Hannah Petersen

Hannah Petersen
Class of 2024
Major: Legal Studies and Government and Foreign Affairs

Hannah Petersen ’24, grew up immersed in her family’s business in an Ohio village with a population of approximately 1,000 people. She left her small town seeking a degree from a university with strong academics and Christian values, but what she said she found at Walsh University was much more.

She discovered a community of people who care about developing students to think critically, gain real-life skills and become lifelong learners.  

“To me, college is a time to explore who I am, my place in the world, and what small habits I can implement to create big changes,” Hannah said. “The transition from growing up on the farm to living on campus was a culture shock for me. Instead of waking up to tend to alpacas and horses, I have shifted my focus to spending time in prayer, reading scripture, working out and eating healthy. I’ve also come to appreciate different perspectives by making new friends and embracing the campus culture.” 

Inspired by a mission of service at Walsh, she hopes to positively impact individuals and communities throughout the world. As a first-year student, she started an indoor plant business with the sole purpose of sponsoring students’ education in Uganda, Africa, through the Child of Promise Program.  

“My passion for growing plants has turned into a business with a global impact. It’s been a blessing to bring aid to the people I met while visiting Uganda on a mission trip and to connect to others who support my vision,” she said. 

Hannah entered her business in the Stark Tank competition modeled after the television show Shark Tank. The competition is run by a team of Stark County entrepreneurs in search of the best business ideas to fund and support. She is currently testing the indoor herb garden kit product before re-entering the market and working on how to connect indoor plants to a younger generation of consumers through social media channels for her Honors Thesis. The experiences solidified her drive to pursue a double major in Government and Foreign Affairs and Legal Studies.  


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“Growing up, my mom recognized my strong moral compass and encouraged me to advocate for others,” she said. According to Hannah, she has been able to explore this further through her involvement in Student Government, as a Resident Assistant, a member of the Student Conduct Board, Chief of Entrepreneurship for the Garage, a member of Campus Ministry, and several of her courses and mission trips to Uganda and Mississippi. 

“Traveling to Mississippi with Campus Ministry was impactful to both my spiritual and leadership growth,” Hannah said. “We went there to explore our Christian faith and help those in need by performing home improvement projects, including a roof replacement. I will always remember the project leader who put me in charge of ensuring the shingles were in alignment. I remember thinking I’d rather do the manual labor than be blamed for messing up. I came to realize that he was building my confidence in decision making by assigning me to a leadership role.” 

Hannah plans to apply what she has learned holistically and academically to her summer internship at a local law firm, and then apply to law school so she can pursue a career in a legal or political role to help entrepreneurs gain the resources they need to launch successful businesses.