Paige Hazelton MS '18

Paige completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Minnesota with a major in Genetics, Cell Biology and Development. At the University of Minnesota, Paige completed an undergraduate thesis studying the genetics of osteosarcoma. She spent a semester studying Chinese in Beijing and volunteered as a tutor and sexual violence advocate. She also spent a lot of time knitting, watching Netflix, and daydreaming about her future dog.

What is the biggest difference between your undergraduate and graduate experiences?

The biggest adjustment I had to make as I transitioned to graduate school was going back to a small class size. I went to a big university for my undergrad, so it was a change to suddenly have the same 27 people in every single class. However, I’ve found that I really like the community it creates, and it makes me more comfortable during class.

Thesis projects are typically chosen in the spring semester of first year. What is your thesis project?

One of the thesis projects I am interested in is examining how incidental findings are dealt with for a new type of prenatal test. For example, what should clinicians do if they are looking for chromosomal problems in a fetus and incidentally find out the mother has cancer? Another cool project will analyze data from the office of New York’s Chief Medical Examiner, looking for genotype-phenotype correlations in patients who experienced sudden cardiac death.

Is there anything you wish you’d known before beginning your graduate experience?

Becoming a genetic counselor means entering a community of nice people. The greatest strengths of this program are my classmates and instructors.