Sometimes career inspiration strikes in strange places — even a hospital bed.
Owen Lewer ’20 suffered a seizure at age 9. After a series of tests, doctors discovered a benign tumor on the right side of his brain. The family lived within an hour’s drive of the renowned Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Surgeons there successfully removed the mass. From that point onward, Owen had a strong idea of what he wanted to do in life.
“My doctors and surgeons were outstanding and made me want to do the same thing for someone else,” he wrote in a thank you letter to Carthage trustees after being awarded a Hay Scholarship covering 75 percent of tuition.
Throughout high school, he met roadblocks as he tried to dive deeper into the field of biology. His school offered no advanced programs, so he lined up an independent study in anatomy and physiology and participated in Science Olympiad.
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Rather than funneling pre-health students into specific tracks, Carthage exposes them to a cross-section of the basic sciences and laboratory skills to maximize their adaptability.
Now a sophomore, Owen has joined Professor Deborah Tobiason for a research project in the budding field of synthetic biology. He also works as a tutor in Molecules, Cells, and Organisms, an innovative first-year biology course that contributes to ongoing genomics research.
Owen has made a commitment to service, too. He serves on the executive board for the campus Habitat for Humanity chapter and traveled with the Carthage team to New Mexico work sites during spring break. Owen also joined Delta Upsilon International Fraternity and received a chair position in his first active semester.
He plays the euphonium, a large brass instrument, in the Wind Orchestra. Led by Professor James Ripley, the orchestra spent J-Term 2017 in Japan for a study and performance tour. In January 2018, Owen plans to travel to Guatemala as part of a Spanish language immersion course.
Owen grew up in southern Minnesota, where he continues to help on the family farm. Between working in the hog barns and cornfields and keeping the machinery humming, he stays busy each summer.
Those small-town roots also influence where he wants to establish his practice. An estimated 10 percent of physicians in the United States are found in rural communities, serving roughly 25 percent of the population.
“I want to help make families healthier in places where it is hard for them to find quality care.” His hope is to end up at the Mayo Clinic, back where his dream started.
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A Carthage scholarship can help you achieve your dreams.
Carthage awards multiple competitive scholarships each year to incoming students who demonstrate leadership skills and academic strength. Carthage awards more than $20 million in grant and scholarship assistance — the type that does not require repayment, including $1.5 million annually from competitive scholarships to incoming students who demonstrate leadership skills and academic strength.