Students

Our students come from a variety of undergraduate institutions, with varied industry experiences and career goals.

See our current students and get a feeling for the variety of professionals who join the program. To see our recent graduates, click Class of 2018.

Current Students

Class of 2020

Aaron Baldwin

Originally from Takoma Park, Maryland, just outside the District of Columbia, Aaron graduated from the College of William and Mary with a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences and a minor in Sociology. Aaron competed all four years as a member of the school’s NCAA Division I soccer team. Additionally, he was a part of the school’s applied conservation and ecological research lab, focusing on the distribution and nesting patterns of the wood thrush, an endangered bird species. After graduating, Aaron started as a technician in the accessions laboratory at GeneDx, where he gained further familiarity with the field of genetics. He quickly realized that he desired a career path with face-to-face interaction and shifted his attention to the genetic counseling department within the company. Aaron transferred to the Neurology group at the company as a Genetic Counseling Assistant (GCA) and was given an opportunity to shadow a genetic counselor in both lab and clinical settings. Through these experiences, it became clear that the profession would be a perfect blend of his interest in genetics and a desire for personal patient interaction. In addition, over the past two years he has served as a mentor and coach for the DC Special Olympics program, connecting with disadvantaged and underrepresented groups through athletics, while also volunteering with a 22q awareness group. In his free time, Aaron enjoys playing sports, listening to live music, and traveling.

Shea Bonine

Shea was born and raised in Glendale, Arizona and graduated from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas in 2018. While running cross-country and track, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. She discovered her passion for genetic counseling through a part-time job as a Developmental Services Worker for an eight-year-old girl with Trisomy 4p. What started as a way to earn some extra money as an undergraduate student quickly led her to explore the world of genetic counseling. Over the course of four years, she assisted with her medications and helped her learn, as well as witnessed the effects this condition had on her family members. She was fortunate enough to see how crucial a genetic counselor truly was from both a medical and emotional standpoint. In addition, she also volunteered as a counselor with the Crisis Text Line. Prior to starting the genetic counseling program, Shea worked for Developmental Services of Northwest Kansas. She helped over 14 individuals, ages 30-70, with various disabilities engage in society and become more independent. With a strong passion for special needs, Shea is excited to stay in the Midwest to attend Augustana University and hopes to extend genetic counseling to rural communities after graduation. In her free time, Shea enjoys running, being outdoors, reading, playing with her pup, Remmy, and spending time with friends.

Annina Cooper

Annina is a Southern California native, born and raised in Long Beach, California. She graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology in 2017. As an undergraduate student, she volunteered in a heart research lab but soon realized her desire to work with people. At the beginning of her junior year, she learned about genetic counseling and realized she had found her calling. Over the next two years, she spent time shadowing several different genetic counselors at both UC San Diego Health and Rady Children’s Hospital of San Diego. She spent time in a variety of different departments, including prenatal, cancer, pediatrics, and muscle disease clinics. After her experience in the muscle disease clinic, she volunteered her time at the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s summer camp. Annina’s additional passions in life are gymnastics and coaching. During her time at SDSU, she worked as a trampoline, tumbling, and acrobatics coach, helping athletes face their fears and achieve their goals. After graduating, she worked as a clinical laboratory technician at Illumina, performing the Infinium genotyping assay. Annina is excited to experience all that Sioux Falls has to offer over the next year and will be completing her second year back in San Diego. In her free time, you can find Annina country line dancing, tumbling, playing with her pup, and doing any and all outdoor activities!

Sarah Gould

Sarah is a Georgia native who earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Georgia Tech in 2016. At Georgia Tech, she studied gene expression changes in immune cells in a human genetics laboratory under Dr. Gregory Gibson. As an undergraduate, Sarah also spent a semester abroad in New Zealand, Australia, and Fiji, studying biogeography. Soon after graduation, she moved to Maryland to join the NIH as a Scientific Program Analyst at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). As a Scientific Program Analyst, she helped ensure the efficiency and measure the efficacy of large research initiatives like the Undiagnosed Diseases Network and Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) Project. While in Maryland, Sarah volunteered as a call specialist for EveryMind’s Crisis Prevention and Intervention Hotline, and she took graduate courses through the Foundation for Advanced Education in the Sciences. She is excited to have found a field that aligns closely with her professional and personal interests and is looking forward to studying in Sioux Falls. Sarah enjoys gardening, baking, and spending time with her cats.

