Brian Peterson, coordinator of UNK’s online Master of Science in biology program, received the University of Nebraska Board of Regents KUDOS award during last week’s meeting.
KUDOS awards recognize university staff for their professional expertise, service and “superior dedication” to UNK and the University of Nebraska. It is the university’s top staff award.
An Omaha native, Peterson earned both his undergraduate degree in wildlife biology and master’s degree in biology from UNK. He’s been part of the UNK family for 30 years, advancing from student to fisheries research technician to his current position. Peterson has been involved with the online Master of Science in biology program since its inception, when sending piles of VHS tapes and CDs to students was the norm. This year, the program celebrates 20 years of online teaching excellence.
From initial inquiries about the program to graduation day, Peterson is the first line of communication for students. He prides himself on prompt, accurate service and manages all required documents as they navigate the program. His efforts to recruit and retain students include attending state and regional conferences; thinking outside the box to generate leads; serving on departmental and campus committees; and working with thesis-based on-campus graduate students as they work through their programs. He also regularly assists faculty with daily operational needs.
Peterson’s passion for the outdoors attracted him to UNK in 1995. Sharing that passion with undergraduate and graduate students – both on campus and online – has resulted in original research, peer-reviewed publications and popular articles.
His passion for the outdoors extends to the community, too. He is a certified fishing instructor; guides youth to first-time hunting experiences; and has conducted original wildlife educational events for Nebraska Game and Parks Outdoor Expos, Girl Scouts, UNK Loper Launch, Henry Doorly Zoo Academy, Nebraska Extension and Nebraska Science Senior Day visits.
Peterson and his wife Holly, also a UNK graduate and administrative coordinator for UNK’s Division of Student Affairs, have two sons. Tyler is a UNK sophomore and Trevor is a Kearney High School senior admitted to UNK for fall 2024.