#IamPeruState: Ted Harshbarger

#IamPeruState: Ted Harshbarger

May 28, 2017, 1:00 p.m. CDT
Contact Jason Hogue, Peru State College Marketing and Communications, 402.872.2429


Peru, Nebraska – The #IamPeruState spotlight would like to shine on long-time Peru State employee, Ted L. Harshbarger, for his recent work as Chair of the National FBLA-PBL Board of Directors and ongoing role as Nebraska Phi Beta Lambda State Advisor. Harshbarger is a Peru State alumni and currently works as Peru State’s Associate Athletic Director and Sports Information Director.

Harshbarger has been on the Peru State campus since 1974 when he majored in business education and business administration with a minor in accounting. While a student, Harshbarger joined Phi Beta Lambda, the collegiate portion of Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda (FBLA-PBL), the largest student organization in the world for people with an interest in business.

Ted Harshbarger

Ted Harshbarger

After graduation, Harshbarger remained connected to FBLA-PBL, including nine years as a teacher and FBLA advisor at Tecumseh High School. Following his time at Tecumseh, Harshbarger served as the manager of vocational student organizations in Colorado where he was specifically in charge of FBLA-PBL, as well as DECA/Delta Epsilon Chi. He has since served as the Nebraska PBL state advisor since 1996.

Harshbarger’s years of leadership in Nebraska and Colorado led to his election to the National FBLA-PBL Board of Directors. After a year on the board, he was named chair-elect and became the Chair of the National FBLA-PBL Board of Directors in 2013. Including a year as former chair, Harshbarger served on the National FBLA-PBLA Board of Directors for a total of four years.

As National Chair for FBLA-PBL, Harshbarger led the seventeen-member board and oversaw all subcommittees. His tenure on the board included multiple national conferences each year and an incredible number of activities across the nation.

Prior to his election to the Board, Harshbarger had served for nine years as a member of FBLA-PBL’s National Awards Program committee. This was the longest stint anyone had ever served.

Harshbarger came off the board after advising for a year as the former chair. He continues to serve as the Nebraska Phi Beta Lambda State Advisor.

On Peru State’s campus, Harshbarger also has many responsibilities. As associate athletic director, Harshbarger works with the coaches and athletics staff on financial aid and academic training program. Harshbarger is also involved in game management and athletic advertising on social media as the sports information director.

Harshbarger admitted, “I’ve become a bit of a Twitter-holic at this point. I never thought I would be on Twitter, but now I kind of enjoy it.”

While his responsibilities differed as National Chair of FBLA-PBL and Associate Athletic Director, Harshbarger related the two job positions because he enjoys giving others—namely students—the recognition they deserve in academics as well as athletics. Both positions and his career in education have allowed him to help students and others live up to their full potential.

Harshbarger’s work and dedication do not stop at Phi Beta Lambda and Peru State. He is on other boards in the area, including the Nemaha County Wellness Board, which directs the fitness center in Auburn, Nebraska; the Family Health Services Board in Tecumseh, which provides services through Peru State’s health center; the Humboldt-Table Rock-Steinauer (HTRS) Foundation Board (previously served on the Southeast Consolidated Foundation Board which has since closed and merged with HTRS); and a planning committee for his former schools’s 50th high school reunion.

Harshbarger added, “I have been on these boards for ten years or more now. I think it’s important to give back and work in the community.”

If he is not working on campus or serving on committees, Harshbarger can be found at many sporting events or other activities on campus such as the music events and theatre productions. He loves watching sports, especially volleyball. Harshbarger also spends much of his time with friends. He has dinner on Tuesday and Thursday nights with different groups of people, a tradition that is over 30 years old. Many of his dinner-mates are Peru State graduates, too.

When asked about what advice he would give to students at Peru, Harshbarger simply said, “Get involved.”

Harshbarger advised that students tend to be more successful when they are involved in clubs or organizations. Involvement looks good on a resume and it gives students a chance to branch out and meet new people.

Harshbarger also said “not to take your college years for granted” and to get involved in your community once you are out of college “because your life will be much more fulfilling.”

During the interview, Harshbarger shared a few interesting facts about himself. He would like to visit all 50 states, and he only has four left. If it were possible, he would like to meet John F. Kennedy because while Kennedy was president, Harshbarger was in grade school and a big history and presidential buff at the time.

Harshbarger said the Bobcats were his all-time favorite sports team, followed by the Nebraska Cornhuskers. When asked about professional sports teams, Harshbarger named the Denver Broncos and the Kansas City Chiefs as his favorites.

Finally, Harshbarger also said if there were a movie created about his life, he thinks Kevin Spacey would play him. Harshbarger admitted that he has asked other people this question before, and most people agree that Kevin Spacey would be a good match.

For more information about Ted and his accomplishments at Peru State, watch the accompanying video at https://youtu.be/ph6H6-PIcaY. Keep a look out on social media for more successful and devoted students, faculty, staff and alumni that create #IamPeruState.


Peru State students Katelyn Billups, Anna Naber and Ashley Peiman contributed to this release.