Women and Girls Lead: Super NOVA

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Paula Apsell is senior executive producer of “NOVA,” the popular science documentary series on PBS. Apsell started at WGBH, where the program is produced, directly out of college. She started as a program log typist, but eventually found her way into producing medical and science programming.

Fond of science (1:18)

Apsell says her interest in science goes back to her early school days.

Scientists (1:52)

Each season, “Nova” gives viewers a wide choice of science stories, which may cover the natural environment, animals, physical science, archaeology, or space and technology. Some topics can be controversial, like evolution, so “Nova” seeks out a variety of experts.

Executive producer (1:32)

Being a leader in the television world of “Nova” has been a learning process. Apsell says with each new task she watches the people who are already doing it well.

Her leadership style (:47)

As the executive producer, Apsell helps producers shape the individual programs that “Nova” presents each season. She has developed her own style, which she says is known not only to her colleagues but also to her children (!)

Advice to young women (1:22)

Paula Apsell advises younger women building their careers to be patient, be smart and become indispensable to their employers.

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