My name is Phebe Lemert, and my hometown is Celebration, Florida. I graduated in 2020 from Florida State University with a BS in Biology (with Honors) and Psychology. During my undergraduate career, I worked as a research assistant and teaching assistant for biology non-majors. These positions provided me with the space to learn about the importance of effective science communication. Outside of academia, I volunteered with 2-1-1 Big Bend and Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE). As a 2-1-1 Big Bend volunteer, I gained an extensive toolkit on how to provide short-term, nondirective counseling to callers coping with a myriad of life events, such as pregnancy, living with HIV, or suicide. With FORCE, I expanded upon my experiences counseling, researching, and teaching. I answered FORCE’S Helpline and message boards to provide information, referrals, and support related to hereditary cancer, genetic counseling, and genetic testing insurance appeals.
After graduating, I had the privilege of continuing with 2-1-1 Big Bend as the HIV/AIDS Lead Hotline Counselor and eventually P.M. Hotline Supervisor. These positions allowed me to gain a deeper interest in mental health, social stigma, and barriers to care. To prepare for graduate school, I spoke to and shadowed a variety of genetic counselors in laboratory, clinical, and industry settings. I also took a graduate course in Neurogenetics, which built on my interests of cancer and psychiatric genetics. In my free time, I love thrifting, watching video essays, and Face Timing my little sisters. I am so excited to attend the Medical College of Wisconsin’s MSGC program and experience what Milwaukee has to offer!