Meet Julie Mangada, Research Scientist at the Buck

On NPAT's 'Sounding Board' show, Mangada talks about her career and how it evolved.

Julie Mangada is an amazing research scientist who works at our own local Buck Institute. She is a wonderful role model for any young woman considering this field.

Watch the attached video from our Sounding Board show to learn how Julie’s career evolved, how she was paid to get her education, and how she now has an enviable job at the Buck here in Novato. Even though I sound like I have a bag over my head, you will love listening to Julie! Awesome!

The Sounding Board programs on Novato Public Access Television are produced by club members of Soroptimist International of Novato. This blog is a review of a program recently shown on a Wednesday evening at 7 or 7:30 p.m. and repeated on Saturday morning at 9 and 9:30 a.m. NPAT is our local Channel 26. NPAT's full programming can be viewed at www.npat.org/.

Remember that the statements, opinions, and views expressed on this program do not necessarily reflect those of Soroptimist International of Novato nor that of Novato Public Access Television.  

For more information about Soroptimist International of Novato, please check out www.soropnovato.org.  

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Tina McMillan February 18, 2013 at 07:03 PM
Thank you for focusing on women in research science at the Buck Institute. There are many young people in Novato for whom an education with a focus on Science would be a dream come true. As Colleges become more and more expensive, many students feel overwhelmed by the task of creating a road to their future. They are told they must be good at everything and even then they may not have the financial resources to join the University of their choice. Having a High School program that better prepares them for a specific focus may be a way to overcome obstacles. Novato's San Marin High School is offering STEM, an alternative program with a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. The dilemma is that only 60 seats will be available for the first year of freshman applicants while over 300 families showed interest in having their children apply. It is not clear how applicants will be chosen and why so few spaces are being offered. When we limit specialized High School programs we lose students at the time when they most need to revitalize their goals. More choices are essential if we want to keep young people interested, energized and active in our schools. In addition to STEM we must begin offering other alternatives, including Vocational Training. "The San Marin STEM program will be welcoming 60 incoming 9th graders in the Fall of 2013." http://sanmarinstem.weebly.com/
Al Dugan February 19, 2013 at 05:30 AM
Awesome. Novato should target aging study. They already have the Buck facility.
Tina McMillan February 19, 2013 at 05:33 PM
Soroptimist International is a group that supports girl and women. In the video Julie explains how young people can get financial help to go to college and graduate school. This video is a must see for any young person but especially those that would be interested in San Marin's STEM program. http://soropnovato.org/ The reason San Marin STEM's program is so important is that it provides just that opportunity but on a very, very small level to start. If the information meeting is any measure of interest we have 300 students competing for 60 spots. We need to make programs like STEM available on a much larger level to keep kids interested in school and focused on a path that will give them a future.
Barbara Madrid February 19, 2013 at 05:53 PM
I was part of the film crew for this show and we were all fascinated with Ms. Mangada and her work. We do a lot of really great programs on Sounding Board, but this was one of my recent favorites. The Buck is doing wonderful things up on the hill; and Ms Mangada can be an inspiration to Novato girls--STEM careers are where it's at and she made it sound so interesting and rewarding.
Carole Bennett February 19, 2013 at 05:55 PM
Very true what you say, and I am thrilled that the San Marin STEM program is starting! There was nothing here in Novato before that which would focus students on a track of intense science learning. There is nothing to say, however, that a students cannot build a similar track on his or her own if not chosen for the special STEM program. A point made in Julie's video, was that she did not seriously consider a science career until later on in life. In fact, it was a medical condition of her mother that really brought her to focus. Awareness of STEM career paths and STEM future jobs in the North Bay is what Julie and others are trying to have kids know about.
Tina McMillan February 19, 2013 at 06:24 PM
I understand that Julie's goal is to increase awareness of careers in Science for girls and women. My goal goes one step further. I want to support the girls (and boys) that are applying to STEM by increasing the beginning population to more closely reflect the number of candidates. In order to get into STEM you must enter as a Freshman. If you fail in this round you cannot reapply. My concern is that we are unfairly limiting the size of a program that could prove a lifesaver for so many. Every day we lose students to boredom and distraction. Providing education programs that offer a clear path, whether it be in Liberal Art, Sciences, Math,or Trades gives students a means of staying on track. Developmentally adolescence is not when you make your best decisions. The pressure to be liked often trumps focus on a educational goal. STEM is vital to our community because it offers a path to success that is well defined by providing guidance with a high interest focus. We have 300 families expressing interest. Applications were due at the end of January for the first year beginning in August 2013. If we have 200+ applicants but only 60 seats can you imagine the disappointment? Competition is good but not when it excludes so many that it becomes impossible to attend.
Baxter February 20, 2013 at 03:58 AM
Besides the new STEM program beginning this Fall, 2013, at San Marin High, the school has had classes in Biotechnology for the last few years. Principals of Biotechnology 1 and 2 is a two year Career Technical Education (CTE) that can lead to certification to work in the biotechnology industry and/or prepare students to pursue the study of biotechnology at the college level. Currently, students in the second year of this two year course have the opportunity to intern at the Buck Institute after school hours since the Buck provided a Grant to San Marin High for this two year program. Dr. Lafevre-Bernt, PhD, and a scientist from the Buck, has been teaching this course to any interested San Marin High students in grades 10 through 12.
