By Stephen K. Thomas ’14
Albright juniors Jennifer and Nicole share a unique bond. Both are field hockey players with flaming red hair from the same hometown of Dallastown, Pa., both are studying biology and tutoring Albright peers, and both have been accepted into the Penn State College of Medicine’s Early Assurance Program.
And, oh yeah — they’re also identical twins.
Jennifer and Nicole Crumling ’21 started playing field hockey together in middle school, continued through high school and now double team opponents in Albright College’s Shirk Stadium. And though they considered a number of schools during their college search, both eventually landed on 13th Street for the same reasons.
They agreed that Albright would be a good fit as it was still close enough to home, yet just far enough away to feel that they were still on their own.
“We both wanted to continue playing field hockey and really liked the program at Albright,” says Nicole.
“Being biology majors, the Hershey early assurance partnership was also another attraction,” adds Jennifer. Through the Albright/Hershey partnership, high-achieving Albright students who have completed required premedical coursework can receive early acceptance to Penn State College of Medicine — Hershey during their junior year. The Crumlings are two of four Albright juniors who were accepted into the program this year for a fall 2021 start.
Hard-working students who are rarely apart, Jennifer and Nicole are both members of the Alpha Epsilon Delta Pre-Med Honors Society, are representatives on the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, and are roommates (with other friends in a Rockland Hall suite). Both expect to graduate a semester early in December 2020 before heading to medical school.
Opponents who likely think they’re suffering from déjà vu on the hockey pitch (Nicole plays defense while Jennifer plays forward) face similar challenges as do the sisters’ professors and classmates. So much so that the sisters are all too used to answering the question of “who’s who?”
Although most of their Lion teammates have learned to tell them apart, first year Head Coach Amber Auchenbach still mixes the two up at times. And since the only real difference in the Crumlings’ curriculum is Jennifer’s additional minor in Spanish — the two women are together for most of their classes, naturally sitting next to each other.
“We think our professors know who we are mainly because of who sits on the right and left of each other,” says Jennifer, with an agreeing nod and smile from Nicole.
But the women do have different aspirations for the future. Nicole would like to be a doctor and has an interest in bones, muscles and neurology, though she has yet to narrow down a specialty. Jennifer, on the other hand, wants to stick to her athletic roots with a career in sports medicine and orthopedics.
And though they’ve already been accepted into medical school, the Crumling sisters understand that there will be no slowing down during their remaining time at Albright.
“It’s a relief knowing we’ve been accepted, but I do still feel some extra pressure to continue to do well academically and maintain the GPA requirement,” says Nicole. Agreeing, Jennifer points out that their focus will now turn to successfully completing the required Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).
The sisters say that — far from being an annoyance, having similar schedules and interests really does help them both.
“Knowing we have someone to rely on whether as a study buddy, roommate or training partner — whenever needed — has made things easier on campus for us,” says Nicole.
Wherever their careers take them after college, the Crumling twins say they’ll look back with Lion pride, thankful to have shared their college experience with one another.