Senior profile: Kate Schwegmann

College: Truman State University Major: Chemistry

Mary Ralston, photographer

She walked into an exhibit at the St. Louis Science Center when she was 6 years old, not knowing what laid beneath a person’s skin. Admiring the displayed human remains that rested before her, her eyes gleamed hinting a spark of interest. After discovering her love for human anatomy, Kate Schwegmann’s, senior, resulting curiosity encouraged her to study to become a doctor.

“[The Science Center] had all of these organs and cadavers and part of me was like, ‘Oh my God, that’s so gross,’” Schwegmann said. “But the other part of me was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is the coolest thing ever.’”

12 years later, other experiences have influenced her decision to study science, like the doctors who aided her mother’s battle with brain cancer. They encouraged her to pursue a career in medicine and the opportunity to help other families. This career would allow Schwegmann to follow the path of her grandfather and great-grandfather who both worked as surgeons.

Jenna Dyroff, junior, said Schwegmann’s focus and drive to her goal of becoming a surgeon inspires her. Dyroff and Schwegmann bonded during Youth in Government and Mock Trial, which have allowed their relationship to blossom.

“Her life can be a little chaotic, but she has her priorities straight,” Dyroff said. “When something is important, she’ll always be there whether [it is something] school or personal related. She’s very personable and she’s someone you can always count on.”

According to Robert Becker, science teacher, Schwegmann is a dependable member of Kirkwood Youth Service and she devotes many hours every month to volunteering with this program. Many seniors drop off the radar once they are accepted into college, but Schwegmann continues to volunteer often.

“[Kate is] pleasant and easy to get along with,” Becker said. “[She has a] kind of calming demeanor and a genuine smile and compassion for helping and serving other. I see that in other students, but she is that and then some.”

At Truman State University, Schwegmann plans to make school her first priority, but in her free time, she hopes to continue volunteering. She is attracted to helping others through science and volunteering and does not want to give that up in her future.

“[My favorite part about volunteering] is that it’s fun for me,” Schwegmann said. “But it also feels good to know that I’m doing something for someone else, not just myself.”