Bachelor of Arts, Political Science ’16
Ten years ago, Chris Lubanski had one dream and one dream only: to play professional baseball. The Schwenksville, PA native played for Team USA for two years while he was in high school where he took both bronze and gold medals. He was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year during his senior year and then was drafted and signed in the first round by the Kansas City Royals. Now, he’s rounding out his last year as a Penn undergraduate at the age of 30, and he has never looked back. “I was always planning on going back to school regardless of if I was playing 20 years or one year in baseball.”
After sustaining a couple of injuries towards the end of his career, Chris knew it was time to step away from the game. By taking advantage of the Major League Baseball College Fund, Chris began what he calls “phase two” of his life. You might think that being a former pro athlete would make Chris feel like the ultimate “non-traditional” student at Penn, but he’s found quite the opposite, “Penn and the College of Liberal and Professional Studies are so unique because you get to take the same courses with the same professors as a traditional student. I know I’m a little older, but that’s, in a way, an advantage when it comes to life experiences. I bring something else to the table in classroom discussions and recitations.”
Though he didn’t know it at the time, baseball helped train Chris to become a better student. “I’m so much more focused than I was at 18. I believe that things happen for a reason. It’s better for me to be in school now because I appreciate it so much, and I see how it can be a vehicle for your life.” As a political science major, Chris has been nothing short of an all-star student, “I’ve really been trying to take advantage of the opportunities that the Penn brand can give you. There’s a very open dialogue here. There’s no shortage of opportunities to get your foot in the door.”
He really means it, too. Since starting his academic career at Penn, he’s written for The Daily Pennsylvanian’s political blog, interned with Senator Pat Toomey and worked on immigration policy initiatives at Princeton University. Chris has also been a key intern and student leader in two major research projects at the University of Pennsylvania. He worked on Dr. James McGann’s prestigious Think Tank program where he traveled to Washington, D.C. for an international meeting on economic policy. He also joined Dr. Daniel Vining’s study on fertility of men and women in government and politics.
Now that Chris has invested his time in trying out many of the opportunities introduced by his Penn education, he knows exactly where he wants to go next: law school. “One thing I learned about myself coming back to school was this passion for research and really enjoying it, which set me on a path to law school. It’s an area where I feel I can make an impact and still get that scholarly feel.”
As a father-to-be, Chris reflects proudly on all of the incredible adventures and challenges that have brought him to this point in his life, “Baseball was a once in a lifetime experience and Penn is a once in a lifetime experience.”