Peru State College
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News Release

Peru State senior Jamie Theye named Newman Civic Fellow by Campus Compact


Jamie Theye
Jamie Theye

(Peru, Neb.) Peru State senior Jamie Theye, a business, marketing and information technology major from Odell, has been honored by the Campus Compact as a 2013 Newman Civic Fellow. The award honors 181 student leaders from 36 states who have demonstrated a personal commitment to find solutions for challenges facing communities throughout the country.

Through service, community-based research, and advocacy, the 2013 class of Newman Civic Fellows work to better understand themselves, the root causes of some of the country’s most pressing social issues and effective mechanisms for creating lasting change. As these students tackle community challenges, they provide fresh energy and perspective, inspire and mobilize others, and develop their own skills and potential.

“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 stronger communities,” notes Campus Compact President Maureen Curley. 

Newman Civic Fellow awards are made in memory of Dr. Frank Newman, a founder of Campus Compact, who dedicated his life to creating systemic change through education reform.  At the core of Dr. Newman’s leadership was a belief in the power of individuals to make a difference and in the power of connection with others.

Theye’s honor is directly attributed to her work with the Children’s Health, Activity and Nutrition Community Engagement (CHANCE) Initiative. The CHANCE Initiative began in 2012 as a partnership with Calvert Elementary School in Auburn focused on improving children’s health through nutrition and exercise education. It has since grown to include area middle school students. Theye’s work with the CHANCE Initiative has included instructing weekly classroom activities, participating in community kick-off events, helping lead a culminating event for the first year, and giving presentations locally, regionally and nationally.

Theye said, “Being involved with CHANCE Initiative has provided me the opportunity to feel truly dedicated to Peru State and our surrounding communities. Working with area elementary students has allowed me to hone my skills while I practice my passion of teaching. It has also opened my eyes to how important it is to start working to offset our country’s obesity epidemic. As a society, we have a responsibility to help our youth live healthier lifestyles - that comes through education.”

President Dan Hanson said, “Jamie’s leadership and willingness to volunteer her time to assist rural Nebraskans in learning more about health and nutrition is commendable. As a student leader on campus, she serves as an inspiration for others to engage in their communities. Jamie exhibits exceptional integrity in all she does, and her outstanding character will be sure to garner additional support as she leads others in long-term civic engagement.”

Associate Business Professor Dr. Sheri Grotrian-Ryan, co-director and creator of the CHANCE Initiative, said, “Jamie demonstrates her motivation for long-term civic engagement through her desire to be an educator. She has a passion for education and wants to continue leading students not only in traditional classroom instruction, but also by serving as a high school sponsor for clubs and organizations that carry out community service, service-learning and/or community engagement work. I congratulate her on this well-deserved honor.”

Some of Theye’s other civic engagement activities include serving as president of Phi Beta Lambda and as treasurer and media officer for the Peru State Education Association. She has served on many committees that have had an impact on the Peru State campus and the surrounding community, including working for the Scholastic Book Fair, presenting at the annual Dr. Seuss Birthday Bash, serving as chairperson for the Southeast Nebraska Community Action (SENCA) Christmas project, and volunteering with community programs such as Valentines for Vets, Adopt-a-Highway and the Good Samaritan Center.

The Newman Civic Fellows Awards are made possible through the generous support of the KPMG Foundation. For a full list of the 2013 Newman Civic Fellows, visit

Campus Compact is a national coalition of almost 1,200 college and university presidents who are committed to fulfilling the public purposes of higher education. As the only national higher education association dedicated solely to campus-based civic engagement, Campus Compact promotes public and community service that develops students’ citizenship skills, helps forge effective community/campus partnerships, and provides resources and training for faculty seeking to integrate civic and community-based learning into the curriculum. Campus Compact’s membership includes public, private, two- and four-year institutions across the spectrum of higher education. For more information, visit