When someone examines Breanna “Bree” Kratz’s brag sheet, they’ll be pleasantly surprised about the impact this young woman has made in her just over 20 years of life. Whether it be as a collegiate swimmer helping Immaculata University women’s swimming to its first win in program history or helping a professor on campus turn a rap song into a fully produced and written piece, there’s not much Kratz wouldn’t do to help others.
That’s why it feels so easy to take the time to recognize her for being an incredibly thoughtful, humble soul. Kratz’s early years were spent in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, with moves coming later to Hershey and finally Chambersburg for her junior and senior year of high school. As can be imagined, being the new kid is not easy; especially not for someone who is already so close to graduating high school.
While the move surely was not what she wanted at the time, it turned out to be one of the biggest blessings in disguise. At Hershey, she swam with a highly competitive team and did not have much opportunity to showcase her skills to the full capacity. At Chambersburg, she became one of the leaders and could prove her worth in the pool. From having these opportunities, she was able to find a way to the college level even if she did not think about swimming in college until late in her high school career.
Nonetheless, Immaculata University became the destination. The Roman Catholic University in East Whiteland Township, Pennsylvania had started a swimming program just one year before she headed to school. The team did not host home meets and were looking for leadership to help raise the Mighty Macs to the next level. Kratz was the leader the program needed to help the team make this jump. Although swimming was and remains a reason why she chose Immaculata, her why is bigger than a sport.
From visits to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to be by her niece’s side, she discovered the world of music therapy. The impact these workers had on the patients was something that inspired her so much that she searched online for the state’s best programs during her time in high school. This is how she came to know about Immaculata, and now, Kratz is doing what many are not able to do; completing her four years as a student-athlete and music therapy student.
With just a few weeks between her and graduation, Kratz’s focus has shifted from being a leader for her swim team to securing the mandatory 1,000 hour internship program that will allow her to fulfill her five year total commitment and then sit for her board examinations in 2024. After her boards, she plans to continue her education at Immaculata’s masters program to focus her studies in additional music therapy knowledge, but also clinical practice. In fact, she has already started some of this degree as a part of the accelerated undergraduate to graduate program that allows students to earn up to nine masters credits in their undergraduate coursework.
For those unfamiliar, music therapy helps people in need ease their mind which then can help to ease the rest of their being. It is dense in psychology classes but also provides a unique education in various aspects of music. Before coming to Immaculata, Kratz was an accomplished vocalist and violist. Now, she is also versed as a pianist and guitarist as a part of the program’s requirements for graduation. She’s even taken the step to performing and showcasing her musical talents alongside her boyfriend, Marchello Barile.
As known already, swimming, music, and serving others is what Bree Kratz is all about. She’s had a truly remarkable four years at Immaculata and has successfully handled captainship in swimming, being the honors society president, a mentor for first-year students, and a role as a personal relations representative for Immaculata’s Music Therapy Club. She was also awarded the Presser Scholar Award for being the highest achiever in her graduating classes and the Saint Catherine Medal for her wisdom, fortitude, and Christian service. While this is certainly a lot to deal with and some amazing accomplishments, there was some physical pain during it all.
Late in high school, she found out she was suffering from a condition that causes degeneration in her back. Through therapy and rehab, she was able to compete at times in her college career, but at other points, the pain and risk outweighed the reward. Despite it all, she was able to take on more of a coaching role and hopes she may have the chance to continue coaching swimming.
The 2022-23 school year has brought on some of the most exciting moments in Bree Kratz’s life. She has been recognized for the true student-athlete that she is, the true Christian young woman she tries to be, the scholar she continues to become, and the friend and teammate all can respect, love, and admire. In the 50th year anniversary of Title IX, it is only fitting we all learn about a young woman who continues the strong legacy that women have had at an institution like Immaculata. Bree Kratz is the true definition of what a Might Mac should encompass.