housing. Since graduating, Ashana has been a cancer GCA, psychosocial rehabilitation worker, and an intern with the Black Cancer Genes project. Ashana aspires to remedy the limited access and knowledge of genetic services among minorities.

Andy Peralta | Sarah Lawrence College

Andy graduated summa cum laude from Lehman College with a dual degree in Anthropology/Biology/Chemistry and Philosophy.  As an undergraduate student, Andy worked as a TA and tutored Genetics, Organic Chemistry and Physics. After graduation he found a love of teaching and became a lecturer, focusing on Genetics, Human Anatomy and Physiology.

Dessiah Phillips | Sarah Lawrence College

Dessiah graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington where she received dual degrees in Biology and Psychology. She attended a summer undergraduate research program in genetics at Texas A & M. Since graduating, Dessiah has been working as a behavioral therapist for children with developmental disorders. She has interests in patient advocacy and hopes to use bioethics to provide safe advancements in genetics.

Stephanie Soto Mangandi | University of Maryland

Stephanie graduated from Harrisburg University of Science and Technology where she received a degree in Biotechnology. While at Harrisburg University she was President of the Latinx Student Association. Stephanie has an interest in clinical genetic research and patient outreach programs. She aims to be actively involved in progressive diversity efforts in understanding how environmental injustices can contribute to disparities in healthcare.

Hien Tran | Rutgers University

Hien graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she received a degree in Integrative Biology and participated in the Johns Hopkins Genetic Counseling internship program. For the past three years, Hien has worked at RACES as a hotline crisis volunteer. Her goal is to work towards helping minorities, immigrants and other underrepresented patient populations to become more aware and knowledgeable about genomic medicine.

Class of 2025

About our scholars

They participate in all the regular coursework, fieldwork, research, and activities of their individual Master’s programs.

They are part of a dynamic cohort of scholars exploring issues of diversity and inclusion in the field of genetic counseling and medicine more broadly.

They are role models for future students from underrepresented communities who wish to become genetic counselors.

They contribute in outreach efforts to promote genetic counseling as a cutting-edge healthcare profession and support equity in healthcare.