Genetic Counseling Program Produces Strong Showing at Annual Education Conference

By Purnell T. Cropper | December 16, 2011

The Arcadia University Genetic Counseling program had another strong showing at the Annual Education Conference (AEC) for the National Society of Genetic Counselors in San Diego, from Oct. 27-30. More than 1,500 genetic counselors from across the country attended the AEC. Six of the fourteen 2011 Arcadia graduates presented their thesis work. Four presented posters, and two were accepted for presentation as contributed papers. One student, Rebecca Cook, presented two posters: one for her thesis project, and one for a project she completed while working at the Genetic Alliance at an internship between her first and second year. The titles of the presentations are listed below. About 35 alumni attended the annual Arcadia reunion at the conference, which was held at Lotus Thai.

Faculty presented at the conference as well. Kathleen Valverde, Program Director, presented preliminary results from the study “Will Employers Hire Genetic Counselors with a Clinical Doctorate?”, being conducted together with Dr. Laura Conway, Academic Coordinator of Research and Lab Education. Conway gave an informational presentation on “Advanced Degrees for Genetic Counselors: What Are the Options?” for the Association of Genetic Counseling Program Directors meeting, held immediately prior to the conference. Both presentations were well received and generated much discussion.

Presentations from Arcadia students and alums (2011 graduates in bold, all graduates underlined):

  1. E.McCormick, L.Conway, E.Hopkins, S.Catalano, J.Hossain, K.Sol-Church, D.Stabley, K.Gripp. Assessing Genotype-Phenotype Correlation in Costello Syndrome with the Use of a Severity Score (contributed paper, thesis work partially funded by an Ellington Beavers Award)
  2. L.Folk, L.Conway, K.Valverde. The Development of a Doctorate Degree in Genetic Counseling: A National Survey of the Opinions and Concerns of Genetic Counselors (contributed paper)
  3. R.E.Cook, D.McGee, K.Spitzer Kim. Assessing the Utility of Four Educational Videos Concerning Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (poster based on thesis project).
  4. R.E.Cook, D.McGee, L.Horn, A.Krokosky, S.F.Terry. Guidelines for Advocacy Organizations Considering Establishing a Registry or Biobank (poster based on summer internship between first and second years of the program).
  5. K.Bomba, L.Conway, J.Berman. Barriers Towards Perinatal Autopsies (poster, thesis work partially funded by a grant from the NSGC prenatal special interest group).
  6. J.Hartman, D.Gomez, S.Roman, S.Robbins, K. Spitzer Kim. Assessing the Spanish-Speaking Interpreter’s Understanding of Prenatal Genetic Counseling (poster).
  7. M.N.M.Eberhard, L.Conway, S.Mulchandani, A.Wilkens, R.Mueller, M.Reiff, S.J.Robbins, B.A.Bernhardt. Assessing the Effectiveness of Provider Education for the Chromosome Microarray: A Pilot Study (poster).