Ohio Northern University 2022 engineering major Andrew Cochran, an accomplished tennis player, has been selected to receive a coveted NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.
The NCAA awards up to 126 postgraduate scholarships annually. Scholarships are awarded to student-athletes who excel academically and athletically and who are at least in their senior year of intercollegiate athletic competition.
One-time, non-renewable, $10,000 scholarships are awarded three times per year corresponding to each athletic season (fall, winter, and spring). Each athletic season, there are 21 scholarships available for men and 21 scholarships available for women for use in an accredited graduate program.
Cochran, who graduated from UNO this spring with a degree in electrical engineering, was a four-year member of the men’s tennis team.
“When I came to college, I wasn’t really sure if I was going to play sports because I was very focused on engineering and academics,” Cochran said. “I chose the UN and eventually ended up playing tennis. being able to play tennis and be around my teammates while balancing that with academics. I don’t know that I could have done that in many other places. It was really cool for me to receive this scholarship because it describes what I wanted out of college with that balance between academics and athletics.”
Cochran plans to use the scholarship to help him earn a Ph.D. in computer and electrical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he will begin his studies this fall.
“I will be working on a research project of neural probes to read brain waves,” Cochran said. “In the long term, I want to be involved in research in that field or work as a professor or at a large technology company.”
It’s a career Cochran didn’t always envision herself pursuing.
“I came to UNO with the goal of being a mechanical engineer at a local company in my hometown,” he said. “I ended up switching to electrical engineering and I really enjoyed the technical content and with the help of my advisors I decided to go to graduate school.”
Cochran credited UNO’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 the students at the big schools,” he said. “There aren’t many places where you can balance your workload between academics and athletics. My teachers worked with me to handle my tennis responsibilities and my coaches worked with me when I needed to focus on academics. Also , helped me. 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 Academic All-America Team and the All-District 7 First Team and earned ITA Scholar All-America, Academic All-Ohio Athletic Conference and All-OAC First Team honors. He was one of 19 members of the CoSIDA Academic All-America Division III men’s overall teams to boast a perfect 4.0 GPA.
He finished his UNO career as a three-time Academic All-OAC selection, three-time OAC Player of the Week and two-time first-team All-OAC honoree and ITA Scholar All-American.
Cochran was 12-12 in singles and 19-8 in doubles for a 31-20 overall mark in his senior season while helping lead the Polar Bears to a program record for wins in singles season with a 23-5 mark.
Northern went a perfect 6-0 in conference play to win the 10th OAC regular season championship in program history and went on to win its 11th OAC tournament championship, scoring for the first time since 2013 when UNO won both titles. The Polar Bears finished the year with an NCAA Tournament win over Grove City (Pa.) before falling to eventual national runner-up Case Western Reserve in the second round.
In four years at UNO, Cochran was 86-50 overall, including 42-26 in singles and 44-24 in doubles.