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Diversity & Inclusion

Our Master of Science in Genetic Counseling (MSGC) program is dedicated to nurturing an inclusive educational environment in which the diversity of our students, faculty, and staff are supported and valued. Each person's unique background, identities, perspectives, and contributions are appreciated and considered essential for growth and learning on an individual and collective basis. We value the ways our differences provide each other and our group with strength and insight.

Our program is committed to building spaces and relationships where each person may find freedom and comfort to share about their differences and individuality. We commit to supporting students as they authentically engage in their work as genetic counselors, developing confidence in their own voices and leadership skills as we together move the profession forward. 

As educators within the field of human genetics, we also appreciate our distinctive role in ensuring that our program fosters rich and accurate appreciation of genetics and human diversity. Beliefs about genetics have long been misused to negatively and inaccurately frame human diversity – in numerous cases, justifying acts of racism, ableism, eugenics, and other inequities. These effects have been long-lasting, as evidenced by the current misbeliefs, biases, inequities, and injustices that are present within the field of human genetics and society. We believe that greater understanding of human diversity and individuality is necessary, and is something that should be celebrated. We commit to providing a curriculum that embeds this framework, while continuously evaluating and adapting the language we use in order to better support our students, each other, and our patients. 

Our students deserve a diverse, inclusive, and thriving learning community. The humanity of our patients deserves diverse representation within the genetic counseling field, and more equitable genetic and genomic health care. We commit to holding ourselves and each other accountable as we work toward these shared goals. 

MSGC program goals, policies, and practices support these commitments, and are developed and assessed through ongoing input from the program's Advisory Board and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. Our primary goals are anchored in the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) Equity and Anti-Racism Action Plan  and include: 

  • Develop and sustain an infrastructure to support equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  • Enhance recruitment, retention, and promotion of diverse faculty, staff, and students. 
  • Cultivate a fair and just climate, culture, and community. 
  • Enhance physical and digital spaces through an equity, diversity, and inclusion lens. 
  • Promote equity in provision of genetic counseling services, and in research. 
     

Specific information regarding MSGC program goals and progress is available in the document titled UR MSGC Program Equity & Anti-Racism 10-Year Action Plan.

Resources

MSGC Program Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee Members

  • Kwasi Boaitey, LCSW, PCC, RYT, PhDc, Director of Culturally Responsive Management in the Office of Equity and Inclusion at the University of Rochester
  • Emily Calamaro, MGC, CGC, URSMD Genetic Counselor and Associate Program Director for MSGC Program
  • Chin-To Fong, MD, Medical Geneticist, URSMD Professor, Departments of Pediatrics, Medicine, Biochemistry and Biophysics, and Health Humanities & Bioethics
  • Alexandra (Lexi) Hubbel, MS, CGC, URSMD Genetic Counselor
  • Audrey Schroeder, MS, CGC, URSMD Program Director for MSGC program
  • Jenny Speice, PhD, URSMD Associate Professor in Department of Psychiatry, and Program Director for MS in Marriage & Family Therapy program
  • Celeste Wyman, ScM, CGC, URSMD Genetic Counselor