Stefanie Garcia is a proud Latina engineer and teacher from Southern California. She earned her B.S. from UC San Diego in Physics/Biophysics, and subsequently worked in Radiation Health & Safety at UC San Diego. Here, she was responsible for the sealed and unsealed radioactive substances program for UCSD, and the UCSD associated medical centers. After moving to the Irvine area, Stefanie worked at Maxlinear on testing RF and Mixed Signal semiconductor ICs. Stefanie’s graduate work was done with UC Berkeley in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), with support from UCSF’s Radiation Oncology Department, and the cyclotron team at Crocker Nuclear Laboratory (UC Davis). Stefanie’s research was on radiation effects in semiconductor devices for implantable oncology applications, and included work on an ASIC device for in-vivo dosimetry, and in-vivo monitoring for cancer recurrence. She worked for 3.5 years towards a PhD in EECS before taking a pause from academic research, receiving her M.S. in Dec. 2017. Her research has been patented, and has been a part of a medical device startup (iota Biosciences) in the Bay Area. Stefanie has since transitioned to work in engineering education, and she plans to eventually finish her doctorate in STEM education.
Stefanie’s passion for engineering education was discovered at, and fostered by, her graduate experiences at UC Berkeley. Her educational outreach work started with Community Resources for Science (an East Bay nonprofit), and she has worked with 14+ science and engineering departments at UC Berkeley to assist in getting researchers and students into East Bay public school classrooms to teach STEM/STEAM lessons. She has mainly worked with teachers and students in Title 1 public schools in Oakland Unified, Berkeley Unified, and West Contra Costa Unified. She has also been part of a small team that trains hundreds of UC Berkeley students and staff (undergrads, grads, and postdocs) on how to teach in K-8 classrooms that serve students from a large variety of socioeconomic backgrounds.
From 2019-2021, Stefanie has worked in Trenton, NJ, at Christina Seix Academy. Christina Seix is a PreK3 – 8th grade school whose mission is to help low income families break generational cycles of poverty, and to holistically support students from single parent households. At this school, Stefanie (Miss Garcia) was an elementary and middle school Computer Science/Robotics teacher, and a 7th grade science teacher. Her teaching philosophy and curriculum development work revolves around helping students gain an appreciation for engineering within a societal context, to encourage students to be technology builders and designers, and to help students develop their self-efficacy in problem solving.
Stefanie moved to Pittsburgh at the end of July, 2021, and is now an Outreach Coordinator for Carnegie Mellon University in the College of Engineering. She works in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and is focused on bringing CMU student run lessons to K-12 schools that primarily serve local black and brown communities in Pittsburgh. She is also focused on developing content for language immersion K-12 programming, and is dedicated to connecting CMU students who speak other languages to be able to share engineering content with students who don’t speak English as their first language. Her education outreach focus is primarily on public schools, and on serving families and communities that face socioeconomic barriers to higher education in engineering.