Engineering

Associate Professor
School of Engineering
Engineering
Professional Engineer and Structural Engineer
M.S., 1999 University of Tennessee
B.S., 1993 (Civil Engineering) University of Tennessee

Mr. Ragan is a professor in the Department of Engineering in the Martin D. Walker School of Engineering at Olivet. Before joining the Olivet faculty, his academic experience included a position in the Architectural Program at Drury University in Springfield, MO, a summer teaching assignment at Washington University in St. Louis, MO, and a teaching assignment at University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, AR. He is currently working on a PhD with the University of Arkansas.

Courses he teaches at Olivet include Statics, Dynamics, Mechanics of Materials, Reinforced Concrete Design, and Steel Design.

Mr. Ragan has been a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) since 1995.

His professional experience outside the classroom includes engineering positions with Technical Engineering Consultants (TEC) in Knoxville, TN, Stanley D. Lindsay and Associates (SDA) in Nashville, TN, EFI Global in Addison, IL, and Unified Investigations and Sciences in Memphis, TN. He is licensed as a Professional Engineer (PE) in eighteen states and as a Structural Engineer (SE) in Illinois.

He and his wife, Jeni, are the parents of four children: Emily, Ethan, Evan, and Emory. Outside of work, time is spent with the children supporting their many musical and sports activities. Currently, he is active at his church, Second Baptist Church in Springfield, Missouri.

Associate Professor
School of Engineering
Engineering
Ph.D. (Educational Leadership), 2005, Colorado State University
M.S. (Electrical Engineering), 1983, Syracuse University
B.S. (Electrical Engineering), 1974, University of Rochester

Dr. Agajanian joined Olivet’s full-time faculty in 2018. His areas of expertise are circuit design and analysis, communications, digital electronics, robotics and computer networking.

Encouraging females to pursue STEM careers was the topic of his dissertation. Colorado State University is using his dissertation as an exemplary one for its Ph.D. program.

One of his passions is encouraging pre-college students to pursue STEM careers. “I enjoy applying modern teaching methods in engineering to maximize learning,” he says. “Developing long-lasting mentoring relationships with students is important to me. My goal is to motivate them to become lifelong learners and help them reach their God-given potential.”

His professional experience includes 30 years of teaching at university and community college levels. He enjoys an innovative teaching environment using state-of-the-art classroom delivery methods, such as active, blended, online, hands-on, project-based, inquiry-based and team-teaching. He has previously taught courses in the fields of biomedical engineering technology, Cisco Academy networking, microprocessors, microcontrollers, advanced manufacturing engineering technology, PLCs, math, statistics and physics.

As a Program Evaluator (PEV) for ABET, he evaluated electrical engineering technology programs and provided ABET Accreditation for colleges and universities. He is a recipient of the ABET Project Appreciation award.

At DeVry University, Dr. Agajanian served as chair of the Electronics Engineering Technology Department and chair of the “TAC of ABET” Committee for five years. For 10 years, he worked in the field of electrical engineering at IBM, GE Corporation and others. This depth of knowledge enhances his teaching and delivery methods.

He is the co-author of two books, “Troubleshooting Electronics” (published by McGraw-Hill) and “Technology in the Classroom and Online Learning” (published by Rowman and Littlefield). He has also published numerous articles related to STEM and nanotechnology.

He is a member of the International Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) member and the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). He has served as a judge in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) school project, competitions sponsored by the Illinois Technology Foundation (ITF), and in U.S. FIRST Robotics competitions.

An Armenian Christian, Dr. Agajanian was born in Istanbul, Turkey. He attended Armenian Christian secondary schools and graduated from high school as a valedictorian. He then attended Robert College (Bogazici University) in Istanbul. Upon receiving a scholarship, he transferred to the University of Rochester (New York) to study electrical engineering. During his leisure time, he enjoys traveling, swimming, hiking, biking and cross-country skiing.

One of his favorite Bible verses is: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

Associate Professor
School of Engineering
Engineering
Ph.D., 2010, University of California-Davis
M.Sc., 2002, International Agriculture Development, University of California-Davis
M.Sc., 2002, Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California-Davis
B.Sc., 1994, LeTourneau University

Dr. Ritzema joined Olivet’s full-time faculty in 2018, teaching courses in civil and environmental engineering, technical communications and experimental design. His areas of expertise include water resources planning and management, as well as analysis of coupled human-environmental systems.  

“For most of the past 12 years, I’ve had one foot in the engineering world and the other in international research,” he says. “From this, I believe I bring a unique perspective to both.”

His professional experience includes 14 years in research and engineering practice. In California, he worked in water resources engineering. In Southeast Asia and East Africa, he held several international applied research positions that focused on poverty, food security and natural resource management issues in the developing world.

Dr. Ritzema and his wife, Cristina, are the parents of five children. For relaxation, he enjoys fishing (or at least he will, when time eventually allows for it).

His favorite Scripture passage is Ephesians 1:18–19: “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe.”

Chair of Engineering
School of Engineering
Engineering
Ph.D., 2006, Michigan State University
M.S., 1994, Michigan State University
B.S., 1991, University of Illinois

Dr. Schroeder is chair of the Department of Engineering in the Martin D. Walker School of Engineering at Olivet. Before joining the Olivet faculty, he taught at Michigan State University, Saginaw Valley State University and Delta College.

Courses he teaches at Olivet include: Engineering Design I & II, Dynamics, Thermodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, Heat Transfer, Engineering Economics and College Physics. He has also led the Freshman Engineering Design Sequence, focusing on improving student success in engineering.

Dr. Schroeder is a member of and serves as faculty advisor for the ONU student section of ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers). He is also a member of ASEE (American Society for Engineering Education).

His professional experience outside the classroom includes engineering consulting with E2I Automation; J. L. Meece Engineering; Dresser-Rand Controls; Enertech Engineering Company; and Dow Howell Gilmore Associates.

He and his wife, Barb, are the parents of three children: Lucy, Adam and Megan. In his free time, he plays bass trombone in the Kankakee Valley Symphony Orchestra and referees swimming meets. He is also active at his church, American Lutheran Church in Bourbonnais, where he assists with worship and music and serves on the Board.

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