Sylvia Barry February 20, 2013 at 04:39 AM
Thanks, Baxter, for mentioning the BioTech track. Dr. L-B built that program a few years back. Same concept and approach - SMHS spent a lot of time researching before determining on what, how, when and to whom to offer this program. Tina - it is only prudent for SMHS to start small in order to build a solid and successful program before expanding it. I personally can not imagine having 300 students enrolled in a brand new program the first year. I know the wonderful teachers who are involved and the time, effort and thoughts they have put into this. Let's give it a chance to succeed first.
Tina McMillan February 20, 2013 at 09:59 AM
Programs that have exemplary staff, dedicated students and supportive parents succeed. There is no chance involved. It is about hard work and focus. I am not sure why you wouldn't want this program to be made available to every qualified applicant. What is it about the program that causes you to have doubts?
Sylvia Barry February 20, 2013 at 04:24 PM
There is no doubt, Tina. Try not to read and analyze too much. Personally. I hesitate to have 300 new students into the first year program with new emphasis. I don't even know if SMHS has enough classrooms and teachers to handle 300 new students (simple math tells me 300 students is at least 10 classes at 30 students per class and if we include class size limitation of 22 students, it's about 13 classes). But this is all speculating on my part. SMHS admin and teacher in charge of this program are the ones who know the best way to implement a successful program. Just in case you wonder, I am a strong supporter of the Bio-Tech and STEM programs - my father was a physics professor and Dean for College of Science in his university, that's the root of my passion for education. I have been wishing for a successful STEM program for years. I firmly believe they will be successful because they do things the right way.
Tina McMillan February 20, 2013 at 05:33 PM
Syliva The program base of Math and Science prerequisites narrows the field of applicants considerably. Since they come in as Freshman the program will already be planning for additional students. My concern is to make this accessible to all qualified applicants because for many it represents what they want to study. I see young people grow bored with High School. Boredom leads to at risk behavior. At risk behavior is linked to substance and alcohol use. When we talk about helping students choose a different path it has much more to do with giving them a meaningful focus than the DARE concept of just saying No. STEM Curriculum: 9th Grade: Algebra 2, Physics, and Principles of Engineering 10th Grade: Geometry, Biology, and Bioengineering/Biotechnology 1 11th Grade: Precalculus, Chemistry, and Biotechnology 2 OR two semester-long Engineering Electives 12th Grade: AP Calculus, Senior Project Engineering, and Science Course of Choice (AP Biology, AP Physics, or Marine Biology) I can't find any explanation of enrollment procedures. Will they be accepting students from outside the district? If these are students from Novato I thought one purpose was to increase attendance at San Marin. This is a great opportunity. I just want them to consider the number of qualified applicants before limiting it to 60.
Baxter February 20, 2013 at 07:04 PM
Here is a "fact" for you. Congratulations to Dr. Julie Mangada, who is interviewed in the video above. She is doing incredible things reaching out to the community and educating our youth throughout the Bay Area and here in Novato. I have been to one of her lectures and attended the high school student's Summer Scholar Internship presentation held at the Buck Institute at the end of August, where the students discussed and presented their summer lab research experience, In the video above, Dr, Julie states that her outreach projects are not only for K through 12th grades, but K through "grey". We are never too old to learn, And, as far as the San Marin High students who are not selected/qualified to enter the STEM program as a freshman, I believe they still have the opportunity to take the same hard-science classes and same math classes required by the UC's. It just won't be in a specialized curriculum. And, not every student wants to be a chemical engineer. Those students interested in the science field and who are not a part of the STEM program will not be bored taking the UC required classes.
Tina McMillan February 20, 2013 at 08:06 PM
Dr. Mangada is an inspiration! I was not trying to take away from her accomplishments but to build on her goal of providing programs like STEM to girls and women here in Novato. Not all students are interested in STEM but the ones that want this challenging, specialized curriculum are concerned that there will not be space for them. That is my main concern. I am delighted that Dr. Mangada did this interview. I think its purpose was to reach out to girls and women everywhere. It is a wonderful interview.
Not_a_Troll February 20, 2013 at 11:41 PM
My word, *somebody* could use a little schooling in the art of self control. Here we have a lovely, light yet informative piece about what a wonderful member of the community is doing at a wonderful community institution. It segues into a running commentary about how unfortunate it is that San Marin isn't doing "enough" when it launches a great new science-oriented program? I for one am glad that San Marin is approaching this STEM program cautiously. Indeed, it shows great promise. But the school shouldn't be reckless about something they hope and assume will be a hit. And not every kid is into science. Thank you, San Marin, for not blowing the whole potato on one area of interest. I was pleased to read that NUSD is on the verge of a perfectly balanced budget - no pink slips expected this year. Well done, NUSD, navigating these tough economic times by minding the money and STILL being able to launch test programs like STEM. (And of course, bravo, Julie Mangada).
Ventress Dugan February 22, 2013 at 01:22 AM
Not a Troll, Baxter, Point On! Do us a favor and get a name!!


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