Sasidharan (“Sasi”) Ravikumar’s global leadership journey has been informed by his experience of moving from India to Singapore to pursue an undergraduate degree in engineering before coming to Penn to receive a Master’s in Bioengineering from the School of Engineering and Applied Science.
"I found the transition extremely difficult both academically and culturally and relied on the international student community to guide me through my journey. When I joined Penn as a graduate student, I wanted to leverage this experience and support other international students who might be facing the same difficulties I faced."
As the Director for International Student Affairs of the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GAPSA), he was deeply involved in national-level efforts to advocate for the interests of international students in the U.S. In this capacity, he represented Penn at national conferences, conducted outreach to U.S. Government representatives, and met with high-level University officials to increase the visibility of international graduate student concerns. He worked with administrators and students alike to increase access to emergency funds, organize information sessions, and co-sponsor a variety of international student integration initiatives during the pandemic.
Sasi also served as the President of Rangoli – The Indian Association at Penn, where he organized a variety of cultural events, ran integration efforts, and provided mentorship opportunities for incoming students from India.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in the U.S., Sasi joined Penn Health Tech and Penn Engineering to assemble more than 11,000 face shields for local Philadelphia hospitals. After his summer internship plans were thwarted by the virus, he quickly transitioned to serve two non-profit organizations, where he helped coordinate an Entrepreneurship World Cup and contributed to the expansion of a need-based scholarship program.