Peru State's Kesha Beethe Named Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact
(Peru, Neb.) Peru State College (PSC) junior Kesha Beethe, a sport management and exercise science major from Tecumseh, has been honored by the Campus Compact as a 2012 Newman Civic Fellow.
The award honors 162 student leaders from 32 states who have demonstrated a personal commitment to find solutions for challenges facing their communities. Through service, community-based research, and advocacy, the 2012 class of Newman Civic Fellows work to better understand themselves and the root causes of some of the country’s most pressing social issues.
“These students represent the next generation of public problem solvers and civic leaders. They serve as national examples of the role that higher education can—and does—play in building a better world,” said Campus Compact Board Chair James B. Dworkin, chancellor at Purdue University North Central.
Campus Compact President Maureen Curley said, “Dr. Frank Newman, a founder of Campus Compact, had a tremendous impact on American education and its role in the development of citizens who are eager and prepared to make a difference. He dedicated his life to creating systemic change through education reform and this new group of Newman Civic Fellows would have inspired him. They are reflections and affirmations of his life’s work.”
Beethe’s civic engagement has focused on the issue of pediatric obesity, examining the public policies that influence nutrition and activity in rural Nebraska. Beethe assisted with the implementation of Peru State’s Children’s Health, Activity & Nutrition Community Engagement (CHANCE) Initiative, a partnership with Auburn Elementary focused on improving children's health through nutrition and exercise.
PSC President Dan Hanson said, “As a southeast Nebraska native, Kesha has a deep sense of belonging and a desire to remain in rural Nebraska after graduation to continue to take part in local governance and implement policy change at the community level with regard to pediatric obesity. Her work with the CHANCE Initiative demonstrates Kesha’s involvement in policy reform, community organizing and community-based research. Her passion for the health of children, commitment to service and motivation to lead make her very deserving of this honor.”
A motivated scholar, Beethe has been named to the Dean’s List every semester she has been on campus. She is a member of the Alpha Chi honor society, Phi Beta Lambda and was named a 2011 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletic (NAIA) Scholar Athlete. She serves as a personal trainer and exercise class instructor for Peru State staff and students through the Physical Education, Activity, & Kinesiology Students (PEAKS) Club and is a leader in the Peru State Education Association. Beethe also serves as a Student Ambassador, interacting with prospective students and mentoring incoming freshmen.
Beethe’s service extends to her hometown where she instructs water safety for the Girl Scouts, referees little league basketball games and coaches summer softball. Her volunteer activities include keeping score, picking up trash, maintaining the fields and assisting with concessions at her community’s ballpark. She also works with local high school athletes developing off-season conditioning and training programs.
Campus Compact is a national coalition of almost 1,200 college and university presidents—representing some 6 million+ students—who are committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education, that is, to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility. For more information about the organization and the award, visit www.compact.org.