Peter J. Kaplan
1 min readFeb 8, 2023



Karenna Groff, MIT ’22, was named the NCAA Woman of the Year at the organization’s San Antonio convention in late January.

The graduate student in biological engineering is the second ever MIT student-athlete to earn this prestigious award.

She is just the sixth Division III athlete to be so honored.


Pretty heady stuff.

“I was shocked,” she said.

“They had a gold envelope like it was the Golden Globes and they called my name.

I was so overwhelmed…”

A biomedical engineering major, Groff was lauded for her work in clinical research at Boston Children’s Hospital, where she focused on the genetic basis of epilepsy with the hope of generating a new gene theory for children.

Among her other projects is WONDER, a monitoring software designed for women in low-resource areas that helps identify risk factors in early pregnancy.

As a co-founder, she traveled to Tamil Nadu, India, where the WONDER system fostered a 50.1% decrease in maternal mortality during a two-year pilot study.

On the soccer field, Groff finished her MIT career second on the program list in goals (50) and points (128), powering the Engineers to four NCAA Division III tournaments as a two-time captain.

Upon completing her master’s degree at MIT this spring, she will attend medical school.

Her goal is to become a neurosurgeon.

Could there possibly be anything more to say?

[Editor’s Note: This piece was written by Mr. Kaplan in February 2028.]