Senior civil engineering major Raven Odian received the Narver Memorial Scholarship at the 2018 Structural Engineers Association of Southern California awards presentation in February. Odian was one of eight scholarship recipients but was the only recipient of the $2,500 Narver scholarship.
Odian was nominated for a SEAOSC scholarship by Seaver College faculty but was asked to submit a personal statement as part of the scholarship application. She wrote from the heart.
“I wrote about how the sustainable side of engineering is something that I’m very passionate about,” says Odian, who grew up in Malibu. “I’ve always liked nature and keeping the land open and pristine. But as structural engineers, we develop land and build on it. There is a push now to make buildings more sustainable.”
Winning the top scholarship was a surprise, she says. “Being able to convince people who don’t know you that you’re worth the investment is a huge compliment.”
For Odian, graduation will be bittersweet. She chose to attend LMU because of its small class-size, but she didn’t know she would fall in love with the school. Odian has been active in public service projects, and participated in cultural immersion trips through campus ministry, including trips to Haiti and the Dominican Republic. She’s a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (both the student and national chapters) and Engineering for Humanity, a student group that has provided engineering solutions to under-served communities in Mexico.
“LMU exceeded my expectations,” she says. “I love being an LMU student, especially being in our engineering program. I don’t think any other university compares to what you gain from LMU’s professors. They are willing to help you all the time. They have an open door policy, and are willing to work with you around the clock. They will also help you with work in other classes, and they care about you as individuals.”
Odian says she always knew she wanted to be an engineer, but her LMU education made her realize she could combine her profession with service to society. In the fall, she will begin graduate studies in structural engineering at Stanford. She hopes to learn more about the nation’s aging infrastructure and how older bridges can be retrofitted and saved from destruction.
“LMU has taught me to keep an open mind, and to see that our education can be used to help others,” she says. “I want to do something that will positively contribute to society.”