Gillian Halter

Gillian grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and has been living in sunny San Diego, California for the past 11 years. She graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a bachelor's degree in Biology and a minor in Psychology. After graduating in 2007, she moved to San Diego and started her career working in the pharmacology department of a small pharmaceutical startup. Since her passion was always genetics and molecular biology, she continued her education, earning a master’s degree in Cell and Molecular Biology at San Diego State University. From there, she worked at Sequenom in Research and Development, learning many valuable molecular laboratory skills, including Next Generation Sequencing. This training, in turn, enabled her to land a position at Illumina, working in the Product Development group.

Gillian’s desire to help people fueled her to move into a role in the Technical Support department at Illumina, where she helped customers troubleshoot issues they had with their sequencing runs. Here, she was introduced to genetic counselors, ultimately renewing her interest in the field which she had first heard about in high school. She is super excited to pursue this degree at Augustana University! Gillian looks forward to exploring Sioux Falls during her first year and will return to San Diego to complete her second year. Gillian’s favorite activities include playing softball, practicing yoga, rock climbing, cooking, traveling, and hanging out at the beach with her friends!

Lindsey Schmidt

Lindsey is a born and raised Midwesterner. She grew up in Becker, a small town in the heart of Minnesota, and ventured to North Dakota for the first four years of her college career. Lindsey graduated from North Dakota State University in 2018 with a degree in Biological Sciences. During her time at NDSU, Lindsey had some amazing experiences to grow professionally and personally, through time spent as a resident assistant, cycling instructor, member of Blue Key Honor Society, and crew captain of the NDSU Love Your Melon organization. Academically, Lindsey’s passion for studying genetics started at a young age. Her younger brother has a rare genetic syndrome called Pallister-Killian syndrome (PKS), and he has influenced every part of her life including her career path. She has been a volunteer for PKS Kids, an organization built to create awareness and community for families involved with PKS. Lindsey had an exciting opportunity to work as a genetic counseling intern at Sanford Health in Fargo. There, she got an insider’s view on what being a genetic counselor entails and loved every minute of it She spent most of her time in maternal-fetal medicine but had opportunities to learn from both cancer and pediatrics as well. During her internship she had many projects, but some of her favorites included working on generating pedigrees, creating patient handouts, and, most importantly, researching and constructing a guide for a carrier screen that looked at 175 autosomal recessive conditions and the relationship those conditions have with prenatal ultrasounds. Lindsey cannot wait to continue her education in genetic counseling and explore not only Sioux Falls but also San Diego in her second year of the program. When Lindsey is not studying, you can probably find her at a local coffee shop, hot yoga studio, or the beach when she’s in San Diego.

Alyssa Sherwood

Alyssa is a Colorado native who grew up just outside of Denver. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Microbiology with a minor in Chemistry from Northern Arizona University in 2015. While at NAU, Alyssa participated in an NIH-funded research training program located in New Zealand. During this experience, she had the opportunity to work with an exercise physiologist, assisting in validation of echocardiogram analyses taken during high intensity exercise training. Upon graduation, Alyssa began her career as a Clinical Laboratory Scientist in the Mycobacteriology Laboratory at National Jewish Health, the #1 respiratory hospital in the nation. While in this position, she performed clinical testing such as molecular identification, antimicrobial drug susceptibility testing for Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Nontuberculous Mycobacteria (NTM), and managed the testing and data delivery for several clinical research contracts. Successful completion of these tasks allowed Alyssa the opportunity to transition into a role as a Research Laboratory Scientist for the Colorado Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Research and Development Program (CFRDP). As a member of the CFRDP team, she prepared NTM isolates from CF patients to provide surveillance of potential infection transmission using whole genome sequencing and bio-banked CF-NTM isolates for use in collaborative CF research. Though Alyssa enjoyed the clinical and research laboratory environment, she desired to be involved in direct clinical application of test results. Interning for a cancer genetic counselor and volunteering as an oncology nursing assistant in a Denver hospital solidified her interest in cancer genetics and strengthened her desire to become a genetic counselor. In her free time, Alyssa enjoys both coaching and playing competitive softball, hiking, traveling, and cheering on the Denver Broncos.

