The Franklin & Marshall scholar-athlete profile features a Diplomat who personifies what it means to be an NCAA student-athlete. The F&M campus is filled with dedicated, passionate, and talented student-athletes who have interesting stories to tell – and it's our goal to let those stories be heard. To be chosen as a scholar-athlete of the month, F&M student-athletes must demonstrate academic excellence, leadership, and community service, or have a noteworthy story that stretches beyond the realm of athletic competition.
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Student-athletes are often involved in a numbers game, and that would include concern for the team record and conference standings.
Soccer player Lauren Kranis has engaged in an extra set of numerals. She has pursued an academic plan that would involve four years at Franklin & Marshall, and two years at Columbia University.
"My program calls for four years at F&M, resulting in a bachelor's degree in mathematics," said Lauren, a member of the class of 2019. "And then there will be two years at Columbia, and a bachelor's of engineering there. I can do a third year at Columbia and get a master's degree.
"Cooperative engineering programs require a specific background in physics, math, and chemistry, coupled with a varying number of courses in the humanities and the social sciences."
Lauren played center defensive midfielder throughout a four-year career on the women's soccer team and was a captain. As a member of the Diplomats, there was a numbers game here, too.
The versatile student-athlete and her handful of senior teammates had several coaches in her four seasons. She was recruited by Bill Esterly, but there was a coaching change entering her first year, so Kranis played under Coach Heather Kemp for three years and under current head coach John Sumoski for one.
"During my time on the team, there was a lot to adjust to," said Kranis. "With new coaches, there was a new system, and the difference was like night and day. In my last year, I was one of three seniors (with Meghan Byrne and Sabrina Graziano). We were very close, as players and as friends. The whole team was a tight-knit group."
Her experience as a varsity women's soccer player at F&M afforded her an opportunity to make an immediate impact on the pitch, develop lifelong friendships with teammates, and to travel the world - as she did following her sophomore year when she accompanied the Diplomats on a trip to South Africa.
Looking back at a full experience of student and athlete, Lauren said, "I was able to get the best of every world. I was able to continue my soccer career at one of the best conferences in Division III soccer."
"And I had the opportunity to travel abroad to New Zealand and being able to study what I wanted without having to give up soccer. At F&M, I was not just a number; every professor I had knew me by name and was always available if I needed advisement or help."
"Lauren is a competitive person, which helped her in training and games," said Sumoski. "As a leader, Lauren was able to set the tone in training and be an example. She was asked to play in different roles during the year, and she did well in adjusting to those."
Lauren is the daughter of Tamie Kranis, an accountant who owns her own business, and the late Michael Kranis, an actuary and her first soccer coach. She said he was a big reason she played soccer in college. Siblings include Genna, who graduated from Dickinson College in 2017, and Ian, a freshman at Syracuse University.
Although her educational future has been mapped out well in advance for Kranis, she is keeping her options open for her career after Columbia.
"I am not entirely sure what I want to do in the engineering field, but I would like to work on products, and know the science and mathematical makeup behind them."