Immunology and infectious disease students receive scholarship support

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Retired long-time faculty member and department head in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences C. Channa Reddy and his wife, Usharani, have given $50,000 to create the C. Channa and Usharani C. Reddy Trustee Scholarship. The scholarship will help students in the college who have demonstrated financial need, with first preference given to immunology and infectious disease majors.

"Nelson Mandela once said, 'Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,'" Reddy noted. "If we can afford, we should invest money in educating underprivileged kids so that our children will live in a better world tomorrow."

Mary Kennett, professor and head of veterinary and biomedical sciences, said Reddy long has been a champion for the department and a generous supporter of Penn State students.

"We are extremely grateful for this new scholarship to support students majoring in immunology and infectious disease," said Kennett. "This is the first scholarship for this major and an important step toward building a portfolio of support for our students."

Reddy came to Penn State as a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Chemistry in 1975. He joined the veterinary science faculty in 1981, and in 1991 he was named Distinguished Professor by the University.

His research has focused on determining how antioxidant enzymes protect cells from oxidative damage, and he is an internationally recognized expert on prostaglandins and leukotrienes, compounds that are involved in the pathophysiology of many diseases.

Reddy served as interim head of the Department of Veterinary Science for two years before his promotion to department head in 1999. He also was the founding director of the Center for Molecular Toxicology.

In 2005, Reddy oversaw a change in the department's name to Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, a move that reflected the full scope of the department’s research and educational programs, which include disciplines such as toxicology, immunology, hematology and carcinogenesis. He retired with emeritus status in 2006.

He earned bachelor's degrees in both science and education in chemistry and biology from the Regional College of Education in Mysore, India; a master's degree in biochemistry from Mysore University; and a doctoral degree from the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. Reddy now splits time between homes in the State College area and his native India.

This is the third Trustee Scholarship established in the college by the Reddys. The family previously created an endowment to assist students majoring in animal bioscience (now veterinary and biomedical sciences) and another to support students majoring in toxicology. The Reddys also endowed the Usharani C. and C. Channa Reddy Senior Award in the Schreyer Honors College.

The Trustee Matching Scholarship Program maximizes the impact of private giving while directing funds to students as quickly as possible, meeting the urgent need for scholarship support. For Trustee Scholarships created during the final phase of For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students, which concluded on June 30, Penn State will provide an annual 10 percent match of the total pledge or gift.

With the conclusion of the campaign, Penn State is now providing an annual 5 percent match for new endowments of $100,000 or more. Both University match levels continue in perpetuity, multiplying the support available for students with financial need.

The Reddys' gift helped the College of Agricultural Sciences to achieve the goals of For the Future: The Campaign for Penn State Students, which raised a total of $2.188 billion for Penn State students, faculty, staff and alumni. This University-wide effort was directed toward a shared vision of Penn State as the most comprehensive, student-centered research university in America. The campaign's top priority was keeping a Penn State degree affordable for students and families.

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