Kira Dineen & Mikayla Stoecker + Janelle Villiers , DNA Today: A Genetics Podcast

#193 Genetic Counseling Application Advice with GC Prep: Part 1

15 Jul 2022 • EN
1 min
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Help us to defend our title as the Best Science and Medicine Podcast! Go to and select “DNA Today” in the Science and Medicine category. Bonus if you tweet/post that you nominated DNA Today (and tag us), then we will share your post and give you a shoutout on the show as a thank you. You have the power to get DNA Today nominated again!  Y’all asked and we answered! Some of our most popular episodes are about the genetic counseling application process, so we are doing a QnA about it in this episode. If you want even more insight about genetic counseling grad apps and preparing for the first year check out episodes 87, 97, 101, and 155 of DNA Today.  Our guests for this episode are Mikayla Stoecker, Founder & CEO of GC Prep, and Janelle Villiers, co-owner of GC Prep.  Janelle Villiers (she/ella) is an Assistant Program Director as well as an alumna of the Sarah Lawrence College Genetic Counseling Program. She received her BAS from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to coming to SLC, Janelle worked in the clinical setting as a clinical supervisor at Jacobi Medical Center. She later worked in the laboratory setting at the Mt. Sinai Genetics Testing Laboratory. She was a former site visitor volunteer for the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC) and was also the former treasurer for the executive committee of the Association for Genetic Counseling Program Directors (AGCPD). In addition to teaching, Janelle’s oversees the admissions and recruitment efforts for the Sarah Lawrence Program. Janelle is also on the faculty of New York Medical College where she is involved in the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) program. Mikayla Stoecker (she/her) graduated in 2014 with a Masters of Genetic Counseling from the Icahn School of Medicine. She received her undergraduate degree in Physiology and Developmental Biology, with a minor in Molecular Biology from Brigham Young University, where she developed a passion for genetics and for teaching. Mikayla’s primary specialties are clinical prenatal counseling, patient-facing laboratory counseling, and most recently lab analysis. She is licensed in 9 states and has worked on projects involving whole genome sequencing, research study consenting, COVID antibody testing patient support, and educational video development. Mikayla is passionate about the need for increased valuation of counselors and flexible work options, especially for those in caregiving roles, as the field of genetic counseling expands to meet the exponential testing needs of patients. Mikayla lives in Colorado and has two young children. Listener Questions Answered: What activities, classes stand out in applications?  How much shadowing or informational interviews are an acceptable amount?  What factors were important to you when you were narrowing down what schools to apply to? How common are campus visits in grad school, and how do you recommend setting one up? Advice on how to craft a personal statement? What are the different approaches? For reapplicants, how should you showcase growth between app cycles?  Shoutout to Ashley, Maya, Vivian, Leah, Bernabe, Hannah, Molly, Emily, Rachna, and Crystal for submitting our discussion questions! Don’t forget to tune in next week to part two of this conversation to see if we answer your question!  Stay up to date on the latest opportunities and events happening at GC Prep by following them on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram! Be sure to check out GC Prep for more insight and mentorship as you apply to genetic counseling programs. And since you are a DNA Today listener, you can use promo code “DNATODAY” at for 20% off.  Stay tuned for the next new episode of DNA Today on July 22nd, 2022 where we’ll continue this conversation with Janelle and Mikayla and answer more of your questions about GC program applications! New episodes are released on Fridays. In the meantime, you can binge over 190 other episodes on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, streaming on the website, or any other podcast player by searching, “DNA Today”. Episodes since 2021 are also recorded with video which you can watch on our YouTube channel.   DNA Today is hosted and produced by Kira Dineen. Our social media lead is Corinne Merlino. Our video lead is Amanda Andreoli.  See what else we are up to on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and our website, Questions/inquiries can be sent to  PerkinElmer Genomics is a global leader in genetic testing focusing on rare diseases, inherited disorders, newborn screening, and hereditary cancer. Testing services support the full continuum of care from preconception and prenatal to neonatal, pediatric, and adult. Testing options include sequencing for targeted genes, multiple genes, the whole exome or genome, and copy number variations. Using a simple saliva or blood sample, PerkinElmer Genomics answers complex genetic questions that can proactively inform patient care and end the diagnostic odyssey for families. Learn more at (SPONSORED) Imagine a health record system that’s actually designed for genomics, available in different languages, and complete with pedigree drawing, diagnostic insights and more. Well stop imagining and start using, because PhenoTips is nothing like your EHR, it’s the world’s most complete solution for medical genetics that captures family history seamlessly, even respectfully representing trans and queer individuals in pedigrees. Visit to learn more. (SPONSORED)

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