Ramesh strives to expand inclusion, diversity in tech
When she was young, Gauri Ramesh would spend much of her time writing stories. After she finished, she created websites in order to share them with her friends and family.
Now a junior computer science major in the Jeffrey S. Raikes School of Computer Science and Management, Ramesh said she didn't realize her childhood passion would lead to a career path.
"I knew that I wanted to do something that dealt with solving problems for real people," Ramesh said. "It just kind of happened that way."
Ramesh chose computer science because it allows her to use a combination of logical thinking skills and creativity to tackle projects. She spends most of her time at Nebraska juggling numerous responsibilities on campus. When she isn't studying for her classes, she can be found helping run Girls Code Lincoln, university organization Computing for All or checking off the latest book on her reading list.
But she doesn't keep busy just for fun — she does it because she's trying to create a future where diversity and inclusion can flourish in STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — fields.
Through Computing for All, Ramesh and her fellow club members work to create activities for women in the computer science department, while also promoting accessibility in computing for people who may have never done it before.
Ramesh also makes an effort to make technology accessible to local girls through Girls Code Lincoln. Every Sunday she can be found helping lead the group on everything from basic coding concepts to skills like bravery and leadership. She said it's been one of her most rewarding experiences to teach them about coding through creativity, confidence and communication.
In 2019, Ramesh was one of 10 students honored at the inaugural Student Luminary Award, which honor students who shine a light on Nebraska with emphasis on academic accomplishments, diversity and inclusion.
"That's something that I'm really passionate about," Ramesh said. "Especially in STEM, since there is a really big gender pay gap."
So while things might get stressful at times, for Ramesh it's all worth it. She has her community through the Raikes School and her extracurricular activities to lean on, and the knowledge that her efforts will help others to keep her moving forward.
"I can deal with one stressful day if I know that this many students are going to be impacted by it, or I'm going to make someone's life better by it." Ramesh said.