Our Students

   

MSGC Class of 2018



Alex Ellison

Alexandra Ellison

B.S. Saginaw Valley State University

Alexandra is originally from Reese, Michigan and earned her B.S. in Biology from Saginaw Valley State University in Saginaw, Michigan. During her time as an undergraduate, Alexandra volunteered as a sexual assault advocate with Child and Family Services of Saginaw. This volunteer work involved in-person counseling, as well as monitoring a 24-hour hotline.  She also served as a peer mentor for honor students during her sophomore year. Alexandra enjoyed spending two of her undergraduate summers shadowing local genetic counselors, both of whom specialized in cancer genetics. In her free time, Alexandra enjoys reading and hiking, and she loves to travel whenever possible.  Her favorite travel locations so far include Japan and Hawai’i.

Emily Lancaster

Emily Lancaster

B.S. University of Michigan

Emily is from Petoskey, Michigan and earned her B.S. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Michigan. As an undergraduate she worked as a research assistant studying dopamine’s relationship with behavior and learning in rats and later the effect of positive and negative reinforcement on learning in wasps. Emily was a peer mentor for the Women in Science and Engineering Residence Program during her sophomore year and volunteered with the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center during her senior year. After graduating, Emily worked for at the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute and volunteered on the crisis hotline for a domestic and sexual assault shelter in Ann Arbor. In her free time, she enjoys playing soccer, reading, and scuba diving.

Caleb Heid

​Caleb Heid

B.S. University of Missouri

Caleb was born and raised in the small town of Harrisonville, Missouri.  After leaving his hometown, Caleb attended the University of Missouri to pursued a B.S in Biochemistry in addition to two minors in Biology and Leadership.  During his undergraduate career, Caleb worked in an Archaeometry lab researching ancient human migration patterns across the Middle East and South America.  Additionally, Caleb held leadership and counseling positions in his fraternity, volunteered at a crisis hotline specializing in helping the hard-of-hearing community, and interned at Abundant Life Counseling Center.  Caleb’s hobbies include: playing cello, hiking, and reading.

Zach Salvati

Zachary Salvati

B.S. ​Judson University

Zack is originally from Batavia, Illinois in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He attended Judson University in Elgin, Illinois, where he earned his B.A. in Biology with a minor in Psychology. Zack worked as a Lab Assistant for a freshman Biology course while also volunteering for the special needs ministry at his local church. In the summer of 2014, Zack held a position as a Laboratory Genetic Counselor Intern at PreventionGenetics in Marshfield, Wisconsin. The focus of his work was primarily on the drafting of disease prevention articles including Hereditary Spherocytosis/Elliptocytosis and Retinitis Pigmentosa, as well as Utilization Management research for the company. In his spare time, Zack is a coffee connoisseur who loves to listen to music, bike, and play disc golf.

Emily Teague

Emily Teague

B.S. ​​Kansas State University

Emily is originally from Cheney, Kansas and earned her B.S. in Biology from Kansas State University. As an undergraduate, she tutored fellow students in chemistry. After graduating, she worked as a laboratory assistant in a molecular virology lab, and as a registered behavior technician providing ABA therapy to children with autism. In her free time, she enjoys baking, reading, trying new foods, and spending time with her dog.

MSGC Class of 2017



Kimberly Branham
Rebekah Bressi
Kimberly Branham

B.S. Oklahoma State University
M.S. Oklahoma State University

Kimberly is originally from Bartlesville, Oklahoma and earned her Bachelors degree from Oklahoma State University in Animal Science in 2013. She worked as an undergraduate research scholar on a project looking at RNA expression levels of hormones in the hypothalamic-pituitary-axis in beef cattle implanted with estradiol and trenbolone acetate and the effect on cortisol levels. She earned her Masters of Science degree in Animal Genetics from Oklahoma State University in 2015 performing a genome-wide association analysis with high-density SNP data on feed efficiency and carcass phenotypes in beef cattle. Kimberly volunteered at a pregnancy crisis center in Stillwater during graduate school working with pregnant mothers and patients with sexually transmitted infections. She has also volunteered with OSU Coaches vs Cancer, American Cancer Society, and Oklahoma Special Olympics. In her free time she enjoys riding horses, jogging with her dog, hiking, fishing, and cheering on her OSU Cowboys.

Tavanna Porter
Tavanna Porter

B.S Winona State University
M.S. University of Minnesota
 

Tavanna is originally from Rochester, Minnesota and earned her B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology at Winona State University. Her honors in Biology research centered on determining the prenatal detection rate of chromosome aneupoidies at a nearby hospital. Tavanna worked as a cytogenetic technologist and a workload recording expert at the Mayo Clinic. She earned her M.S. at the University of Minnesota in the department of Molecular, Cellular, Developmental Biology, and Genetics characterizing a mutation that leads to breast cancer. Following graduation, she worked as a laboratory manager in a neuropharmacology laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin and volunteered answering the crisis hotline for the domestic and sexual assault center in Austin. In her free time, she enjoys roller derby, cooking, wine making, and playing with her kids.

Rebekah Bressi

B.S. University of California- Santa Barbara

Rebekah is originally from Orange County, California.  She attended the University of California, Santa Barbara and earned her B. S. in Biological Sciences.  During her time at UC Santa Barbara, she volunteered at St. John’s Hospital in Oxnard, California for the Clinical Care Extender Internship Program and was a mentor during her senior year for sophomore students in the biology major for the UCSB: HHMI 2014-2015 Biomentors Program.  Before coming to Oklahoma, Rebekah volunteered with Orangewood Children’s foundation to help foster youth in high school and also served as a tutor to one of their college students.  In her free time, Rebekah enjoys swimming, baking, and knitting.

Marissa Satern
Marissa Satern

B.S. Luther College


Marissa comes from Cedar Rapids in East Central Iowa. She earned her B.A. in Biology (with a minor in Music) from Luther College, in Decorah, Iowa. Her undergraduate research focused on inducible mice models of Glaucoma. At Luther, she was heavily involved in the Diversity Center, and was honored to sing in the Nordic Choir. After graduating, she worked for a year as a lab assistant in a hospital pathology lab and directed a sixth grade show choir. She also volunteered as an advocate for a domestic abuse crisis line. In her free time she enjoys exploring Oklahoma City and singing in the Canterbury Choral Society.

Anna Wright
Anna Wright

B.S. Oklahoma State University
 

Anna is originally from Dallas, TX and earned her bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University in Microbiology/Molecular Genetics in 2015. During her time as an undergraduate student, she studied antagonistic interactions between Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolated from cystic fibrosis patients. Also during her senior year, Anna spent a week at Northwestern University in a week long intensive internship exploring the field of genetic counseling in Chicago, IL. Before coming to Oklahoma City, Anna spent a short amount of time working in labratories at Mary Kay, Inc. Anna enjoys baking, shopping, and spending time outdoors in her free time.