Ochs wins Walker Award
Tansey Ochs always hoped she’d win the Eric A. and Josephine S. Walker Award.
The Penn State New Kensington student’s wish came true last Friday night when she received the honor, which is given annually to one student on each Penn State campus.
Established in 1980, the award recognizes students who demonstrate outstanding character, scholarship and leadership.
Just because she hoped she could exemplify what the award stood for, didn’t mean Ochs wasn’t surprised to win it.
“When I found out I got it, I was pretty much ecstatic,” she said. “It means I’ve put a lot of time into this campus, and it’s nice to be appreciated for it.”
Ochs attributes much of her success as a student to her university and the Penn State New Kensington campus.
“I just fell in love with the campus after my first year,” she said. “Over the past four years, this has been my home. I never leave.”
“I think my favorite part is just knowing so many people around here and getting to be a part of their lives,” she said.
The 22-year-old Delmont resident is a graduating senior with a major in Administration of Justice and a minor in Psychology.
Both on campus and off, she’s excelled.
In addition to being on the Dean’s list, she has been involved with a number of on-campus groups, like the Lion Ambassadors. As its president, she has recruited and trained new members and organized events like a Toys for Tots drive.
As president of the Campus Activities Board, Ochs leads a team of students that implements events. One of those in particular stands out in her mind, a poverty dinner, designed to illustrate the struggles of those less fortunate.
“That was one of the events I was most proud of,” she said.
She also has participated in Thon, is an orientation leader and is involved with a number of committees and clubs on campus.
“And I do attend class – somehow I fit that in,” she said with a laugh.
Attending class is something that she’s certainly done – and not just on the New Kensington campus.
Last year, she took part in the Penn State Summer Abroad program for criminal justice students, spending four weeks in the Netherlands learning about the Dutch perspective on criminal justice.
Just recently, as an intern at the Alle-Kiski Hope Center, Ochs organized a vigil during Crime Victim Awareness week.
Ochs, who will go on to study community counseling at the graduate level at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, said that as an alumni, she plans to stay involved with Penn State.