Embracing Uncertainty Leads to Revelation

Embrace the uncertainty and find the life you want to lead. That’s how David Lauterwasser, a 2024 Benedictine College graduate, handled his college career and hopes to manage his life.

Hailing from Overland Park, Kansas, David was heavily influenced by the lifestyle and teaching of his parents, from whom he gained his commitment to faith, leadership and community. Making the decision to attend Benedictine College, David began as a Chemical Engineering major. However, he was not always certain of his educational career.

“I originally came to Benedictine as a Chemical Engineer,” he said. “While I loved the Engineering Department, I realized that wasn’t where my talents lie.”

Despite the societal expectation to know one’s career path from a young age, David made up his mind to embrace an unsure future and seek out his personal calling. He explained the influence Benedictine had on his decision-making to switch majors from Chemical Engineering to Biology while obtaining minors in Chemistry and Psychology. He sought counsel from his established mentors, Dr. Joseph Wurtz, Dean of Students, and Dr. Martha Carletti, Associate Professor of Biology.

“He was always willing to work through difficult situations; he had a great maturity about him,” said Wurtz. “That’s where I think his leadership stems from –in moments of adversity, your character comes out. I was very proud of David.”

Through that mentorship counseling and a lot of prayer and contemplation, David decided to put himself on a pre-med track.

“My leadership skills, especially at Benedictine, stem from putting myself out there,” he said. “I won’t say any of the positions that I got were solely on my own; it was really the mentors I reached out to that helped foster my abilities. My mentors have helped me see where I best fit and where I can best help in the community that I love so much.”

As his time as a Raven progressed, David got involved in various fellowships and programs to further his connection with the student body and allow his leadership characteristics to grow.

He maintained a well-rounded campus life, finding time to serve as a Raven Orientation Camp leader to help freshmen transition to college life and being a part of the Gregorian Fellowship Program. He served on the Student Alumni Board and Campus Activities Board, helping to direct major events on campus. David continued his pursuit of music on campus as part of the men’s choir as well as being a member and president of The Lemkeys, the student a cappella group.

Even with a strenuous academic course load and several leadership positions, David participated in a Discovery Day Project, an opportunity for students to conduct research that extends learning beyond the classroom. Through his research, David concluded that high doses of the naturally occurring HMGN2 antibody had the ability to stop cancer cells from replicating.

Known for his impeccable leadership qualities, David did not hesitate to involve himself in Benedictine’s community as he pursued his passions in the sciences, music and connection with fellow peers. For all his efforts on campus, he received the Fran Jabara Leadership Award at the Benedictine College’s graduation ceremony on May 11 alongside another recipient, Anastasia Adams.

“He was a humble leader. He modeled the way in his humility,” Wurtz said. “He wasn’t a performer in the sense of his leadership had to be on stage all the time. He radiated a love of the college and love of his peers that created his ability to speak into the lives of different students, because he genuinely could.”

During his time as a student, David not only displayed remarkable leadership skills in a communal sense, but also in his own life. He humbly embraced the idea of uncertainty, while enabling himself to learn from mentors and other peers. Now, he speaks to students and encourages them to lead their own lives well.

“It takes time to find where your talent really lies,” David said. “I think if you are a freshman facing that uncertainty, go to the chapel, pray. Talk to your friends, see why they love what they love. Find what resonates most with you because your calling is something that may not be what you initially think it should be, or what you initially desire, but once you find it –that’s all you will desire because that’s what you are truly called to.”

David has accepted a full-time position as a medical assistant at the Kansas City Bone & Joint Clinic; meanwhile working at the KU Medical Institute as a CNA. He is applying to medical school, where he hopes to one day work in Family Medicine as a General Practitioner.

“Find the life you want to lead,” said David. That has never been more applicable than for his own life and hopes for the future.

Emma Lyons

Emma R.C. Lyons

Emma R.C. Lyons is a rising senior at Benedictine College who is working as a writing intern in the Marketing & Communications Office for the summer. She is an English major who has helped other students as a writing tutor. In 2024, she served as the managing editor of Loomings, the Benedictine College arts magazine. She is known as a highly empathetic, methodical, and goal-oriented individual.