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Dayton Engineer

University of Dayton ETHOS Bhargavi Ravi Edgemont Community Center

International Engineering Management Student: From Classroom to Community, "Just like that, UD Became My Home"

By Karen Updyke, School of Engineering

As an international student, Bhargavi Ravi was nervous, but “just like that, UD became my home,” she said.

Fall 2019, Ravi began her engineering management graduate classes with the Department of Engineering Management, Systems and Technology at the University of Dayton and has been enthusiastically "paving her future" ever since - extensive coursework, ETHOS internship, CityWide Dayton developer and Project Management of UD president.

Her first semester was pre-Covid, and when she arrived on campus, UDayton Global, helped her to experience the rich campus culture by arranging events, excursions and one-on-one sessions.

ETHOS Local Immersion: CityWide Dayton 

Jump forward two years, and her extensive EMST coursework culminated in a local ETHOS immersion with CityWide Dayton, an NGO that supports economic and community development in Dayton. Through CityWide, Ravi made a difference in the Dayton community, learned the value of community engagement and achieved a global competency certificate, which demonstrates a broader perspective community engagement.

Edgemont Community Center Project

Lightning caused a fire at the greater Edgemont Community Center, and the building was destroyed. The Greater Edgemont Community Coalition planned to demolish the old and build a new sustainable, economical and accessible building with shipping containers and sustainable energy sources to enrich the Edgemont community and increase self-sufficiency.

As the project intern, Ravi researched the current market and provided necessary data.

Ravi described:

I researched and found that this is a cool, innovative way to build. The folks at Edgemont are invested in this project, and I’m honored to have worked with them. They taught me to dream big and to never give up on my roots and beliefs. Every Friday, I met with the Coalition members to discuss current and future research. My communication and presentation skills were enhanced by working with diverse and passionate people.

At the end of my internship, I provided a project plan, so the Coalition could begin. And, Peter Fab, fellow ETHOS student, 3D printed a model of the Center.

I loved every minute that I spent on this project as it was unique and out of the box!

CityWide Dayton was her first U.S. internship experience, and Ravi said, “Everyone at CityWide is welcoming and passionate about bringing positive changes to the city of Dayton.”

She worked with their community development team: Caitlin Jacob, planner community organizer; Nicole Steele, senior project manager and Alexis Vaske, AmeriCorps Vista, who mentored and assigned her the “amazing” Edgemont project.

ETHOS

“A local ETHOS immersion was beneficial,” said Ravi. “I met with other students for Tuesday night dinners and dialogue. We discussed our experiences and how they aligned with the University Marianist values and traditions.”

ETHOS staff guided and taught the international, graduate students the essential tools required for sustainable community development. “The knowledge and memories that I made from ETHOS are irreplaceable,” said Ravi.

Engineering Management Courses

Her engineering management courses challenged her “beyond her comfort zone.”

According to Ravi:

The engineering management, systems and technology professors made the international students feel like we belonged and that we could succeed in our adventures. They prepared us as engineers through extensive, well-designed coursework.

Professor Kellie Schneider, our academic adviser, mentored and guided us and was always available for a Zoom meeting. As an international student, I felt comfortable in the new culture and comfortable with the new method of teaching that I hadn’t experienced at home.

International Students and Scholars Services

During the pandemic, International Students and Scholars Services kept the international student community updated and provided free food during their time of need. “I am grateful to be part of a community that helps and supports its international student population. UD gave us hope during these unprecedented times,” said Ravi.

Project Management at UD

Fellow graduate student, Varun Nair, founded the Project Management Club of UD. Ravi was inspired by Nair, and when Nair graduated, Ravi became president.

Students find resources related to project management and are able to enhance their resumes and profiles by networking with industry professionals and working on projects through PMUD.

PMUD partners with the Center of Project Excellence of the University of Dayton. Stephen Hall is faculty adviser for PMUD and head of CPE. Through CPE, we worked on real-time projects, gained hands-on experiences and were provided valuable resources. “During our first Up the Orgs, we were able to recruit 44 new members,” said Ravi.

Ravi continued:

When I joined PMUD, we had two goals: recognition and member recruitment. PMUD members worked hard, remained strong during the pandemic, and continued to plan more events and workshops related to project management during the upcoming academic year. I was grateful that I was appointed as the new president. I have big shoes to fill, and I hope to pave the way for the club to be a future Flyer legacy.

Inspiration

Ravi followed her dream when she came to UD after first receiving a bachelor’s degree in mechatronics engineering in her home country, India. “My experience at the University of Dayton has been wonderful. My father, Ravi Venkatraman, is a self-made man, and watching him achieve his dreams has been truly inspirational for me. He encouraged me to follow mine. I am here today, achieving my dreams, paving my future, thanks to his blessings.”

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