Tamar Ailenberg MS '18

Tamar is originally from Toronto, Canada, and first heard about the profession when a genetic counselor facilitated a blood-typing clinic at her high school. After learning about a field that perfectly blended Tamar’s passions of education, counseling, and science, she was hooked. While working on her degree in Biology & Psychology at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Tamar learned more about genetic counseling by shadowing genetic counselors in Kingston and setting up informational meetings with genetic counselors in Toronto. During her studies, Tamar held math workshops for elementary school students, tutored English to second language learners in prisons, delivered learning strategies workshops to university students, and held a part-time job as a Hebrew teacher. Tamar has also been involved in various organizations and camps for individuals with disabilities, was a hospital volunteer for patients with dementia, and served as a crisis line volunteer for Sexual Assault Centre Kingston. During the summer of 2014, Tamar worked as a research student in a molecular genetics lab, studying anachronistic quiescence in Caenorhabditis elegans. In her spare time, Tamar enjoys hitting the gym, yoga, watching documentaries, and exploring New York City!

What is the greatest strength of Sarah Lawrence College’s genetic counseling program?

Sarah Lawrence College’s genetic counseling program's extensive history, location near New York City, and access to many clinics is a strength of the program that is difficult to rival. The program is unique in that it has affiliations with many hospitals, which allows students to have placements throughout its richly multi-cultural clinic sites and gain diverse clinical experience from different supervisors.

As an international student, what were some of the challenges you encountered moving to the US?

I didn’t know where to start in terms of obtaining a student visa, setting up banking, and getting an American phone plan. Luckily, Sarah Lawrence College is accustomed to having international students and the staff members were very helpful with getting my documents in order. My second year mentor, who is also an international student, provided me with helpful insight on banking and cell phone plans in the US.

What is your favorite place in the Bronxville/Yonkers area?

Tibbetts Brook Park is a beautiful park located walking distance from my house. I love being able to take a break from my studies and take in the scenery on a hike.