Sharavan Govindan’s financial gift to UConn’s School of Engineering isn’t just a way to give back for the opportunities he received as an engineering student. It’s also a friendly challenge to others who have similarly benefitted from scholarships.
“I’d like to inspire other alumni into giving and scale up opportunities for students as a result,” said Govindan, whose recent gift provides the funds for the annual Govindan Family Fellowship. “The giving back should go beyond monetary assistance, including mentoring, sharing experiences through virtual or live presentations and discussions, partnering through their employer, suggesting industry-relevant course curriculum to faculty, so students are better trained when they enter the workforce, and contributing articles to the newsletter and maintaining ties.”
And the benefits work both ways, said Govindan, who received his Master’s degree from UConn in 2003.
“Giving without any expectation in return, is a unique and amazing form of happiness that can only be experienced when you do it,” he said. “The feeling cannot be fully expressed in words and I really hope many others get to experience this, and help others. I am grateful for the full scholarship that UConn had provided me when I was a graduate student, and this is one of the many ways I am giving back and expressing gratitude. “
To be eligible for the “Govindan Family Fellowship” fund, candidates must be an incoming or continuing graduate student enrolled full time in the School of Engineering, exhibit academic achievement and financial need, and demonstrate an interest in environmental engineering.
“My experience at UConn was unique in many ways,” he said. “I was the webmaster for multiple departments and research centers, I was also wiring computer networks for the Booth Research Center, while pursuing research in water and soil remediation. I was also a voluntary webmaster for the Connecticut Invention Convention for many years and was engaged in multiple social activities.”
Govindan said his experience at UConn was great preparation for his current position as director of social learning for Bentley Systems, a Pennsylvania-based software company.
“Amazingly, I was able to pursue a career that combines my computer and engineering skills and passions I had at UConn,” he said. “My employer, Bentley Systems, offered complimentary training to UConn’s students and faculty on water engineering software. Years later, when I was looking for a career change from research, I applied because of the wonderful experience I had had with Bentley as a student. The rest as they say, is history. “