The Goal

worldHave you ever wondered about the origins of your family? Are you curious about your ethnicity or race? Have you heard or told stories about your family's past? Would you like to know the truth behind family secrets? DNA is a scientific way to answer all these questions with a high level of accuracy.

Everyone has a unique combination of DNA molecules in their cells. They form a genetic blueprint, providing insights into one's ethnic heritage. But many people don't know what their DNA says about them; and many are surprised when they find out.

The goal of the DNA Discussion Project at West Chester University is to encourage greater understanding of the science of genetics, the construction of race, and the perception of ethnicity. By engaging participants in discussion before and after DNA testing, we are discovering that we share a rich background that is often unexpected.

The Process

  1. Participants answer a Qualtrics pre-survey in which they share what they believe to be their ethnic ancestry, as well as other questions.
  2. Utilizing the DNA sample collection kit mailed to them, they collect a small sample of cells for DNA testing. The sample is processed by a DNA lab that specializes in ancestry.
  3. Within a few weeks, participants are provided the results of the DNA test, reporting estimated percentages of ethnic heritage.
  4. Participants complete a Qualtrics post-survey, where they are encouraged to talk about the results and their reactions to this information.
  5. Participants will be invited to a series of ongoing workshops and discussions about the Project and their reactions to what they have learned about their ancestry.
  6. Please share your pictures, stories, and reactions at dnadiscussion@wcupa.edu.
Dna Pamphlet
Dna Pamphlet
Dna Discussion Pie Chart
Dna Discussion Pie Chart
Dna Discussion Student talking with Anita Foeman
Dna Discussion Student talking with Anita Foeman
Dna Discussion students conversing
Dna Discussion students conversing

Video Resources

Anitia Video

Dr. Foeman has a discussion about "Untangling our DNA"

Ted X DNA Discussion

Dr. Lawton and Dr. Foeman give a presentation on "Our Common Core" - 2016 TEDXWilmingtonSalon

DNA Discussion Intro

The DNA Discussion Project explained in a short 4 minute video introduction

TED X West Chester

Dr. Foeman talks about the DNA Discussion Project in this 2014 TEDx talk

DNA Discussion Montage

A montage of reactions of participants in the DNA Discussion Project

DNA Discussion Reaction

A reaction of Danae's participation/results in the DNA Discussion Project

DNA Discussion Video

Anita Foeman Discusses DNA Discussion Project & Courageous Conversations

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