IAhmed1Major: Genetics

Minor: Sociology

Genetic Counseling Certificate

Graduation Year: 2021

How did you decide on your major?

I’ve always been fascinated by biology and loved the science classes I took in high school. When I got to Rutgers, I spent time looking through the different life sciences majors and decided on genetics because the elective choices were so unique and I would be able to get involved with research. The department of genetics also seemed close knit and the faculty was very welcoming.

What is it about your chosen field (and the department) that appeals to you?

The most intriguing aspect of genetics is that it is constantly evolving and new discoveries are being made everyday. It seems that the field is growing exponentially and it is a hot topic that is often presented in the current news. There are numerous job opportunities within the field of genetics that help propel the amelioration of human society. I also love genetics because it is what makes us unique as individuals but also unites all humans together.

Do you have a favorite class/professor within your major?

I have had the opportunity to work as a learning assistant with Dr. Schindler for the genetics elective “The Implications of New Genetics.” In this Ananya2active learning class, students learn about a variety of emerging genetic technologies and discuss the ethical, social and legal implications of these innovations. It has truly opened up my eyes to how interdisciplinary the field of genetics is and all the consequences research can have on our everyday lives.

What are your favorite academic experiences outside of your major?

Outside of genetics, one of my favorite academic experiences has been taking sociology classes that are focused on health. It is interesting to see how the social environment can influence health and medicine and this knowledge has enriched my understanding of the life science classes I have taken.

What are your other Rutgers activities?

I am part of the Genetic Counseling Certificate Program run by Dr. Gary Heiman. Through this certificate, I have trained to be a crisis hotline listener, shadowed genetic counselors in a variety of settings and worked as a behavioral assistant for preschoolers with Autism. I also conduct research with Dr. Yu on the link between genetics and alcoholism and love to volunteer at a local elementary school. 

What are your plans following graduation?

I would like to attend graduate school for genetic counseling!

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