Katherine Brady Peterman ’13 came to Shenandoah University to be a member of the field hockey team. However, the field hockey team wasn’t the only thing Shenandoah had to offer Peterman. The small classes and personal relationships with her professors also gave her a sense of family, making Peterman want to get everything she could of out of her time at Shenandoah. “The small class sizes made a difference,” said Peterman. “I loved knowing everyone and being in first name basis with my professors.”
Peterman always wanted to pursue a career of sports/fitness/physical activity, which is why she originally majored in kinesiology. However, after taking a few public health classes, she fell in love with that major as well. So Peterman added public health as her second major and graduated from Shenandoah with a Bachelor of Science degree in kinesiology and public health. She realized this was the way she could promote a healthy lifestyle and help an entire population at the same time. Peterman went on to receive a master’s degree in public health from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
Before becoming a stay-at-home mom, Peterman was an exercise physiologist at Corporate Fitness Works and still serves as an assistant field hockey coach at Monacan High School in Chesterfield County, Virginia. At Corporate Fitness Works, she provided health education and healthy heart screenings to 1,000-plus employees, and maintained gyms in multiple locations. One of Peterman’s most rewarding experiences in this position was helping employees meet their health and wellness goals.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Peterman is a case investigator at Virginia Department of Health. In this position, she contacts confirmed positive cases and investigate their symptoms, tries to determine how they got sick and who they might have exposed to the disease. “We look for trends in the data to locate clusters and outbreaks and link cases together,” said Peterman.
Peterman believes that Shenandoah was able to give her the exercise science background and teamwork and public speaking skills she would need in her career after graduation.
“My coaches and professors helped me succeed on the field and in the classroom,” said Peterman. “Shenandoah helped me grow as a student, athlete, and person because everyone always believed in me and pushed me to do my best, even when I wanted to give up.”
Peterman’s advice to students is: “There’s more than personal training and physical therapy out there for exercise science students.”