Julie González says one of the best things about teaching in the Biotechnology field is the ability to take students to local companies and show them the real world application of what they are learning at DMACC.
“Students enjoy getting to meet DMACC Biotechnology alumni who are working in the field,” said González. “The alumni always stop to talk to students about their own experiences.”
DMACC Biotechnology graduates can work in several fields from agricultural to forensics. DMACC Biotechnology students learn how to analyze DNA for crime scene forensics and how to clone and sequence genes. Students also work with proteins to learn how diseases can be detected and monitored. They also examine enzymes that are used in the biofuels industry.
“There is a demand for students who can use critical thinking skills and laboratory training to run experiments and analyze the results. There are many companies with a diverse range of opportunities available. If you are interested in biology and/or chemistry, there is a biotech job somewhere that would be perfect for you,” said González. “Biotechnology is a growing field in central Iowa. The industry professionals I work with on DMACC's Biotechnology Advisory Committee often emphasize the need for educated biotechnology workers.”
DMACC graduates can work for companies like Pioneer, Monsanto, Kemin, Proliant, Heska, NASA and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
González says lab exercises are a valuable part of the DMACC Biotechnology program.
“From analyzing their favorite foods for genetically modified content to purifying proteins used to produce medications, the emphasis is on real-world techniques and applications,” said González.
González earned a B.S. in Biology and Chemistry from Upper Iowa University and an M.S. and Graduate Certificate in Forensics from Iowa State University.
González and her husband and two children enjoy many outdoor activities including biking, kayaking and stand-up paddling.