Called to Lead in Law

What do constitutional law research, presenting legislation at the Kansas State Capitol, writing extensively on the current state of the Afghan border for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, and driving an FBI car through Washington, D.C., have in common? Benedictine College senior Ted Koval ties it all together.

Simply said, Ted has developed a well-rounded education by implementing his parent’s advice. “My folks always told me to say ‘Yes’ and get the experiences and that no matter what the outcome is, they would be proud of me,” he explained. “I said ‘Yes’ to great opportunities to learn, serve on campus, in the state of Kansas, and at our U.S. Capitol.”

Originally from Acworth, Georgia, Ted is now a senior with a double major in Political Science and Criminology and a minor in theology. He is a truly happy man, having been able to share an education from Benedictine College with his siblings, who are his best friends in life, and his fiancée, Hannah Johnson.

The middle child of three, Ted was educated in a homeschool setting even though both his parents were employed full time. Moving more than eight times in his childhood fostered a deep bond with his two siblings, Gabby, class of ’23, and Nick, class of ’25.

While it is common for siblings to attend Benedictine, Ted’s brother and sister had an unusual pathway to the college. Although their parents did recommend Benedictine College, Gabby’s story and Nick’s affirm that being at Benedictine is a personal calling.

Ted displays a great sense of humor and a true zest for life.  A football scholarship originally brought him to Benedictine, but it was the calling to pursue Catholicism that will expand his life long after the game has ended. “I’m so grateful for the faith formation I have received at Benedictine,” said Ted. “Being able to share this very special campus culture with my siblings has brought us closer as a family.”

At the college, the willingness to be open to positive opportunities has been fortuitous for Ted, who is a member of two Programs of Distinction at Benedictine, the Constitutional Fellows and the Gregorian Fellows Leadership Program.

Additionally, Ted has dedicated time to extracurricular activities such as being a ROC leader, a tutor for criminology, Moot Court competitor, a Discovery Day presenter, a Raven football and track athlete, FOCUS Bible Study member, and a volunteer in other programs provided through the college, such as Sleep in Heavenly Peace, which builds beds for children in Atchison. Dedicated to service, Ted assisted in developing legislation for this nationwide non-profit organization and presented it in front of the Kansas House Tax Committee.

As a Constitutional Fellow, Ted says that the exposure to many intellectual guest lectures, such as that given by Yuval Levin, has provided unique opportunities for meaningful questions. Ted is also grateful to have had the opportunity to personally meet and connect with many orthodox Catholic politicians, political scientists, and constitutional attorneys, something that he finds is too rare in today’s culture. “I find the Constitutional Fellows to be really good Catholic people,” said Koval. “The friendship formation is amazing. Being able to have conversations about Catholic social teaching . . . has taught me a great deal.”

Off campus, Ted has pursued diverse, interesting internships and experiential education. “From Dr. Vance, the director of the Center for Constitutional Liberty, I learned about great internship programs in Washington, D.C. for my major,” said Ted. He was able to participate in two formative, high-level internships. “During the summer of my junior year, I was employed as an intern for the Department of State,” he said.  “I was able to write and present on trafficking, border security, law enforcement, infrastructure and the history of the Afghan/Pakistan border.”

“While working for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) this past summer, I raised my hand when they asked for a volunteer to help drive one of their vehicles around D.C. for some work,” said Ted. “Being able to intern at the FBI provided me an invaluable opportunity to apply my Benedictine education to real world events. Attending high level internal FBI meetings and trainings, developing and analyzing data on many topics that are critical to national security were just a few of the fascinating aspects of my recent internship with the FBI.”

Benedictine College’s focus on academic excellence has prepared Ted to pursue a career in law. “After I graduate, I will get married to my best friend Hannah, and then pursue a degree in law at Columbus School of Law at Catholic University in Washington, D.C.” he said. With a smile, Ted exclaims, “All roads lead to Benedictine College.” For him, this is uniquely true.

Jenna Ross

Jenna Ross

Jenna Ross is a writer for the Marketing Department at Benedictine College in Kansas and is an adjunct faculty. A proud military spouse who has served and taught soldiers around the world, Ross has written for the U.S. Army Training Management Division and the New Mexico Lottery among other places. She and her husband, George, have three young adult children and live near Atchison, Kansas.