KJ Reddy Honored for Teaching Excellence

May 8, 2008
Man smiling
Katta Jayaram Reddy

Katta Jayaram (KJ) Reddy's colleagues and current and former students were not surprised when he was named recipient of the John P. Ellbogen Meritorious Classroom Teaching Award.

The other recipients are Teresa Bogard, professor in the Department of Music; Jacquelyn Bridgeman, associate professor in the College of Law; Leslie Rush, assistant professor in the College of Education; and Lou Anne Wright, professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance.

The awards are made possible by a fund established by Ellbogen to "foster, encourage and reward excellence in classroom teaching at UW." Winners are selected from a list nominated by students, and the awards are based entirely on classroom performance and helpfulness to students.

A native of Worland, Ellbogen established an endowment for teaching awards in appreciation for his family and state's encouragement of education.

"Dr. Reddy is a very likeable person who always portrays a positive attitude and high degree of professionalism, and I believe that inspires students to work hard and achieve their highest educational goals," says Rich Olson, professor and head of the Department of Renewable Resources. "He quietly goes about his business, avoids drawing attention to his accomplishments and, instead, focuses on teaching and mentoring students. He has a passion for his work, but, more importantly, he has a passion for teaching his students."

Olson adds, "There is no better candidate for the John P. Ellbogen Meritorious Teaching Award than Dr. Reddy."

Reddy has been a familiar face on the UW campus since 1986, when he joined the faculty as an associate research scientist in the Water Research Center. He has worked in the Department of Renewable Resources for the past eight years, and, in January, was selected as associate director for academics for the School of Energy Resources (SER).

Internationally renowned for his research on the removal of arsenic from drinking water and mineral carbonization of hazardous wastes, Reddy is widely regarded as one of UW's most passionate professors.

"He taught with so much enthusiasm that he literally changed my life. After his course in watershed water quality management, I knew that I wanted to devote my life to the field of water quality," writes Carol Martinson, who is pursuing her M.S. degree under Reddy's watchful eye. "I believe Dr. Reddy's mentorship is responsible for preparing me -- and many other students -- for an exciting career."

Adds Cynthia Milligan, a former student who now works as a water quality specialist for HDR, Inc., in Anchorage, Alaska, "He taught with such passion and with such interest that I wanted to learn more. A professor who is of real value to an academic institution is one who takes the time to truly teach his students and who takes the time to keep updating his classes so that students are able to keep ahead of new research. Dr. Reddy is one of those professors."

In his letter of nomination, James K. Wangberg describes Reddy as an outstanding instructor who seems driven only by the success of his students.

"He is deserving of this award in a manner that no one else on this campus is or can be," writes Wangberg, professor and associate dean in the Department of Renewable Resources.

Reddy earned his B.S. (1977) and M.S. (1980) in agriculture chemistry from Andhra Pradesh Agricultural University in his home country of India and his Ph.D (1986) in environmental quality from Colorado State University.

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