Genetic Counseling Celebrates 20th Anniversary

By Susan Gettlin | October 13, 2016

On June 3, Arcadia University celebrated the Genetic Counseling program’s 20th anniversary alongside students, faculty, alumni, and esteemed health care professionals.

The Genetic Counseling Class of 2016 totaled 14 members, including Honors Convocation speaker Dr. Rosalba E. Sacca, Genetic Counseling Distinguished Student Award recipient Anna Raper, and the Tracy M. Gardner Excellence in Genetic Counseling Award recipient Cara Cacioppo.

While commemorating 20 years and more than 200 graduates, the ceremony featured several speakers, including Rick Guidotti, founder of Positive Exposure; Dr. Jehannine Austin, president of the National Society of Genetic Counselors; Chengzu Long, instructor in the Department of Molecular Biology at the Hamon Center for Regenerative Science and Medicine; David Lynch, pediatric neurologist at the University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; and Jennifer Farmer ’97M, executive director of the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance.

Highlighting key figures in the Arcadia University community, the conference also recognized Eileen Wolfe ’00M for establishing the Eileen Wolfe Scholarship, Deborah Eunpu as the Genetic Counseling program’s founding director, and Farmer as this year’s recipient of the College of Health Sciences Alumni Achievement Award—now named and endowed in honor of Dr. Archie Vomachka, who retired as founding dean of the College of Health Sciences in 2014.

In addition, current students and recent graduates whose research and service will improve the treatment of genetic disorders have received the following awards:

  • Gozde Tugce Akgumus ’15M: Barbara Bernhardt Research Award
  • Rebecca Purvis ’17M: Marie Barr Award
  • Sarah Jennings ’17M: Ellington Beavers Student Research Award
  • Carey McDougall ’15M: ASHG Reviewers’ Choice Abstract
  • Amanda Schott ’15M: ASHG Reviewers’ Choice Abstract
  • Jocelyn Knazick Phelps ’17M: Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Fellowship