The Charger Blog

Mother and Son Alumni Share Connection as Chargers, Passion for Learning

Beth Peterson ’89 MBA was a professor at the University of New Haven at the same time that her son, Chad Peterson ’18, was a student, and they are now colleagues at Electric Boat.

January 31, 2020

By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications

Image of Beth and Chad Peterson.
Beth and Chad Peterson now work together at Electric Boat.

When Charles "Chad” Peterson ’18 was pursuing his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, he often saw a familiar face among the University’s professors: that of his mother, Beth Peterson ’89 MBA.

"Professors at the University, like my mom, deeply care about their students,” Chad said. "Some of them have even become lifetime mentors.”

Teaching as an adjunct faculty in the University’s physics department enabled Beth to spend time with her son while he was in school, and to get to know his professors and roommates.

"I was so proud that he chose the University of New Haven," she said. "He said it was his first choice because liked the vibe and the small class sizes. He’s carrying on the Charger tradition."

"I love helping people learn, and a big part of that comes from all the passionate teachers I’ve had."Charles "Chad” Peterson ’18

As a student, Chad collaborated with Nikodem Poplawski, a senior lecturer and coordinator of physics, and Chris Haynes, associate professor of political science, as part of his Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) project.

The interactions and experiences he had during SURF – and throughout his time as a Charger –fueled his passion for more.

"I love helping people learn, and a big part of that comes from all the passionate teachers I’ve had,” Chad said.

Image of Beth, Chad and other faculty members.
Left to right: Nikodem Poplawski, Ph.D.; Beth Peterson ’89 MBA; Chris Haynes, Ph.D.; Chad Peterson ’18, Charles Peterson Sr.

Although mother and son no longer run into each other at the University, their paths have crossed again – this time at Electric Boat, where Beth and Chad work as engineers.

Beth, who also owns a business as well as several manufacturing facilities with her husband, Charles Peterson Sr., says she felt the University prepared her – and her son – to excel in the field of engineering.

"While completing my MBA, I learned about many aspects of the engineering industry,” she said. "I learned the importance of operations and efficiency to make companies more profitable, as well as program and project management, scheduling, and budgets. The MBA has helped me succeed throughout my career.”