Gannon University's Katlyn Walters Wins ATHENA Young Professional Award
Gannon University senior Katlyn Walters has won the ATHENA Young Professional Award.
The award from ATHENA Erie honors outstanding young students who have the potential to be future
leaders. Winners demonstrate excellence, creativity, and initiative in their college community; contribute
time and energy to improve the quality of life in the community; and serve as a role model for young
women, personally and professionally.
Assistant Professor of Psychology Ryan Leonard, Ph.D., nominated Walters.
“I nominated Katlyn because she is one of the best students I have ever had in all my years of teaching,”
Leonard said. “While academically gifted, she works as hard as anyone I know. In addition, she has a
remarkable social conscience. She has dedicated long hours of service and interning to organizations that
help victims of abuse.”
Walters is involved in Gamma Sigma Sigma National Service Sorority; Phi Eta Sigma, an honors society for
first-year students; and Ichthi, a Catholic faith-sharing group. She is also the vice president of the Psi Chi
psychology honors society. She has served as an intern at the Center for the Prevention of Youth Behavior
Problems at the University of Alabama, the Highmark Caring Place in Erie, and the LOV Foundation in her
hometown of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. In addition, she is a Christian outreach member at the Kirk House
Walters has been on the Dean’s list every semester. Currently, she is a CHESSMate mentor, helping “at
risk” students to be successful in college. She routinely meets with students to help them improve their time
management and study skills and overall academic performance. She also advocates for, and provides
assistance to, abused women. Her future goals include obtaining a Ph.D.
“I believe that the ATHENA award is a huge honor for both myself and the Gannon community,” Walters
said. “As a freshman at Gannon, I began working with violence prevention education. I never imagined how
many incredible things would be accomplished in my time at Gannon. It brings me great joy to advocate for
students and work closely with faculty and staff here. We all want Gannon to be a place where students
can thrive. I am thrilled to be recognized as an emerging female leader in the Erie community and look
forward to making the ATHENA group and Gannon very proud.”
ATHENA Erie is a local chapter of ATHENA International, an organization dedicated to supporting and
inspiring women’s leadership activities. The chapter annually awards both the ATHENA Young Professional
Award and the ATHENA Leadership Award, recognizing an individual who improves the quality of life in the
community and actively assists women in realizing their full leadership potential.
About Gannon University:
Gannon University is a Catholic, diocesan university with campuses in Erie, Pennsylvania, and Ruskin,
Florida, offering online and traditional associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs to more than
4,000 academically talented and diverse students.
Gannon University is dedicated to excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. Inspired by the Catholic
Intellectual Tradition, the University offers a comprehensive, values-centered learning experience that
emphasizes faith, leadership, inclusiveness and social responsibility.