New Kensington student awarded Dietz & Watson spirit scholarship

December 05, 2012

Lauren Richards, a senior at Penn State New Kensington, was honored Nov. 24 at halftime of the Penn State-Wisconsin football game in Beaver Stadium at University Park.

Richards received the Dietz & Watson Campus Spirit Scholar of the Game award for her success in the classroom and commitments outside the classroom. The Penn Hills resident earned a $500 scholarship, and a $500 donation was made in her name to THON, a student-run charity that benefits the Four Diamonds Fund and the fight against pediatric cancer.

“It was amazing to be at a Penn State home game, center stage, on the big screen, and thousands of fans were cheering with Penn State pride,” said Richards, who graduates Dec. 22. “It was a once in a lifetime experience to be on that field and represent Penn State New Kensington.”

In addition to the scholarship and charitable donation, Richards received four tickets to the game as well as hospitality passes. Her award was announced on the Penn State radio network prior to the game. Dietz & Watson honors one Penn State student at each Nittany Lion home game.

An information science and technology major, Richards carries a 3.35 grade-point average. She participates in numerous extra-curricular activities, including serving as chairwoman of the campus THON committee that last year raised $50,467 for the Penn State IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon. The total is the second best in campus history, topped only by $52,392 that was collected in 2011. She is pulling for this year’s THON team, which has set a goal of $55,000, to establish a new standard.
“I chose THON as my charity because it's close to my heart,” said Richards, who turned her chairwoman responsibilities over to sophomore Kelsie Nury. “I want to help the team to set a record at our campus this year, and of course help the kids; it's all for the kids.”

Richards also serves as president of the Lion Ambassadors, a student organization found on every campus of Penn State. Their mission is to serve the University, the student body and alumni by acting as representatives of the University. She was named Lion Ambassador of the Year and received the Community Service award at the Academic and Student Achievement Awards ceremony in April.

Community service is a part of her genetic make-up. After final exams in May, she participated in a campus- and Rotary-sponsored trip to South Dakota where 14 New Kensington students, faculty and staff installed computers at a women’s shelter and a children’s home, spent time with children at a Native American school and learned about the history and culture of the area.

Headquartered in Philadelphia, Dietz & Watson is one of the largest preparers of deli meats and artisan cheeses, with distribution at super markets and neighborhood delis throughout the United States.

The Dietz & Watson award was the second scholarship that Richards earned this year. In September, she was the recipient of the Alle-Kiski Society scholarship. The local alumni society awarded $3,200 in scholarships to Richards and Brandi Ritenour. Since 1998, the society has awarded $36,000 to 45 campus students.


  • Lauren Richards, far right, appeared on the big screen at Beaver Stadium where she was honored on the field with a Dietz & Watson scholarship.

    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated December 06, 2012