Peters got the full Morris experience in three years

Sue Dieter

Kim Peters ’24, Eagan, didn’t plan to get her bachelor’s degree in three years. But her courses lined up and she received her biology degree this past May at the University of Minnesota Morris.

Peters had college credit when she started at UMN Morris, after taking Advanced Placement and College in the Schools courses in high school.

When it came time to pick a college, Peters was initially looking closer to the Twin Cities. 

“I was looking for a school that had small class sizes, really good professors, and a chance to do undergraduate research.”

A college mentor suggested Morris, and, even though it was a bit farther away from home than she wanted, Peters visited campus. Not too much later, she got a call from the track coach. 

“I love soccer and track. I didn't really plan on going into college [athletics] because I didn't know if I was good enough.”

Peters feels being a college athlete only made her more determined.  

“You know, you don't go play a college sport just for fun. You do it because you really want to be there and put the work in.”

A young woman with long brown hair, wearing a black, spaghetti strap dress and holding an award. She is standing in front of a backdrop that repeatedly says University of Minnesota Morris

Peters had a massive impact on both the soccer and track & field programs, earning recognition from the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) in both sports. On the soccer pitch, Peters was Second Team All-UMAC once and Honorable Mention All-UMAC twice, netting 22 goals in her career. She has also been All-UMAC four times in her track & field career, both as part of relay teams on the track and as a long jumper and triple jumper. She was Academic All-UMAC in each of the seasons she has competed in, was named College Sports Communicators Academic All-District as well, and received the 2024 Women’s Cougar Excellence Award. 

Being in sports also allowed her to travel abroad to Australia and New Zealand with the women’s soccer team where her team was able to watch two Women’s World Cup games. 

Success wasn’t limited to athletics for Peters, who carried a 4.00 grade point average.  

“I worked with [Associate Professor of Biology] Rachel Johnson, who was my molecular biology teacher. We were looking at a specific plant, Monarda fistulosa or wild bergamot, and the anti-inflammatory properties of that plant. I was able to present my research [at the Undergraduate Research Symposium] along with the two other girls who I was working with.”

Peters also found that she was able to step outside her comfort zone at UMN Morris, and try new things. 

“Having to take ecology, for example, was kind of scary to me. It's not really what I have done before. It's not really what I was interested in. But then being able to do it, really opened up a new interest and experience for me, which was really great.”

Ecology wasn’t the only class that scared her, but she took anyway. 

“Even though I was a biology major, I got to do classes outside of science. One that stands out to me was I got to do a piano class, which was super fun.”

She was also a tutor in PAL, peer-assisted learning, participated in intramural volleyball, basketball, and soccer, and volunteered to help collect native prairie seeds.

Peters admits that she wasn’t expecting to be able to do this much in three years at a small college in Morris. “But I thought if I'm going to live here, I might as well do it all because it wouldn't be any other time like this.”


Kim Peters

Kim Peters received her biology degree during commencement ceremonies held Saturday, May 11, 2024.
Two women playing college soccer
Seven college soccer players with a group of elementary-aged players.
A college student standing in front of a large screen, which has details of a research project.
Kim Peters on the Cougar track