A Very Happy Birthday: Celebrating 85 years with the presentation of a scholarship check - Spring 2006 Ivy Leaf Magazine

Ivy Leaf - Spring 2006

A Very Happy Birthday

Celebrating 85 years with the presentation of a scholarship check


Through the generous philanthropic support of colleagues, family, and friends of Penn State Altoona faculty member Athleen J. Stere, a $50,000 Trustee Matching Scholarship has been endowed at the college in her name. The creation of the scholarship was announced in January by Lori J. Bechtel, chancellor of Penn State Altoona, during a tribute to Stere in celebration of her 85th birthday and more than four decades of service to the University.

An associate professor of biology, Stere has been a member of the Penn State faculty since 1963. She accepted an appointment at Penn State Altoona in 1971 and, during the ensuing years, has been recognized as an outstanding educator on several occasions. In 1980, the University bestowed upon Stere the prestigious Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching. In 1999, Stere received the Women in Leadership Award, sponsored by Penn State's Commission for Women. In addition to several other awards for faculty excellence and distinguished teaching, Stere has received the Faculty Member of the Year Award, presented by Penn State Altoona's Student Government Association. In 2003, Stere was presented the YWCA Tribute to Women Award in recognition of her leadership in promoting awareness of the significant role of women in the economic growth and quality of life in their community.

"I can't think of a better birthday present than to have this scholarship fully endowed."
— Athleen Stere

Stere earned a bachelor of arts degree in biology from Bryn Mawr College and a master's degree in biology from Harvard University, where she also fulfilled nearly all of the requirements for her doctorate in biology. Stere completed her doctoral dissertation at Penn State. A ground breaker in the field of science, she was the first woman to be offered a teaching fellowship in biology at Harvard. Her research at Penn State, Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, and Boston University Medical School has been funded by grants from the American Heart Association, National Science Foundation, and National Institutes of Health, among others.

The Dr. Athleen J. Stere Trustee Matching Scholarship will benefit students at Penn State Altoona majoring in biology. Penn State's Trustee Matching Scholarship Program is a groundbreaking partnership between the University and donors who are helping to make a Penn State education accessible and affordable to those students with the greatest financial challenges. The Trustee Matching Scholarship program effectively doubles the impact of private philanthropy by using University funds to match contributions to need-based undergraduate scholarships. A minimum gift or pledge of $50,000 is required to create a Trustee Matching Scholarship.