U.S. Embassy Interviews Arcadia Student as Part of International Education Week

By Caitlin Burns | January 12, 2016

Photo courtesy of Nick Loubser

For International Education Week in November, Genetic Counseling major Rebecca Purvis ’17 was interviewed by the U.S. Embassy and Consulate for her experiences abroad as a Fulbright scholar. Purvis, a New Zealander, is a 2015 Fulbright Science and Innovation Graduate Award recipient.

In order to further her education, Purvis said she needed to move abroad because there are currently no accredited Genetic Counselling masters programs in New Zealand. Before studying at Arcadia, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Genetics, with a minor in anatomy, at the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. She also has a postgraduate degree in health sciences with a specialization in bioethics and a certificate in basic statistics.

At Arcadia, Purvis is in her first year of the two-year Genetic Counseling master’s program, through which she already sees “the university’s passion for providing opportunities for students to engage with social issues and advocate for community, ideals that supported my own interest areas for cross-cultural and internationally applicable thesis research.” The Genetic Counseling program provides students the opportunity to learn in the classroom as well as be involved in groundbreaking research through clinical practicum.

After she completes her degree, Purvis plans to return to New Zealand, where she hopes to further develop the field.

“America has a unique healthcare model and is on the forefront of advancement in medical genetics,” she said. “New Zealand’s genetic health sector is very young in comparison, meaning there are ample opportunities for developing modes of practice and service delivery models that could maximize access to genetic information and the overall quality of patient care.”