Karina Skov

Originally from Alden, Minnesota, Karina graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Genetics.  At UW, Karina served as an Undergraduate Research Assistant for a genetics laboratory within the Animal Science Department. She researched DNA methylation patterns to locate genes that act as genetic markers for determining bovine fertility statuses. Karina was also a member of the Wisconsin Alumni Student Board, where she planned and executed various events aimed at connecting past, present, and future Badgers! In Madison, Karina worked as an Advanced Behavioral Treatment Technician for the Wisconsin Early Autism Project (WEAP), a company that serves children with autism. She also volunteered weekly with The Respite Center at RISE, a non-profit that provides emergency childcare and respite for children. Karina discovered genetic counseling in high school and has been pursuing the career ever since! In addition to her love of science, Karina’s experiences traveling to the Marshall Islands and New Orleans, along with multiple science fairs, revealed to her the importance of choosing a career that combines genetics and helping others. In her spare time, Karina enjoys crafting, running, spending time lakeside, and tackling new outdoor adventures with friends and family. Next is mountain biking!

Sydney Strait

Sydney grew up in Watertown, South Dakota. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology at the University of South Dakota with a minor in Business Administration. As an undergraduate student, she was actively involved in Colleges Against Cancer and volunteered as a mentor for Camp Love’s Embrace, a grief camp for children. During the summer of her junior year, Sydney was an intern for Sanford Imagenetics, where she spent time shadowing genetic counselors in the breast cancer, internal medicine, maternal-fetal medicine, pediatrics, and reproductive endocrinology clinics. For her senior honors thesis, she worked in the Sioux Falls Veterans Affairs Hospital Research Lab, assisting with a research project to study the role of Calcineurin in alcohol consumption. Through this research, she co-authored a published article by the Oxford University Press and presented the research to legislators in Pierre, South Dakota. Following graduation, Sydney began working as an Associate Genetic Laboratory Technician for the Sanford Medical Genetics Laboratory. In her free time, Sydney likes to shop, crochet, learn about family history through genealogy, and spend time with friends and family.

Malia Triebold

Malia grew up in the small town of Somerset, Wisconsin. She attended college at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology in 2018. She minored in Psychology and Chemistry and was a member of University Honors. While at UMD, she served as a Supplemental Instruction Leader for two courses--Genetics and General Biology II--and conducted research in a lab within the UMD College of Pharmacy that used autophagy inhibition in mice to study neurological disorders. Malia volunteered at the Center Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse in Superior, Wisconsin, as well as in the surgery family waiting room at a local hospital. During her summer breaks, she worked as a Department Assistant at a hospital near her hometown, providing administrative support to all levels of hospital staff. She is extremely excited to spend the next two years in Sioux Falls as part of the Augustana-Sanford Genetic Counseling Graduate Program. She loves dogs, reading, and, like a true Wisconsinite, cheese! In her spare time, Malia enjoys going on walks, watching Netflix, listening to podcasts, and spending time with friends and family.

Class of 2019

Kaylee Dollerschell

After growing up in a small Western Colorado town, Kaylee attended Colorado State University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology in 2012. Shortly after graduating, Kaylee was introduced to the world of clinical genomics as a research assistant at ArcherDX. Through this position, she was involved in the research and development of next-generation sequencing assays in which proprietary chemistry is utilized to identify complex genetic abnormalities. In 2014, Kaylee accepted a position with Baby Genes, a clinical genetics laboratory specializing in the detection of metabolic conditions within newborns. As one of the company’s early employees, she contributed to the development of laboratory, data analysis, and business practices and continued to watch it cultivate throughout her three and a half years there. It was during this time that she discovered her passion for genetic counseling, with a particular interest in metabolic counseling. Through the past several years, she has volunteered with various animal adoption agencies and Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners. During her spare time, Kaylee enjoys being lakeside with a fishing pole, hiking with her dog, or simply spending time with friends and family.

