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Meet Juliana Mandha

Lecturer at International Health Sciences University

A mediocre teacher tells, a good teacher explains, a superior teacher demonstrates but a great teacher inspires. These were the words of an American writer William Arthur Ward. In today's career spotlight we bring you Juliana Mandha, A Lecturer who is poised to live a lasting footprint on her students. To give you a bit of more insights in how she does it, this is what we asked 

What does Juliana do at her work place and what motivated her to pursue that career path?

I teach students who are studying diploma, bachelor's degree and masters in Public Health at the International Health Sciences University. My main subjects are Public Health nutrition, Research methods, Biostatistics and Computer skills. I also do research work and community outreaches.  
My main motivation was my zeal for learning. I love learning. I believe everyday is an opportunity to learn something new or a new way of doing something more effectively. We stop learning when we die. I am also passionate about transforming other people, not just academically but also developing their abilities and talents.

Work can sometimes be very daunting, in your case what is cool about your job?

I find research writing so cool because it makes me think beyond my imagination. It makes me move out of my comfort zone. This at the same time is a challenge because it needs time and concentration.

What skills does one need to be a Lecturer in your field and how important are those skills?

Passion, Passion and Passion. If you love what you do then anything is possible. If you don't love what you are doing, find something positive about it and hold on to it until what you love comes around the corner.
Interpersonal skills are also important. These are skills that help relate with people such as working together in a team, listening effectively with the intension of understanding, interacting with other people and putting yourself in other people's shoes (empathy).

So share with us your education journey leading to your current role as a Lecturer ?

In 2002,  I was in Trinity College Nabbingo for O level. For A level, I was in Namirembe Hillside in 2006. I did PCB/M my intention was to be a pharmacist but I naturally hate medicine. In 2012, by God's grace, I was given the government scholarship to do Food Processing Technology at Kyambogo University which I completed in 4 years. 

I finished my Masters in Food and Nutrition in 2016, at the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST) in Arusha, Tanzania. 2 weeks ago, another miracle from God, I obtained a PhD sandwich scholarship to study at Ghent University in Belgium.

Many students shun academia as they believe it attracts low pay.What picture of the field can you paint that can encourage students to start considering academia as a career path

If you are passionate about what you do, the money comes anyway. Teaching does not begin and end in the classroom, its a lifestyle. Its an opportunity to leave your footprint on someone's live so you can either make them or break them.  
As a researcher, I solve problems in my community through discovery and interventions. I am part of the change that I want to see. I am not a bystander.

Has Juliana had any rewarding events so far, if yes, what are some moments that made you proud to be a Lecturer of Food and Nutrition Science?

I have been teaching for 8 months now, and it has been so rewarding. First, I am mentoring 2 students from my previous classes to achieve their dreams.
Secondly, I have obtained scholarships and travel grants to present at the international conference of world public health nutrition  in Cape Town South Africa, participate in the African Nutrition Leadership Program in Johannesburg South Africa and the Sandwich PhD scholarship with Ghent University.

So what is the future like in Food and Nutrition Sciences?

Hot topics in  food and nutrition are agriculture-nutrition sensitive programs, climate change and food as well as functional foods in relation to health.

Finally what advise would Juliana give someone especially a young lady who dreams of walking on the same career path you are on?

Food is medicine. A human being cannot survive for long without food. Therefore, there is a ready and constant market for this field.
My advise is that, don't look down on yourself because of where you are right now because tomorrow is a bright new day. Keep positive and start speaking right about yourself and future. When you speak, you create, so speak positively.
And lastly and most importantly, believe in God. He created you for a divine purpose and he will surely lead you to accomplish it. 

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