CJG Blog

Center for Jewish Genetics blog

Wrapping Up the Summer

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By Elianna Miller

LSIP presentation

I feel absolutely honored to have been the Lewis Summer Intern at the Norton and Elaine Sarnoff Center for Jewish Genetics. My desire to be a genetic counselor has been strengthened, and I discovered a passion for the community that I want to implement into the workplace. I learned how empowering it can feel to provide an entire community with genetic information.

I was highly integrated into the Sarnoff Center team by contributing to the Center’s blog, working on community outreach, and analyzing data for a community wide cancer survey that was sent out before my internship began. I worked on a very high functioning team, where everyone has a different educational background and desire for the community. Everyone brings their own skill set that makes the rest of the team stronger. While being in undergrad still made me have the smallest toolbox to bring, I still saw some of my work be a part of the big picture that makes up the Sarnoff Center.

The main goal of the Center is community education and engagement. I developed a presentation on Jewish genetics to inform the other 41 Lewis Summer Interns that worked all across the Jewish United Fund and agencies. The presentation was accompanied with a pre- and post- survey to see how knowledge and attitudes changed about recessive disorders, hereditary cancers, and health history. I found that people felt engaged throughout the 30-minute Prezi, and enjoyed interactive pieces. They seemed to have gained the most knowledge on the topic of hereditary cancers, as a lot of them self-reported a great increase in knowledge on BRCA mutations. All of the post-survey respondents also noted that they now understand how important it is to obtain family health history, which is a health behavior that even college students can start doing now.

Through all these work experiences and tasks, my mind has been very widely opened. Again, I aspire to be a genetic counselor, and I now know many ways that this can look. Articulating my thoughts on the field was difficult before, but now I have enough knowledge to accurately describe my desires and passions. I am very grateful for my placement this summer and look forward to the many doors that will open because of it. As I head back to Columbus for my final semester of my undergraduate career at The Ohio State University and whatever comes next, I know that I will never forget this outstanding experience.

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