Kaitlyn Givens

Kaitlyn grew up in a suburb of Minneapolis and graduated in 2016 from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and second major in Biology, Society, and Environment (BSE). During her time at the U, she had the opportunity to study abroad in Madrid, Spain, where she lived with a host family, explored the beautiful city, and joined the psychiatric care team as a student at Clínica López Ibor. In her sophomore year, she began working as a personal care assistant for a woman with Spina Bifida, where she gained insight into the implications of living with a disability. Kaitlyn also volunteered for various organizations in her community, including Fairview Homecare and Hospice, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and Pageant of Hope. After discovering the field of genetic counseling in her undergraduate genetics course, she began shadowing across a variety of clinical settings including prenatal, pediatrics, and cancer, as well as in the cytogenetic and molecular genetic laboratories at Mayo Clinic. Since graduation, Kaitlyn has been working as a Medical Scribe in a Fairview OB/GYN clinic, where she works alongside physicians and documents medical visits. In her free time, she enjoys boating, playing cribbage, exploring the Minneapolis food scene, and spending time with her puppy. She is very excited to join her relatives in Sioux Falls and also explore San Diego the following year!

Samantha McAllister

Originally from Tiffin, Iowa, Samantha graduated from Luther College in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Biology. While at Luther, she was a member of the Evolutionary Psychology Research Lab, where she gained experience in conceptualizing and designing a study and collecting and analyzing data. Since graduating, Sam has worked in clinical research at Mayo Clinic. There, she worked on over 50 research protocols and co-authored several peer-reviewed manuscripts. Outside of her research role, she spent time attending the Medical Genetics seminars and case conferences in addition to shadowing genetic counselors in a variety of specialties. Sam also volunteered with a local crisis center, answering the 24/7 crisis line and providing support to survivors of domestic abuse. In her spare time, Sam enjoys running, shopping, gardening, crocheting, playing with her two dogs, Dexter and Tess, and spending time with her loved ones.

Brittany Noble

Brittany grew up in Chantilly, VA and lived there until attending Virginia Tech where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences with a concentration in Microbiology in 2013. At Virginia Tech, she was an active member of the professional chemistry fraternity, Alpha Chi Sigma, for which she participated in both recruitment of new fraternity members and fundraising events. Upon graduation, Brittany began her career as an Accessions Technician for GeneDx. There, she spent her lunch breaks discussing and learning about the genetic counseling field with various laboratory genetic counselors, and realized her desire to work closely with people while continuously learning about human genetics. She quickly transitioned to a Genetic Counseling Assistant position with the Prenatal, Rare Mendelian Disorders, and Neurology teams, eventually transitioning to work exclusively with the Neurology team. Brittany spent her free time volunteering as a mentor for ArtStream, a local inclusive theatre company for adults with intellectual and physical disabilities. As a mentor, she helped the actors create, rehearse, and perform original musicals. She also volunteered as a call specialist for EveryMind’s crisis prevention and intervention hotline. As a part of the Augustana-Sanford program, Brittany is thrilled to branch out and experience Sioux Falls for the first year and San Diego for the second year. In her spare time, Brittany enjoys all avenues of the performing arts, staying active, reading, and traveling to new places.

Dylan Platt

Dylan Platt is a Colorado native, born and raised in the city of Boulder, a mid-sized university town with a thriving scientific and tech community. He is very excited to once again be attending Augustana University, as part of the second class of future Augie-educated genetic counselors.  As an undergraduate at Augustana (Class of 2016), Dylan received bachelor degrees in both Biology and Mathematics and played baseball for the Vikings all four years in attendance. Since graduation, he has worked as a high school and youth baseball coach in the Sioux Falls area. Coaching is what initially sparked Dylan’s interest in educating and mentoring kids and young adults, and is what led him to become a substitute teacher in the Sioux Falls School District during the past year. Upon learning about the future Imagenetics program his junior year at Augustana, Dylan knew that genetic counseling would offer an exciting polymerization of his love for science and education. Having been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age ten, he received an early introduction to the world of health care, and has since been very much interested in the ins and outs of both the scientific and clinical aspects of medicine. During his free time, you will likely find him with a book in hand, listening to music, while taking a break from the exciting chaos of planning his future wedding.

