Bhavana Ravala named editor-in-chief of The Crimson White

Keely Brewer | @keelykbrewer, Editor-in-Chief

The Crimson White’s managing editor Bhavana Ravala will lead the newspaper beginning in May. 

Ravala is pursuing her master’s degree in economics through the University’s Accelerated Master’s Program. As a student outside the field of journalism, she said her involvement with The CW has been the most unexpected and rewarding part of her time at the University. 

She joined The CW staff as chief copy editor in May 2020 as the paper transitioned from a twice-weekly print production schedule to an online publication during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Ravala did not meet her fellow editors in person or set foot in the newsroom until over a year after beginning her journey at the newspaper. Until then, she edited stories remotely and sent them “into the void” before they were published online. 

After being promoted to managing editor in May 2021, things were different. She said being promoted during a transitory period and diving into her position as second-in-command upon her return to the newsroom prepared her for the pressure of being editor-in-chief. 

“Serving as managing editor this year helped prepare Bhavana for the role,” said Monique Fields, the Office of Student Media’s associate director of editorial and The CW’s adviser. “She has a clear vision for connecting the newspaper to the community it serves and continuing to increase the newspaper’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts. I am impressed with her organizational skills, and I can’t wait to see how she leaves her mark on the newspaper.”

She’s a member of the Blackburn Institute, a civic engagement program focused on improving the state of Alabama; treasurer of the Anderson Society, a senior honorary that recognizes 24 individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the University; and a member of the Alabama Forensic Council. 

Forensic Council President Anna Kutbay called Ravala a “light on the team.” 

“She does an excellent job of taking complex topics and breaking them down into something comprehendible,” Kutbay said. “Her research skills are excellent, and her communication skills are impeccable. Above all of this, she’s also a great team player.” 

At this year’s Discerning Diverse Voices Symposium, Ravala performed an After Dinner Speech, which is a funny speech with persuasive slant that tackles serious issues. Kutbay said Ravala’s performance was a testament to her leadership on the team and her commitment to the advancement of diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Ravala said this year’s Justice Edition — the first edition of the spring semester — showed the staff’s growth from the fall semester, which “was a learning curve for pretty much everyone on the team thanks to COVID.” 

But she said it was also an example of the impact The CW can have on campus.

“As a prominent outlet for student voices, we have the responsibility to allow students of all backgrounds to utilize our platform to share their message and advocate for themselves,” Ravala said. “While we are not perfect in doing so, the Justice Edition was a product of that responsibility.”

Ravala and Trinity Hunter, current chair of the Blackburn Institute, are both recipients of Blackburn’s Don and Barbara “Bobbie” Siegal Scholarship, which recognizes Blackburn students who have shown an interest in cultivating cultural understanding and have demonstrated a commitment to the organization’s mission. 

Hunter said there’s a “go-getter” attitude that permeates The Crimson White as an organization, and she sees the same “boldness, curiosity and intelligence” in Ravala. 

“Her experience on campus, as well as with her advocacy work, has allowed her to assume a leadership position where she has the opportunity to pour that passion into those younger than her,” Hunter said. “She is thoughtful with her words, careful in her instruction and deliberate in her interactions. Every one of these sentiments will carry through to her position serving The CW.” 

Questions? Email the news desk at newsdesk@cw.ua.edu.