UN tennis star receives NCAA graduate scholarship
Andrew Cochran, Ohio Northern University 2022 engineering grad, accomplished tennis player, has been selected to receive a coveted NCAA graduate scholarship.
The NCAA awards up to 126 graduate scholarships each year. The scholarships are awarded to student-athletes who excel academically and athletically and who are at least in their final year of intercollegiate athletic competition.
One-time, non-renewable grants of $10,000 are awarded three times per year corresponding to each sports season (fall, winter and spring). Each sports season, there are 21 scholarships available for men and 21 scholarships available for women to use in an accredited graduate program.
Cochran, who graduated from the UN this spring with a degree in electrical engineering, was a four-year member of the men’s tennis team.
“When I got to college, I didn’t really know if I was going to play sports because I was really focused on engineering and studying,” Cochran said. “I chose the UN and eventually got to play tennis. It was really rewarding to be able to play tennis and be with my teammates while balancing that with academics. I don’t know if I could have done this in many other places. It was really cool for me to receive this scholarship because it describes what I wanted from college with this balance between studies and athletics.”
Cochran plans to use the scholarship to help him earn a doctorate. in computer and electrical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he will begin his studies this fall.
“I will be working on a research project on neural probes to read brain waves,” Cochran said. “In the long term, I want to get involved in research in this field or work as a professor or in a large technology company.”
It’s a career path Cochran hadn’t always considered taking.
“I came to the UN with the aim of becoming a mechanical engineer in a local company in my hometown,” he said. “I eventually switched to electrical engineering and really enjoyed the technical content, and with the help of my advisors, I decided to go on to graduate school.”
Cochran credited the UN’s strong STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) programming and the flexibility of his teachers and coaches with his success as a student-athlete.
“When I applied to graduate schools and for scholarships, it was cool to see that I could compete with students from top schools,” he said. “There aren’t many places where you can balance the workload between studies and athletics. My teachers have worked with me to circumvent my tennis responsibilities, and my coaches have worked with me when I I needed to focus on my studies. It also helped me because I had teammates around me who were also STEM majors.”
Cochran leaves behind a decorated career as a Polar Bear student-athlete.
In 2022 alone, he was named to the CoSIDA At-Large All-America College Second Team and All-District 7 First Team and earned honors from the ITA Scholar All-America, Academic All- Ohio Athletic Conference and First Team All-OAC. He was one of 19 members of the CoSIDA Division III Academic All-America Men’s General Teams to boast a perfect GPA of 4.0.
He closed out his UN career as a three-time Academic All-OAC selection, three-time OAC Player of the Week, and two-time First Team All-OAC and ITA Scholar All-American honoree.
Cochran was 12-12 in singles and 19-8 in doubles for a 31-20 overall mark in his senior season while helping the Polar Bears set the program record for single-season wins with a score of 23-5.
Northern went a perfect 6-0 in conference to win its 10th OAC regular season championship in program history and won its 11th OAC tournament championship, marking the first time since 2013 that the UN won one or the other title. The Polar Bears closed out the year with an NCAA Tournament win over Grove City, Pennsylvania before falling to eventual national runner-up Case Western Reserve in the second round.
In four years at the UN, Cochran was 86-50 overall, including 42-26 in singles and 44-24 in doubles.