Andrea Schelhaas

Originally from southwest Minnesota, Andrea graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Genetics and Cellular Biology. While at the University of Minnesota, Andrea participated in directed research to examine phenotypic and genotypic variations among individuals with achondroplasia, the most common form of dwarfism, in relation to mutations of the FGFR3 gene. She also received an undergraduate research grant and University Institutional Review Board approval to assess theoretically-grounded motivations for tobacco use among persons living with HIV and how changes in HIV disease markers affected tobacco use, beliefs, and behaviors. This research provided essential preliminary documentation for a grant application focused on increasing tobacco cessation interventions between physicians and people living with HIV and AIDS.

Following graduation, Andrea moved to New York City to work for Yale University as a clinical researcher within the Centering Pregnancy Plus (CP+) Project, a National Institute of Mental Health-funded study. CP+ aimed to reduce risks of repeat pregnancies, HIV, and other sexually transmitted diseases and improve health outcomes for pregnant women ages 14-21. It was during this time that Andrea earner her Master of Science in Teaching from Fordham University, becoming certified to teach both biology and special education. Andrea spent five years developing curriculum and collaborating with science and math departments to meet the needs of students with varying abilities. As an individual with dwarfism and an active member of Little People of America, Andrea has long understood the value of genetics education and counseling. Following the birth of her daughter, Andrea was motivated to return to the field of genetics and pursue a degree in genetic counseling. Andrea currently lives in Sioux Falls with her husband and daughter. She enjoys spending time with family, playing pinochle, reading, and hosting dinner parties at their home.

Jessica Smith

Jessica was born and raised in Sarasota, Florida. She graduated from the University of Florida in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in Biology. During college, she volunteered with various health professionals, but she did not find her niche; she did not discover genetic counseling until years later. As an undergraduate, Jessica worked at the local YMCA as a childcare counselor. Her love for children blossomed there, so she decided to pursue teaching. In 2013, Jessica earned her master’s degree in Science Education. She taught for four years as a science teacher. Jessica loved working with families in this teaching role, but she yearned to do so in a one-on-one setting. She also desired to use more of her science background, especially in genetics. Even her students knew that genetics was her favorite! Jessica loves how genetic counseling combines her passions for genetics, education, and working with people in a personalized setting. After shadowing and interviewing multiple genetic counselors, she knew she had found her niche. Jessica is honored to join the Augustana-Sanford graduate program. In her spare time, she enjoys crafting, reading, following college football, and spending time with her husband. Her husband is a dentist in the military, currently stationed in San Diego. They are sacrificing by temporarily living states apart, but they are excited that Jessica can spend her second year, reunited with him, in San Diego!

Amy Stenhouse

Amy grew up in a picturesque town in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. She moved east to attend the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology and Genetics. Throughout her time at Guelph, Amy volunteered as an ABO blood typer with the Canadian Blood Services and gave presentations at elementary schools for the Canadian Cancer Society. She was also actively involved in the Molecular Biology and Genetics Students’ Association. For her senior research thesis, Amy investigated genes involved in the metabolic processes of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative bacterium of tuberculosis.

Following graduation, Amy volunteered at the Canadian Mental Health Association as a distress line listener, providing 24-hour support to those in times of crisis. Prior to beginning the GC program, she worked as a lifeguard and instructed First Aid Courses. Amy is interested in the accessibility and implementation of genetic counseling in rural communities, and she is excited for the rich clinical experiences and educational opportunities in both Sioux Falls and San Diego. Amy enjoys yoga, hiking, kayaking, and mountain biking, and she is looking forward to exploring the trails in Sioux Falls!

Recent Graduates

Class of 2018

Kayleigh Avello

Kayleigh grew up in Elmhurst, Illinois and graduated from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor of Science in Molecular and Cellular Biology. Following her undergraduate career, she worked in hospice and as a crisis counselor before moving from Chicago to Maryland to work for GeneDx as a Neurology Genetic Counseling Assistant. In 2016, she became a member of the Augustana-Sanford Genetic Counseling Graduate Program inaugural class and spent her first and second years in the Sioux Falls area. After graduating in 2018, Kayleigh joined the Medical College of Wisconsin at the Children's Hospital in Milwaukee. There, she works in pediatrics with general genetic counseling and metabolic/newborn screening and is helping to create a neurogenetics program.

