Staff Spotlight – Julie Mangino

Julie ManginoJulie Mangino, a country girl at heart, loves working in New Haven and tackling a wide variety of campus building projects. As an associate project manager, she oversees construction jobs from minor laboratory upgrades to significant campus renovations.

At Yale since 2015, she started by working on small upgrades in administrative departments, public spaces, resident halls, and classrooms. A few years ago, she joined the Facilities team covering Science Hill and began doing more complex laboratory and exterior renovations. Her current role also involves many projects in the historic homes on Hillhouse Avenue—Julie’s favorite campus area. In 2020, she coordinated and oversaw the lifting and moving of the circa 1807 house at 87 Trumbull Street —a career highlight.

While her job can seem complicated to an outsider, she thrives at it, successfully managing all the minute details and working closely with her team. The most challenging aspect for her is looking ahead in a project’s timeline and making sure the occupants have minimal disruption while frequently communicating with them.

Julie and her two sisters grew up in Roxbury, Connecticut, where she lives with her husband and son. Her parents are retired and live nearby; her father was a jet mechanic, and her mother was a medical technician. She has a B.S. in Civil Engineering, with an environmental concentration, from the University of Hartford. A passionate advocate for a greener world, she does her part to recycle, not waste food, and stay abreast of environmental issues. Before Yale, she worked for a few general contractors and values that experience. “It is important to know what the people you manage are doing and the challenges they are up against. Understanding all that before I came to Yale was a huge help in my current role,” says Julie.

We caught up with Julie via Zoom to talk about soccer, rural living, and potluck lunches.

What was your first job?

When I was 15 years old, I was a soccer referee for children under 10. It was somewhat intimidating because you had to pay attention to the game, make the right call, and contend with really passionate kids and parents. I had to be confident in my calls and my dealings with everyone involved. My biggest takeaway is the confidence I gained because of that experience, which carries through my work and personal life even today.

Favorite childhood memory

I spent a lot of time at Grandma Ellie’s house. She was not actually my grandma, but extremely close with my mom’s family. She lived in Bethel, Connecticut, and had a pond in her yard. My sisters and I and other kids from her neighborhood spent many summer afternoons swimming in that pond. We also used to sneak off to Blue Jay Orchards to get candy and apples. I loved living and growing up in a small town.

Best advice you ever received and from whom

My dad always used to say live by “what you say is true.” In other words, if I say I am going to do something, I always follow through with it. I feel that is important professionally and personally. When you live by that code, people learn to trust you. For instance, when managing a project, it’s a given that I will do what I say or set out to do.

What are the biggest challenges you face?

As a construction project manager, you are constantly dealing with minor to significant emergencies. It is just part of the job. I would say the biggest challenge is unforeseen emergencies. You can plan or forecast for certain things to happen or possibly happen. When something unexpected does happen, I’m always concerned about the impact on our occupants and try to figure out the best solution for them and Yale Facilities. I’m grateful that the emergencies are not life and death situations as they might be for a healthcare worker.

What is your best Yale memory?

I love my team. My teammate, Lynne asked me to help her organize a potluck holiday luncheon—this was pre-COVID. Everyone took the time to bring something and spend time with each other. This included colleagues from across Facilities—Finance, project managers, and planners. It was fun. We hope to start it up again soon. I’m a baker and often bring cookies into the break room. My brown-butter chocolate chip and pecans cookies are big favorites.

Tell us a few fun facts about yourself

When my husband, then fiancée, and I went looking for wedding venues, I had just finished working on the renovation of 406 Prospect Street. Our first venue visit was to Le Chateau, a Gilded Age hilltop mansion in South Salem, New York. As soon as we walked in, I noticed the railings were the same as the railings at 406 Prospect Street. I soon learned that the architect Grosvenor Atterbury, who studied at Yale and designed that house, had also designed Le Chateau. I was immediately sold, and we didn’t bother looking at any other place, and that’s where we got married.

I’ve played soccer my whole life; it’s a huge part of my life. I currently play in an over 30 women’s league just for fun. My son also plays, and I hope to start coaching in my community later this year.