Passionate about chemistry, the San Ramon, Calif., native is also fascinated by the natural world and the outdoors so a major in biochemistry was a natural fit for him. Peters said he enjoyed “every minute” of his time at USD and “benefited hugely” from an environment where he was able to interact personally with his professors.
Peters recalled how Associate Professor Christopher Daley spent an entire afternoon introducing him to a new crystal structure and explaining the use of a new scientific instrument. Peters enjoyed doing research with Professor Mitchell Malachowski on the organic synthesis of brand new compounds that could eventually be used to store hydrogen gas for fuel or sequester carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
Peters “has just about everything you would want in a student,” Malachowski said. Among those, “the most impressive is his creativity. He had insights into his research projects that very few students who have worked with me were able to reach. And not only did he have amazing insights, he knew what to do about them and where to taken them. This is a rare quality for an undergraduate and one that will serve him well as he creates his path in life.”
Fully immersing himself in the academic and community life of the campus, Peters served as president of the Chemistry Club, tutored other chemistry students, and was a member of the Phi Delta Epsilon pre-medical fraternity. He also found time to volunteer at Rady Children’s Hospital as a liaison between doctors and the parents of young surgical patients and volunteered at a local soup kitchen through University Ministry.
This spring, Peters received the Outstanding Senior Award from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry along with being chosen for USD’s Phi Beta Kappa chapter and graduating summa cum laude.
He plans to serve as a middle school pastor for a year at his hometown parish, Canyon Creek Church. Graduate school will be next but Peters says he still has to decide between a career in industry or academia.
— Liz Harman
Photos by Chris Keeney