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ISE student recognized as grad of distinction


On May 9, 2021, the college will welcome more than 1,600 new alumni into the College of Engineering family. Meet Raga Maddela, who combined her passion with Ohio State’s offerings to engineer an extraordinary education, and learn what advice she has for new and prospective Buckeyes. 

Raga Maddela

By combining opportunities available on- and off-campus, Raga Maddela was able to engineer a transformative education.

Raga Maddela stands outside of Tonglu High School in Zhejiang, China, where she taught English one summer.

Being in the Fundamentals of Engineering for Honors program helped set the industrial and systems engineering major apart at career fairs and secure an internship at Lincoln Electric during her sophomore year. She completed four internships in total, including spending six months at Tesla and a summer at Lyft—both in the Bay Area.

“The industrial engineering curriculum had prepared me for really great internships,” she said. “It was eye-opening to have those experiences and to meet people from different colleges all over the world.”

Maddela also continued her Chinese studies at Ohio State and taught English abroad in China one summer, which she considers a highlight from her five years at the university.

“That was an amazing experience. I am also passionate about teaching on top of engineering,” Maddela said. “I would love to be in engineering education one day. I think teaching is such a good way to give back to younger people.”

As an undergraduate research assistant in Ohio State’s Cognitive Systems Engineering Lab, she conducted human performance and intelligence analysis research for the Air Force Research Laboratory. The aspiring product manager found her position there helpful in learning how to apply good design principles to a real-world project and gaining project management experience.

Being a Morrill Scholar, which rewards academically talented students who are engaged in diversity-based leadership, helped Maddela meet peers who were interested in social justice initiatives. In 2018, she joined the Ohio Student Association, which was a university student organization at the time, and worked to help get a statewide criminal justice bill on the ballot. This year she worked with Ohio Progressive Asian Women’s Leadership peers and others to host the Stop AAPI Hate rally held on campus in April.

“Social justice, criminal justice and student activism have been a huge part of my experience at Ohio State. This type of work is way different from engineering. But I think as engineers, as students, as members of the community, it's important to understand the community and give back to it. I'm not just an Ohio State student, I am a resident of Columbus and that means I want to be in sync with the community that's just outside of Ohio State.”

Her involvement in these initiatives is one of the things Maddela is most proud of from her time at Ohio State and she encourages other students to “take opportunities push yourself, push your boundaries, even if it makes you uncomfortable.”

After graduation, Maddela will work as a program manager at Microsoft in Bellevue, Washington.

Excerpted from full story on the College of Engineering website.

by Candi Clevenger, College of Engineering Communications,

Category: Student