Two Cal State San Bernardino pre-med students from the High Desert have
been awarded the prestigious Dr. Prem Reddy Academic Excellence Scholarship.
Jesse Wetzel (l) and Antonio Kanczel
The scholarship went to third-year student Antonio Kanczel of Barstow and
freshman Jesse Wetzel of Apple Valley, both of whom are biology majors
with a pre-med option and have made the Dean’s List.
Wetzel, who has a 3.56 grade point average, plans on getting a doctorate
in optometry and eventually becoming an optometrist. Kanczel, who has
a 3.68 grade point average, plans on attending medical school with aspirations
of becoming a surgeon with the ultimate goal of becoming head of surgery.
“We’re grateful for Dr. Reddy’s generosity in funding
scholarships to these two deserving students as well as other High Desert
students here on campus,” said CSUSB President Tomás D. Morales.
“Dr. Reddy’s foresight is an investment in our future to help
students interested in becoming doctors, nurses or other types of healthcare
professionals at a time when our region faces shortages in medical care
“These students are our future, and it is imperative that we help
foster their interest in medicine,” said Dr. Reddy. “I came
from an impoverished background to become a cardiologist. Nothing is impossible
for these hard working students, and I hope that this scholarship helps
them achieve their dreams.”
Established in 2006, the Dr. Prem Reddy Academic Excellence Scholarship
is awarded to a qualifying student or students in pre-med, nursing, and/or
health education programs at Cal State San Bernardino. A recipient must
maintain a 3.5 GPA and be a full-time student in order to continue the
Born in India, Reddy immigrated to the United States in 1976 with his wife,
Venkamma, who is also a physician. He is double board-certified in internal
medicine and cardiology. He was awarded the honor of Fellow of the American
College of Cardiology (FACC) and a Fellow of the American College of Chest
Physicians (FCCP). During his 25 years of practice in the High Desert,
he has committed himself to the service of his patients and performed
more than 5,000 cardiac procedures, including coronary angiography and
angioplasty, and permanent pacemaker implantations.
Reddy also founded Prime Healthcare in 2001, starting with Desert Valley
Hospital in Victorville. Since then, Prime Healthcare has expanded to
own and operate 23 hospitals across the nation. The health system has
been recognized as one of the “15 Top Health Systems” in the
nation three times in the last five years, including in 2013, and its
hospitals have earned “100 Top Hospitals” recognition 21 times.
Reddy also has been involved in philanthropic work for years. He established
the Desert Valley Medical cFoundation in 1989. His support of healthcare
students in the High Desert is well known, and was reinforced when Victor
Valley College named its health sciences school after him in 2003.
He also founded and has been the sole contributor to the Prime Healthcare
Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity, which owns five non-profit
hospitals, and the
Dr. Prem Reddy Family Foundation, a nonprofit foundation that has donated millions toward charities, including
college scholarships, public healthcare education and free community clinics.
Reddy has been recognized with numerous awards for his philanthropy.
The two students will not only receive the Dr. Prem Reddy Academic Excellence
Scholarship, who are also Presidents Academic Excellence Scholarships,
for this year, but will be awarded the scholarship for the remainder of
their undergraduate career as long as they continue to meet the scholarship’s
requirement of 3.5 grade point average, said Linda Hunt, the senior director
of development at Cal State San Bernardino.
Since the program began in 2002, the large majority of PAES recipients
have either graduated (some in three years) or are still pursuing a CSUSB
degree. As they advance through college and eventually graduate, most
of the PAES scholars will become part of a highly educated workforce.
CSUSB serves more than 20,000 students each year. The campus reflects the
dynamic diversity of the region and has the most diverse student population
of any university in the Inland Empire. The university has an annual statewide
economic impact of more than half a billion dollars, along with more than
$32 million in yearly statewide tax revenue.
To help support the President’s Academic Excellence Scholarship program
at Cal State San Bernardino, contact the
university’s Office of Development at (909) 537-5004.
For additional information about the program, contact the CSUSB admissions
and student recruitment office at (909) 537-5188.
For more information about Cal State San Bernardino, contact the university’s
Office of Public Affairs at (909) 537-5007 and visit