Peru State College
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News Release

Peru State PBL honored by Gov. Heineman, Nebraska Department of Education for Student Excellence in Career Education

First place in the community service project category



(Peru, Neb.) Gov. Dave Heineman and Nebraska Department of Education Deputy Commissioner Dr. Scott Swisher recently honored members of Peru State College’s Phi Beta Lambda (PBL), a state and national business and leadership association, for Student Excellence in Career Education at a recognition ceremony at the Nebraska State Capitol.

PBL was awarded first place in the Community Service Project category for their work with the Children’s Health, Activity & Nutrition Community Engagement (CHANCE) Initiative at the event, which recognizes PBL chapters that successfully implement community service projects to serve the citizens of their community.

Peru State President Dan Hanson said, “Providing our undergraduate students opportunities to participate in community betterment projects like the CHANCE Initiative is one way Peru State works to create unique opportunities for student engagement while also opening doors that can benefit future careers. This award, along with the national championship won by our PBL students this past year, are a tribute to the hard work of our students, their advisor and the faculty in the School of Professional Studies. I want to thank Governor Heineman and Deputy Commissioner Swisher for honoring their good work.”

Developed by Associate Professor of Business and PBL Advisor Dr. Sheri Grotrian-Ryan along with Associate Professor of Education and Phi Epsilon Kappa (PEK) Advisor Dr. Kyle Ryan, the CHANCE Initiative is a grant-funded partnership between Peru State faculty, Auburn Public Schools, Johnson-Brock Public Schools and the Nemaha County community.

The goal of the CHANCE Initiative is to encourage healthier lifestyles among area children and their families by creating awareness and educating them about better choices. In its first year, the program engaged in an in-depth examination of the Harvard Food Plate as well as social-norms marketing and how children responded. In the program’s second year, data was collected to determine levels of physical activity among children grades four through eight. This year, CHANCE has grown to offer an after-school program for Nemaha County elementary students - two days at Calvert Elementary and two days at Johnson-Brock. Two PSC student groups are involved in assisting with the study: PBL and PEK.

Three Peru State students earned first place at the Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) National Leadership Conference in Anaheim, Calif., in 2013. They are:

  • Allie Buesing, a sophomore sport and exercise science major and business administration minor from Cozad.
  • Rachel Henry, a junior business administration/management major and sport and exercise science minor from Auburn. Henry also won fifth place in the Job Interview category. She was recently accepted into the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s prestigious Public Health Early Admissions Student Track (PHEAST) program.
  • Jamie Theye, a senior business, marketing and information technology major from Odell. Theye also won second place in the Future Business Educator category. She was honored earlier this year by the Campus Compact as a 2013 Newman Civic Fellow, an award presented to 181 student leaders from 36 states that have demonstrated a personal commitment to find solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country.

For more information, contact Grotrian-Ryan at 402-872-2420 or