• Peter Graffy, Research Assistant and Masters of Public Health Student

    "I feel that, more than anything, Luther gave me the confidence and tools I needed so I can do whatever I set my mind to."

Peter Graffy '12

Time Abroad After Graduation

After graduating from Luther, Peter spent time in Ecuador working at a regional hospital as a medical intern and study abroad coordinator. “The position made it possible for me to travel all over South America,” he says. He later returned to the U.S. and worked for a year as a researcher in biomolecular chemistry, studying biosynthesis pathways for iron-sulfur cluster regulation in E. coli. “Shortly after that experience I was accepted to the master of public health program at University of Wisconsin-Madison,” he says. “After I complete the program, I plan to go to medical school.”

Courses Were a Good Fit

At Luther, Peter double majored in anthropology and women and gender studies, and minored in Spanish and he feels he couldn’t be happier with his choices. “My courses reflected my interest in just about anything and everything, and gave me the flexibility to pursue projects I was drawn to,” he says. “For example, I lived with an Amish community in Minnesota for a week, distributed contraceptives at a local bar, and lived in South America all because of my coursework.”

Playing Sports Makes a Lasting Impact

Peter played soccer and Ultimate Frisbee during his time at Luther. “I had practice every single day, and sometimes twice a day, for four years straight and it gave me a great routine,” he says. “It also provided me with an automatic community when I showed up on campus and the guys on those teams are still some of my closest friends.”

Fostering Success

“I’ve always appreciated that Luther is such an open and intelligent community,” Peter says. “I believe that if a student has a dream they want to realize, the faculty and staff will help them see it through. I feel that, more than anything, Luther gave me the confidence and tools I needed so I can do whatever I set my mind to.”

Advice for First-Year Students

“Try everything at least once. Want to join this club? Sure! Want to coach a Decorah youth team? Yes! Go hiking around the ice caves? Definitely! Develop your sense of curiosity about the world and explore and you'll meet some pretty great people in the process."

—Peter Graffy


  • Soccer
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Norsemen
  • Students Helping Our Community (SHOC)
  • Luther Athletes Serving Others (LASO)
  • Decorah United Soccer Club (DUSC) coach
  • Medical interpreter at Decorah Community Free Clinic