Gannon Alumnus Helps Establish Electrical Engineering Scholarship, Honoring Former Professor

Retired Gannon Professor Jerry Selvaggi, recognized during a lunch gathering at the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania.

Retired Gannon Professor Jerry Selvaggi, recognized during a lunch gathering at the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania.

A donation from Gregory F. Reed, Ph.D. ’85 and his wife, Chantal, has helped to create the Jerry A. Selvaggi Endowed Scholarship in Electrical Engineering at Gannon University in honor of Jerry Selvaggi who taught at the university from 1954 to 1989.

An anonymous donor pledged an additional $100,000 to match the Reeds’ commitment to the scholarship fund. 

This scholarship will benefit undergraduate seniors enrolled in Gannon’s electrical engineering program who have a demonstrated interest in a career in the power industry field. 

Gregory Reed said the scholarship arose from an initial discussion with several former Gannon electric power engineering students of Selvaggi, including John Schneider ’77, John Paserba ’87, and Dan Carnovale ’89. Selvaggi established the program during his tenure at Gannon and was remembered for his “strong lessons of hard work, tenacity, ethics and integrity (that) helped motivate and inspire generations of students,” Reed said. 

"(This scholarship) recognizes and honors Professor Selvaggi, who was not only a prolific educator, but a passionate mentor and adviser to his students at Gannon,” Reed said. “I am forever grateful for the education Professor Selvaggi provided me and my fellow students, and thankful that we now have this opportunity to recognize and honor his legacy with this scholarship tribute." 

Reed currently works at the University of Pittsburgh as the founder and inaugural director of the Energy G.R.I.D. Institute and the Electric Power Systems Laboratory in the Swanson School of Engineering, and professor of Electric Power Engineering in the Swanson School’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. Reed is also serving on an assignment with the National Science Foundation as program director for the NSF's Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers Program in the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships, beginning in September of 2019. 

Reed has more than 33 years of combined industry and academic experience in the electrical power and energy sector. He worked in positions in engineering, research and development, and executive management and leadership during his career with the Consolidated Edison Co. of New York., ABB Inc., Mitsubishi Electric Corp., and DNV-KEMA. 

Reed earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Gannon University in 1985. He earned his master’s degree in electric power at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1986 and his Ph.D. in electric power engineering from the University of Pittsburgh in 1997. 

The Jerry A. Selvaggi Endowed Scholarship in Electrical Engineering is among the 278 scholarships at Gannon endowed by corporations, foundations, families and individuals. This year, Gannon University awarded $1.85 million in scholarships to 622 students.

More than 90 percent of undergraduate students received some type of Gannon grant or scholarship. Endowed gifts to Gannon can also help fund faculty positions, professorships, chairmanships, faculty excellence and study abroad programs at the University.

For more information on the scholarship and how your gift can be matched, please contact Mark Gaeta, capital support coordinator and athletics liaison at Gannon University, at (814) 871-7466. 

Photo: Jerry Selvaggi, a retired professor at Gannon, was recognized during a lunch gathering at the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania on Monday, Oct. 7. A recently established Jerry A. Selvaggi Endowed Scholarship in Electrical Engineering at Gannon was formally announced at this event, as well. Karinna Vernaza, Ph.D., Gannon’s dean of the College of Engineering and Business was accompanied by Lin Zhao, Ph.D., faculty member of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department along with Gannon alumni and members of the Selvaggi Family.
 
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