University of Nebraska Medical Center

First UNMC genetic counseling class shares about first week

by Emily Toering | First-Year Student, Genetic Counseling

In 1969, the first genetic counseling program was started at Sarah Lawrence College in New York. The director described the first class of ten students as “a most unusual bunch” because they were motivated, driven to serve, and highly intelligent.

Now, 50 years later, UNMC has welcomed their own similarly unusual bunch of genetic counseling students with open arms. We are excited to lay the groundwork for future students and to be pioneers for the program.

The first week on UNMC’s campus was a whirlwind of orientations and excitement that concluded with the Professionalism Ceremony. Our genetic counseling program is part of UNMC’s College of Allied Health Professions, which hosts a white coat ceremony for all affiliated programs honoring the hard work and dedication it took for us to be first year students. It is a unique aspect of our program. At this ceremony, we heard our director say, “it is my honor to introduce the first class of genetic counseling students at UNMC.”

(l-r) Program director Holly Zimmerman, Sierra Clark, Elyssa Gray, Charlie King, Erin Loughney, Maddie McPherson, Jessie Poskochil, Katie Tlusty, Emily Toering, and assistant program director Sara Fisher

The college coated and welcomed the eight of us as new students, professionals, and one day, peers. It was a wonderful reminder that we are joining a thriving healthcare network and soon will be providing our own unique piece of the healthcare puzzle.

Over the next 21 months we hope to share our stories on how we chose genetic counseling and UNMC, as well as discuss the development of the program as we progress through it. Thank you to all involved and we encourage you to keep updated as we post!


  1. Holly Zimmerman says:

    We are so excited to have you here! Thank you for bringing your passion to UNMC.

  2. Holly Zimmerman says:

    We are so excited to have you here! Thank you for bringing your passion to this program.

  3. Brandi Preston says:

    Thank you for choosing this career path. I’m excited to see what you all achieve in the next two years and beyond! Welcome to Omaha and UNMC!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.