40 Under 40: Erica Schindewolf ’14M
ERICA SCHINDEWOLF ’14M
How Arcadia Influenced My Path
Arcadia’s Genetic Counseling program is unique—the experts in our field were our professors, our supervisors, and our mentors. We were able to travel to the top hospitals and learn the most cutting-edge technology. We were also expected to experience a diverse range of hospitals and patient settings, which allowed us to learn about the barriers to medical care access. Without such a well-rounded program, I would not have been academically or professionally prepared to embark on my career. Additionally, the alumni network is widely cast across the nation—I have always felt the support of our program wherever I’ve traveled.
Modeling a counseling style—for my students and peers—that prioritizes kindness and compassion. Every day, I care for families who are experiencing immense crises—someone has just told them that their unborn child has a life-threatening birth defect. They are swimming in a sea of unfamiliar medical information while trying to manage their own grief and anxiety. There are days when I am lucky to provide them with reassuring information, and days when I am yet another bearer of difficult news. I’ve learned that my patients need a lifeline—they need someone to help them gain the tools needed to manage what’s ahead. My greatest contribution to my field, and to all of the families I care for, is being able to provide genuine empathy while unpacking such complex information during delicate times.
Throwback to Erica’s First Year
“As genetic counseling students these disorders are close to our hearts, and it was a wonderful way to feel like we could give support in a different capacity.”
Erica Schindewolf ’14M on volunteering for Philadelphia’s fourth annual Ride Ataxia, a bicycle race to benefit the Friedrich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA), through Arcadia’s Genetic Counseling master’s program