Student-athlete and Robert C. Brown award winner Kohl Peters shines on and off the court

June 07, 2024

Juggling academics and sports has always been a part of Kohl Peters’ life, but managing this at a university level proved to be a whole new challenge, which she overcame with flying colours.

In recognition of her outstanding achievements, Peters has been named as one of the recipients of this year's Robert C. Brown Award, which recognizes Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences students for exceptional academic achievement combined with remarkable leadership.

“Kohl was the epitome of a student-athlete, excelling in the classroom and as a teammate in our volleyball program,” says SFU’s head volleyball coach Gina Schmidt. “She demonstrated genuine care and support for her teammates on a daily basis and was always willing to lend a helping hand if anyone was in need.”

Throughout her time at Simon Fraser University (SFU) as a criminology student, Peters managed to balance her rigorous academic workload with her commitment to the varsity volleyball team, demonstrating an unparalleled dedication and drive that has not gone unnoticed.

In addition to maintaining an impressive CGPA and appearing four times on the Dean’s Honour roll, she has earned several prestigious accolades, including academic and athletic scholarships, the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) Academic All-American title, and twice as one of SFU’s Top 10 Athletic Scholars.

“Receiving the Robert C. Brown Award means so much to me and probably is my proudest accomplishment to date. There were times in my degree where I felt sort of spread thin, but I was able to persevere through it and still provide 100 per cent of what I had to give to each area,” says Peters. “This award sort of reassures me that it is possible to have multiple passions in your life and still be able to give each one your all.”

Reflecting on what a leader means to her, Peters mentions that when she first arrived at SFU, she held a more conventional view — In her eyes, a leader was someone at the center of every decision, someone whom everyone looked up to. However, her experiences at SFU expanded her perspective.

“A leader is in tune with not only themselves but also those around them. They see where they are needed and they use the gifts they have to try and help out in the best way possible,” Peters explains. “The contributions that they make may not always be obvious, but knowing how they can best support and aid in an environment is a mark of a great leader.”

Peters expressed deep gratitude for the support of her family, head coach Gina Schmidt, teammates who became her best friends, and the physio/athletic therapist team, acknowledging their unwavering support played a key role in her success.

When it comes to advice for current and future criminology students, Peters encourages them to really buy into their degree and explore outside of their program. “I absolutely loved all my criminology courses, but I also found it super cool to be able to shop around the other departments through my electives,” says Peters.

“I loved being able to gain new perspective and knowledge in something I had no idea about before. Learning is such a privilege and I am so grateful that I got to complete my degree at such an excellent school.”

As she turns the page of this chapter of her academic life, Peters has her sights set on law school. However, before delving into this new adventure, she is fulfilling a lifelong dream – living in Australia for some time.