#IamPeruState: Zak Ruei

#IamPeruState: Zak Ruei

February 13, 2017 9:00 a.m. CDT
Contact Jason Hogue, Peru State College Marketing and Communications, 402.872.2429


Peru, Nebraska – The #IamPeruState campaign kicked off this week by interviewing Zak Ruei, a senior and Student Senate president, at Peru State College. Zak Ruei is currently earning his Bachelor of Science in psychology.

As a two-year member of Student Senate, Ruei became president during the 2016 – 2017 school year. As president, he is responsible for organizing senate meetings every week, discussing student matters with other senate members and overseeing subcommittees and their responsibilities. Ruei also serves as a student representative to the campus administration, most notably to the Strategic Planning Committee.

Ruei said being president was one of his greatest accomplishments as well as one of his biggest challenges. Being president takes much of his time and has made him more responsible. The opportunity, though, has also caused him to take more initiative.

Earning a degree will also be one of Ruei’s biggest accomplishments, “I think a lot of people may have taken this for granted, but I think that being able to get my degree is a great accomplishment.”

When Ruei graduates, he plans to attend graduate school to earn his master’s and eventually his doctorate in clinical psychology. Ruei also plans to continue working at the youth care facility where he volunteers now.

Dr. James Nevitt, professor of human services, has been one of the biggest influences on Ruei since he has attended Peru. Nevitt inspired Ruei to want to continue to study psychology and pursue further education and a career in the field.

Ruei says Dr. Nevitt is a very interesting man, “The way he teaches can give you some type of inspiration to pursue whatever he may find interesting because you find it [interesting too].”

During his free time on campus, Ruei likes to be outdoors, “I just love going on walks, runs or bike rides just to see the community and what Peru has to offer.”

The campus has a lot of scenery and he takes advantage of the view by running, walking, or biking outdoors frequently.

Ruei is involved in multiple groups on campus, including Student Senate, Prestige Show Choir and Phi Beta Lambda and he is a mentor for freshmen and sophomores at Peru. Ruei works with freshmen and sophomore students to answer questions about college life or advice about life in general. In Phi Beta Lambda, Ruei competes with other members on business topics that they find interesting at local, state, and national levels.

Ruei also works off campus with two Omaha organizations. The first is Aqua Africa, a non-profit organization in Omaha, Nebraska. Aqua Africa builds wells in East African communities to transform and provide support to disadvantaged communities. Ruei has taken trips to South Sudan with his brother, who works there as well, to assist Aqua Africa in building wells.

In addition to volunteering with Aqua Africa, Ruei works as a youth care specialist. He also works with ten- to 18-year-olds at a youth facility in Omaha.

During the interview, Ruei answered a few questions about his interests too. He said his favorite music is classical music because it is relaxing and soothing to him. He also likes hip-hop, though, specifically Drake. Ruei mentioned he would love to learn how to play the piano because of his musical interest and because many of his friends know how.

Lastly, Ruei said his dream vacation would be to Greenland. His family has visited the country before on trips. His mom made the recommendation to him and they might go there for a post-graduation trip.

When asked about the greatest piece of advice that he had ever received, Ruei quoted something from his father. He said, “If you do not accomplish one goal that you have set, you are more likely to regret the decision later on.” This advice has encouraged Ruei to take opportunities when they are presented to him.

During the #IamPeruState campaign, current students, alumni and faculty members will be interviewed by student interns in the Marketing Department to highlight the accomplishments and dedication of the Peru State community. Those interviews will be used to create videos, press releases, posters and social media posts to showcase what it means to say #IamPeruState.

To find out more about Ruei and his achievements, watch the accompanying video of his interview at https://youtu.be/zAJLenrQpPo


Zak Ruei in front of T.J. Majors on the Peru State College campus.

Zak Ruei in front of T.J. Majors on the Peru State College campus.



Ashley Peiman, Anna Naber and Kately Billups contributed to this release.