NORTON, Mass. – Wheaton College Director of Athletics John Sutyak '00 has announced the hiring of Christal Peterson as the Coordinator for Student-Athlete Success, Inclusion, and Leadership. Peterson has spent the last two years as the Graduate Assistant for Student-Athlete Welfare and Development at the University of Central Florida.
"We are very excited to welcome Christal to Wheaton and to serve as our first ever Coordinator for Student-Athlete Success, Inclusion, and Leadership," stated Sutyak. "Her experiences as a student-athlete at UCF, coupled with her graduate work in implementing transition strategies for first-year and graduating student-athletes, fits nicely with the leadership development program we are looking to enhance here at Wheaton."
Peterson, who was a four-year member of the Knights track & field program, received her Bachelors in Health Science at UCF, before completing her Masters of Sports Business and Business Administration.
"I am extremely excited about being apart of the Lyons family," said Peterson. "Being a former student-athlete, I look forward to connecting with all student-athletes at Wheaton and helping them to become leaders not only on campus but in the community as well! With the experience I've gained during my time at UCF, I can not wait to start implementing programs for the "AllWheAre" campaign for the continued success of our athletics department and a better student-athlete experience."
During her time in the UCF Student-Athlete Welfare and Development office, Peterson helped execute various initiatives and events designed to empower and develop UCF student-athletes outside their respective fields. Peterson played a part in the Summer Knight Program that helped freshmen and transfer student-athletes transition to college. She also assisted student-athletes with career opportunities by partnering with several campus departments.
For Wheaton, Peterson will help to develop and implement a four-year comprehensive leadership program around the four key components of the Lyons "AllWheAre" campaign; Character, Performance, Involvement, and Self-Care. Through the "AllWheAre" campaign, Peterson will create, plan and implement diversity and inclusion, leadership and academic success programs for student-athletes. This will further develop character, personal and leadership development while preparing Wheaton student-athletes in their development to become global citizens.
Peterson will begin her appointment on July 26, 2018.