Elle Clendenin ’19, Genetic Counseling Enthusiast

by William Snell on December 22, 2017

Ever since learning the basics of genetics in middle school and completing punnett squares, I found a love for that branch of biology.  The concepts came easy to me yet kept me very interested.  Even at such a young age, I realized that I wanted to spend the rest of my life doing something regarding genetics, but I didn't know what.  I knew that I wanted to have patient interaction and continue learning about genetics.  However, I knew that I didn't want to spend 12 years in school and residency to become a geneticist.  

One of my proudest accomplishments so far has been working at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Mitochondrial Medicine Frontier Program.  My first experience at CHOP involved observing multiple clinic days, where the genetic counselor and specialist meet with the patients to determine a possible diagnosis and tests to run.  Throughout that experience I met amazing young children with genetic disorders and fell in love with the career.  A couple months later, I received an email from two genetic counselors in the same department about a genetic counseling assistant position. Needless to say, I have been working there since April 2017, have conducted over 400 hours of related experience, and do not plan on leaving anytime soon!”

Elle is a Biology major with a Psychology minor and a member of the Honors Program.  In order to graduate a semester early, she has taken on a heavy course load, including summer classes and 18-20 credits each semester.  It has required minimal procrastination, a lot of dedication, and scheduled naps.