Claire Davis

Program Director, Human Genetics

BA/BS/BS, University of Washington. MS, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. EdD, Teachers College, Columbia University. In addition to her duties as program director in human genetics, she is the course director for two first-year courses, a thesis advisor, and a graduate co-chair of the Sarah Lawrence College Institutional Review Board. Prior to coming to SLC, Claire worked as a cancer counselor and assistant director for the genetic counseling training program at Mount Sinai. Claire recently earned her doctorate in adult education, completing a dissertation on the professional learning of genetic counselors. SLC, 2015–

Graduate Courses

Human Genetics 2020-2021

Special Topics: Gestalt Genetics: Health Humanities for Genetic Counselors

Graduate Seminar—Fall

Genetic counseling is a complicated, bifurcated profession – one that forges connections between technological sciences and lived experiences of risk, health, and illness. In pursuit of expertise, we are steeped in complex concepts, mechanisms, regulations, specifications – part and parcel to the work of health professionals. The science is intricate and engrossing, yes… but what about the care and concern we provide for others, curiosity for individuals and the sense they make of the genetic challenges they face, the value of our work for ourselves, those we serve, and humanity? Health humanities is a discipline which enables us to glean such insights by interacting with the arts and humanities; by reading, writing, watching, and moving, we’ll mine for meaning and understanding, wisdom and wit. This course aims to build empathic understanding and critical consideration of genetic counseling practice by exploring genetics, genetic illness, and the profession of genetic counseling as conveyed through books, films, and other media.


Fundamentals of Genetic Counseling I

Graduate Seminar—Fall

Fundamentals of Genetic Counseling I introduces students to skills necessary for genetic counseling. The course is structured around key components of a genetic counseling encounter. Readings provide foundational knowledge of relevant concepts, and class discussions encourage the comparison of different perspectives and applications. Course instructors demonstrate each skill, and students then engage in skill development through role-play, peer feedback, and self-assessment.


Fundamentals of Genetic Counseling II

Graduate Seminar—Spring

Building on the skill set of Fundamentals of Genetic Counseling I, Fundamentals of Genetic Counseling II develops skills relevant to psychosocial assessment and interventions. Focus is placed on first exploring patient characteristics and concerns, then utilizing appropriate counseling skills to respond in a patient-centered way. Course activities include discussion, small-group activities, demonstration, and role-play with peer feedback.