Woman clasping blazer button while smiling toward camera.

Madison "Maddie" Badje

Where are you from?
Born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska

Where/what did you study in undergrad?
Biology at University of Nebraska Omaha.

What drew you to the genetic counseling field?
The ability to work in a healthcare setting but still have meaningful patient interactions and be a helpful resource during a difficult time. 

Why did you choose Wake?
I got the best vibe from Wake. I think the program is very unique due to its focus on ethics and the different options to complete the capstone project. Even though it is a new program the faculty were very open about the fact they want student input in order to create a successful program. Another aspect that appealed to me were the two 4-week full time rotations that will occur during our last semester. One thing that is amazing about Wake is the location! I love being in North Carolina and being within driving distance to both the beach and the mountains. 

What are your future hopes and aspirations as a genetic counselor?
My aspirations as a genetic counselor are hopefully to move back to my home in Nebraska. I would love to work in clinic but also hope to do outreach clinics to provide genetic counseling to more rural areas. In the long run I would like to eventually help establish more genetic counseling Master's programs in Nebraska or in the midwest.

Who, or what, inspires you?
A quote from my grandfather "live life with purpose" is my guide in everything I do. I want to know that the actions I take make an impact on others.

What is your favorite late-night snack?
I have the biggest sweet tooth so anything sweet in the house will usually do the trick. I am especially a sucker for a good chocolate cake. One thing I do miss about back home was making homemade popcorn with my family!

If you could offer a word of advice to prospective students, what would it be?
It is okay to feel uncomfortable during this process. It is so competitive and there are applicants from everywhere who have different experiences than yours. Learn from your mistakes and always keep trying. Have pride in what you have done to get to where you are. We are looking for students with a variety of backgrounds and experiences, so even though it is so hard do not compare yourself to others!

Ask a Student

Class of 2024

If you're thinking about applying for the genetic counseling MS program at Wake Forest some of our current students are happy to connect and help answer your questions.

Allyson Morgan - allmorga@wakehealth.edu

Things to ask me about: Taking a gap year; North Carolina as a whole; things to do in Winston-Salem; living in downtown Winston; reapplying; being a Graduate Assistant at Wake; being in a new program; moving back to where you grew up; making connections; early undergrad graduation; gaining patient-facing experience; mental health!

Angel Serafini - aserafin@wakehealth.edu

Things to ask me about: Taking the non-traditional student track; many gap years; post-bacc coursework; moving from out of state; overcoming fear; being in recovery; finding a new church home; student loans; being a Graduate Assistant at Wake; anything about the field, applications, matching, and Wake Forest’s Program.

Courtney Davis - cordavis@wakehealth.edu

Things to ask me about: Taking a couple (2) gap years; moving with a significant other; North Carolina as a whole; things to do in Winston-Salem and the surrounding areas; reapplying; low undergraduate GPA; living in downtown Winston; being in a new program; research; being a Graduate Assistant at Wake; first-generation college student; anything related to applications or Wake’s program specifically.

Erika Ward - eeward@wakehealth.edu

Things to ask me about: Taking multiple gap years; being a reapplicant; coming from out of state (Michigander here!); moving with a significant other; navigating Winston-Salem as a NC newbie; anything about Wake’s program :)

Jamie Chamberlin - jcchambe@wakehealth.edu

Things to ask me about:Taking a gap year; transitioning from pre-med to genetic counseling; first time applicant to GC programs; fast-tracking the application process; North Carolina as a whole; living in downtown Winston-Salem; research; volunteering; being in a new program; summer activities; cold emailing GCs for informational interviews; long-distance relationships; how much I love Wake Forest’s program! :)

Linnea Lundh - llundh@wakehealth.edu

Things to ask me about: Taking four gap years between undergrad and grad school; living in Downtown Winston-Salem (the dog-friendly version); being an out-of-state student (from the Maryland/DC/Northern VA area); having a full-time job while applying; having a heavy research background → genetic counseling; being in a new program.

Madison Badje - mbadje@wakehealth.edu

Things to ask me about: Taking a gap year; being a reapplicant to programs; big out of state move (I am from Nebraska); advocacy experience; being a part of a new program; learning your way around Winston-Salem.

Olivia Lopez - oclopez@wakehealth.edu

Things to ask me about: Taking multiple gap years; being a third-time applicant; being an out of state student; moving 12+ hours to a new city; anxiety during interviews/application process; imposter syndrome/mental health; living in downtown Winston; anything about Wake’s program!

Class of 2023

Atticus Halpern - ahalpern@wakehealth.edu

Things to ask me about: Moving from a big city to Winston Salem, taking a lot of gap years to work, relocating to a different state with your Significant Other, applying to school as an older student

Bri Murphy - bkmurphy@wakehealth.edu

Things to ask me about: Being an LGBTQ+ student, mental health/imposter syndrome, being a Graduate Assistant, living downtown in Winston-Salem, anything at all related to our program

Hannah Krammes - hkrammes@wakehealth.edu

Things to ask me about: Applying to and attending school as a low-income student, student loans, moving 8 hours away for school, multiple gap years, being a Graduate Assistant, finding housing suited to big dogs/”aggressive” breeds, hiking/outdoors recreation in the area, anything at all about the field of genetic counseling and/or Wake Forest’s program

Macy Calvasina - mcalvasi@wakehealth.edu

Things to ask me about: Moving to Winston-Salem by myself, long-distance relationship, being in a new program, living downtown in Winston

Madison Young - mcyoung@wakehealth.edu

Things to ask me about: Out-of-state questions, getting advocacy experience, College Mentors for Kids, best hiking and food spots in Winston

Tiera Mack - tcmack@wakehealth.edu

Things to ask me about: Diversity/Culture/Religion, being a non-traditional student, taking gap years between undergrad and grad school, commuting to Winston-Salem, research, graduate assistant position, city girl moving to Winston-Salem, coffee spots in Winston Salem

Victoria Bartlett - vbartlet@wakehealth.edu

Things to ask me about: The impact of having a close family member with cancer, living alone in a new city, the community outreach capstone project

Zerin Islam - zislam@wakehealth.edu

Things to ask me about: Being a diverse applicant & student, gap years/post-bacc programs & being non-traditional, attending school with a seemingly unrelated & non-science major, raising pets during grad school, anything about Winston-Salem or North Carolina, anything at all about life in general or the program