Katie Burns

Katie grew up in a suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota and graduated from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities with Bachelor of Arts in Physiology. Following her undergraduate career Katie planned to become a researcher, but then found her calling in genetic counseling. In 2016, she became a member of the Augustana-Sanford Genetic Counseling Graduate Program inaugural class and spent her first and second years in the Sioux Falls area. After graduating in 2018, Katie joined Sanford Health in Sioux Falls. She is involved in the Sanford Imagenetics department and works as a Pediatric Genetic Counselor.

Liana Dayhoff

Liana is a Maryland native who received her Bachelor of Science in Cell Biology and Genetics and a minor in Spanish Language and Culture from the University of Maryland, College Park. After graduating, she worked as a Genetic Counseling Assistant for the Whole Exome Sequencing program at GeneDx. In 2016, Liana became a member of the Augustana-Sanford Genetic Counseling Graduate Program inaugural class, spending her first year in Sioux Falls and her second year in San Diego. She thoroughly enjoyed all San Diego had to offer and accepted a job with the Naval Medical Center San Diego in the OB/GYN department. Liana is an alumna of the co-ed service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, and has a strong desire to serve her community by volunteering for various organizations/events and accepting opportunities to provide educational presentations on genetics-related topics. You can follow Liana on Twitter at @Ldayh16.

Arielle Flynn

Arielle is an Iowa native who received her Bachelor of Science in Biology and minors in Psychology and Chemistry from Dordt College, Iowa, in 2016. While she initially intended to go into research, as an undergraduate student she realized her desire to work with people and learned about the genetic counseling profession. Immediately following her undergraduate career, Arielle became a member of the Augustana-Sanford Genetic Counseling Graduate Program inaugural class, spending her first year in Sioux Falls and her second year in San Diego. After graduating in 2018, she joined Sanford Health in Bismarck, North Dakota as a general Genetic Counselor.

Austin Huber

Austin grew up on a family farm near Selby, South Dakota and graduated from South Dakota State University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. He completed a year of medical school before voluntarily withdrawing to find a career that better fit his aspirations. In 2016, he became a member of the Augustana-Sanford Genetic Counseling Graduate Program inaugural class and spent his first and second years in the Sioux Falls area. After graduating in 2018, he joined Avera in Sioux Falls as a Cancer Genetic Counselor.

Allison Hutchinson

Allison grew up in North Dakota and earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Secondary Education from the University of Sioux Falls and a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from Southwest Minnesota State University. She taught high school biology and biomedical science classes in the Sioux Falls School District for over a decade. In 2016, Allison became a member of the Augustana-Sanford Genetic Counseling Graduate Program inaugural class and spent her first and second years in the Sioux Falls area. After graduating in 2018, Allison joined Sanford Health in Sioux Falls as a Genetic Counselor in a high-risk breast cancer clinic and two pediatric multidisciplinary clinics. She also serves as the Lead Education Specialist for Sanford Imagenetics. Allison hopes to increase young people's awareness of and interest in genetic counseling as a possible career option to positively affect the number of underrepresented minorities in the genetic counseling field.

Jerica Lenberg

Jerica is a Colorado native who received her Bachelor of Science in Biology and a minor in Chemistry from the University of Northern Colorado. Jerica worked for three years at National Jewish Health as a researcher and manager, studying immunological mechanisms in which maternal diesel exhaust exposure influences asthma development in offspring, before becoming a member of the Augustana-Sanford Genetic Counseling Graduate Program inaugural class in 2016. She spent her first year in Sioux Falls and second year in San Diego. As a student, she began working for FDNA, helping refine their facial recognition software to aid clinicians in diagnosis of genetic conditions. After graduating in 2018, Jerica joined Rady Children's Hospital Institute for Genomic Medicine in San Diego as a Genetic Counselor. She helps implement and support rapid whole genome sequencing performed primarily on acutely ill children in the NICU and PICU, both clinically and under research protocols.

Maija Rannikko

Maija grew up in Duluth, Minnesota and graduated from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota, Winona, with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and a minor in Psychology. In 2016, she became a member of the Augustana-Sanford Genetic Counseling Graduate Program inaugural class, spending her first year in Sioux Falls and her second year in San Diego. Although Maija enjoyed her time in sunny California, after graduating in 2018, she happily returned to the Midwest to join Sanford Health in Sioux Falls. She is involved in the Sanford Imagenetics department and works as a Prenatal Genetic Counselor. You can follow Maija on Twitter at @_mai_ran.