Future Genetic Counselor Megan Huss Finds Perfect Career Combination

Friday, January 12, 2024
Megan Huss

Viterbo University senior Megan Huss plans to become a genetic counselor, a career that combines both the scientific fields she loves.

“It’s the perfect intersection of biology and psychology,” said Huss, a biology major from Appleton. “Plus, I’ll be able to work in the medical field and help people.”

Genetic counselors provide crucial expertise in oncology, genetically linked diseases, prenatal counseling, and other areas. Huss will graduate in May and has begun to apply to graduate schools to earn the required advanced degree required for her to realize her career ambitions.

Huss has always excelled in the sciences. As a high school student, she took third place in Viterbo’s prestigious Health Science Scholarship competition, earning a $12,000 scholarship over four years.

While at the university, her favorite classes have been cellular and molecular biology, advanced biochemistry, and the psychology course, motivational interviewing. She was selected for Viterbo’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program, during which she studied “Oncolytic Reovirus Modulated Angiogenic Inhibition in Breast Cancer.” Huss shared her findings at the annual Seven Rivers Research Symposium and earned the award for Best Oral Presentation in Natural Sciences.

At Viterbo, Huss has appreciated the small class sizes and “the overall environment of student support.” She has been very involved on campus as a member of the STEM Club, serving as the secretary of the university’s chapter of the Tri-Beta biology honor society, and working as a tour guide in the admissions office. She also completed an internship at the Family and Children’s Center as a family advocate, talking with clients about resources ranging from therapy to housing.

“It was emotional at times but necessary,” she said. “It is very important that someone is there for those kids.”

Biochemistry professor Scott Gabriel had Huss as a student in four of his classes.

Megan has very high standards for herself academically, and she consistently put forward work that was well beyond the level of what was asked for and demonstrated mastery of the assigned concepts,” Gabriel said. “Her professional goal of becoming a genetic counselor is perfect because she has such high capacity to understand the complexities of human disease while also having deep empathy and compassion for those who are suffering.”

Outside of school, Huss enjoys spending time with friends, the outdoors, thrift sales, the water, and visiting northern Wisconsin. She has a sister who will graduate high school this spring and plans to attend college to study aerospace engineering.

Financial aid has been a critical aspect of Huss’ college education. In addition to the Wisconsin Grant and the Viterbo Heath Science Scholarship, she also was awarded the Dr. Janice Bahr Biology Scholarship and a need-based grant.

“I wouldn’t be able to attend college without financial aid,” Huss said. “I am very grateful for the grants and scholarships I’ve received.”