Office of Diversity & Inclusion

Dr. Julie Monet

Dr. Julie Monet

Name: Julie Monet

Hometown: San Francisco

Role on campus: Professor and Chair, Department of Science Education

Years on campus: 11

Did you, or do you have plans to continue your education beyond a four-year degree? No. My initial goal was to simply finish my AA degree. I soon realized that higher education provided me the opportunity to develop self-confidence, independence, and the ability to indulge my passion for learning.

Why did you choose Chico? The CSU system is where I earned both my BS and MS degrees. I was excited to return and become part of the same system where I was inspired to learn, and to challenge myself to achieve goals I once believed were unattainable.

What first sparked your interest in a college education? I initially went to Santa Rosa Junior College to fulfill the courses that I didn’t complete in High School. After earning my AA degree, I was ready to take on the challenge of completing a four-year degree.

What were some barriers that prevented others in your family from completing a four-year degree? I am assuming it was due to financial reasons. My dad is the 13th child in his family. My parents married at a young age and during a generation when women did not typically have careers outside of their family.

Who can you point to as a mentor or inspiration in your pursuit of a four-year degree and why? Without a doubt, it was Richard Rocklewitz, an instructor at Santa Rosa JC who taught a construction-drafting course. Contrary to the college advisor who advised me to pursue a degree better suited for young women, Mr. Rocklewitz inspired and encouraged me to aim for my dream of becoming an architect. He was the first person to recommend me for my first job in an architectural drafting firm.

What does being first-gen mean to you? It represents the opportunity to achieve goals that were not available for prior generations in my family.

What challenges do you struggle with or have you overcome as a result of being first-gen? I had to overcome the challenge of not finishing high school, being on my own, and being a single parent at a very young age.

What is your wildest ambition? I had never imagined that I would ever get to this point in my career—and that is already well beyond my wildest ambition.

What message do you want to send other first-gen students? You can overcome challenges. Be patient, don’t give up and, above all, believe in yourself and never be afraid to reach out for help and resources when you need them.