It’s not quite accurate to say that there is nothing to do outdoors in the depth of an Alaskan winter. Mabel Cummins has the photos to prove it. Childhood snapshots show the future Commodore bundled up against winter’s chill, a family sled dog watching over her.
Cummins spent much of her elementary school years in the state. But even for the hardy, growing up in Alaska encourages a familiarity with indoor pursuits. It’s why she has fond memories of watching shows like NCIS and Bones with her grandmother. And weekend evenings weren’t complete until she and her parents ventured to the local bowling center.
Those surroundings would wind up shaping her life’s journey.
BOWLING AND ACADEMIC CHAMPION
Devoted to bowling ever since those Alaska weekend evenings, Cummins grew into one of the preeminent competitors in her age group, particularly after her family moved to the bowling hotbed of the Chicago area.
Those skills eventually helped lead her to Vanderbilt, whose program is regarded as a standard of excellence in the collegiate game. She seized the opportunity to realize her full potential on the lanes, most recently leading Vanderbilt bowling to the program’s third national championship and earning recognition as the 2023 National Player of the Year.
At the same time, the young girl who thrilled at watching forensic whodunits grew into a student fascinated by pathology. A neuroscience major, she was recently accepted into Vanderbilt’s master’s program for biomedical science. After completing that degree in 2025, she intends to apply to medical school.
Once again, she made the most of her surroundings at Vanderbilt, athletically and academically. She turned bowling into lifelong memories and unsurpassed accomplishments. And her curiosity? She turned that into a future.
“It started with the bowling team,” Cummins said. “And it has just become so much more with academics, with research, with all of the different opportunities that have been afforded to me because I chose Vanderbilt. It’s just been an incredible four years.”
Learning from head coach John Williamson and associate head coach Josie Earnest Barnes, Cummins honed her bowling skills to such a degree that she was selected for the United States national team—no small feat for a college bowler. It’s impressive in much the same way as being an undergraduate co-author on a published research paper—an accomplishment Cummins spent her senior year busily…