Posts tagged ‘Kevin Steele’

Coming Soon: The July/August Issue

2015 J-A Creamery[1]A photo shoot of ice cream on a hot day is harder than it looks—or, should we say, softer? Art director Marc Kauffman scooped quickly while photographer Nick Sloff ’92 A&A snapped his camera even faster to capture the perfect Creamery cone for our July/August cover. The issue, which should be in your mailbox soon, celebrates the sesquicentennial anniversary of one of the greatest traditions at Penn State: the Berkey Creamery. We look back at its storied history, plus learn about what’s in store for the next 150 years.

Also in this issue is an interview by senior editor Ryan Jones ’95 Com with Eric Barron. The Penn State president reflects on his first year in office and talks about why he’s optimistic about the future of the university.

Ryan also wrote a piece on philanthropist and freshman Neha Gupta in “The Unrelenting Power of One.” We discover that Gupta, who already leads an international charitable network, is just getting started.

We also welcome the 79th president of the alumni association, Kevin Steele ’92 JD Law, on page 54. The Dickinson Law grad brings a decade’s worth of Alumni Association volunteer experience to the position.

Another noteworthy story in this issue is on the late Fran Fisher. Read about how the Voice of Penn State Football was loved—and will be missed—by the Penn State community on page 24.

There’s also a recap of the spring sports programs, which includes a national powerlifting title for Eliraz Katz. And, on page 18, find out what Joel Myers ’61, ’63 MS, ’71 PhD EMS has to say about his new AccuWeather television network.

We’d love to hear what you think about the new issue. Drop us a line at or comment below.

—Amy Downey, senior editor

June 29, 2015 at 3:56 pm 3 comments

‘A Norm of Caring’: Experts Discuss Child Abuse Prevention

pinwheelsThe HUB Auditorium was silent.

Jennie Noll, director of Penn State’s Network on Child Protection and Well-Being, had just asked if anyone in the audience knew how many children in the United States were affected each year by abuse. Not one person raised a hand.

Noll revealed the answer: nearly 2 million. Silence again.

“How come we don’t know that?” asked Noll. “How come everyone doesn’t know that?”

That difficult question was the focus of last night’s panel discussion, “Making a Difference, Every Day… Preventing Child Abuse Begins With You.” At the event, sponsored in part by the Alumni Association, keynote speaker James Hmurovich, CEO and president of Prevent Child Abuse America, led an honest, emotional discussion about the issues of child abuse, neglect, and maltreatment — and the ways communities can keep kids safe. Some highlights from Hmurovich’s address:

-Because of his background in the Indiana Department of Corrections, Hmurovich became aware of the strong link between child abuse and juvenile delinquency. When he learned that 63 percent of the girls and boys in the Indiana juvenile correction system had been abused as children, “I started to put together the puzzle pieces,” he says.

-In his work with the Child Welfare Department, Hmurovich recalls talking with women who were able to successfully get off welfare. In describing how they did it, he says, their stories all began with the same phrase: “Someone took the time to …” Hmurovich’s takeway: It’s up to us, individually and as a community, to “create a norm of caring.”

-Hmurovich says federal legislators must create public policy and provide tools for parents and caregivers to ensure healthy childhood development, he says. “Our public policy in the U.S. isn’t exactly where it should be.”

Later in the evening, as part of the panel discussion, Montgomery County assistant district attorney and Alumni Association vice president Kevin Steele ’92g talked about the importance of child advocacy centers, like the ones he’s helped establish throughout Pennsylvania with non-profit group Mission Kids. Because these centers employ “investigative teams” of experts to interview children after abuse, victims aren’t forced to retell their stories to multiple people during the legal process — an experience that’s often painful, he says. The goal of Mission Kids and programs like it, explained Steele, is not only to achieve justice, but to promote healing for victims of abuse.

Steele also encouraged students in the audience to stay involved with child abuse prevention programs even after graduation, explaining that many PSAA chapters are active with child protection organizations around the country.

At the end of the evening, guests were invited to take blue pinwheels — a symbol, explained Hmurovich, of “every child’s right to a happy, healthy childhood.”

Mary Murphy, associate editor


April 24, 2014 at 3:11 pm Leave a comment

Bravo, Kevin Steele

Kevin_SteeleOne of my favorite Alumni Council members (though I’m sure we’re not supposed to have favorites) is Kevin Steele ’92g, who is first assistant district attorney in Montgomery County, Pa. He prosecutes a lot of homicide cases, and as a result he has fascinating stories to tell. He’s also a dedicated guy: I can remember at least one Council meeting when he showed up to each and every session, every reception, and every meal in spite of the fact that he’d been up all night dealing long-distance with a fresh homicide back home.

Yesterday the Philadelphia Inquirer printed a terrific profile of Kevin. The occasion for the profile is that Kevin is being honored nationally for helping get a murder conviction last October in the case of a man who shot wildlife conservation officer David Grove ’04—the first game officer to be killed in the line of duty since 1915.

Kevin has plenty of experience in prosecuting homicides, while his counterpart in rural Adams County—where the murder took place—does not. So Kevin offered his help, pro bono, to the Adams County D.A. (Shawn Wagner)—and used vacation time to do it.

Now he and Wagner are among six prosecutors nationwide slated to be honored next week with the Award for Outstanding Trial Advocacy in Capital Litigation. The award is given by the Association of Government Attorneys in Capital Litigation.

Kevin, by the way, was recently elected vice president of Alumni Council, meaning that he’ll become president of the Penn State Alumni Association in 2015.

Tina Hay, editor

July 24, 2013 at 11:11 am 2 comments

One Penn Stater Gets Justice for Another

David Grove ’04

These past two weeks, I’ve been following the Adams County, Pa., murder trial of Christopher Johnson with some interest. Johnson is the man accused of having killed wildlife conservation officer David Grove ’04 in 2010—Grove had pulled Johnson and another man over for poaching a deer, and while Grove was handcuffing Johnson, Johnson pulled a gun and shot Grove, killing him.

Grove was the first game officer to be killed in the line of duty since 1915. He was 31 years old.

Two weeks ago we had our Alumni Association Executive Board in town for one of their regular meetings, and I got to chatting with board member Kevin Steele ’92g during one of the breaks. Kevin, a Dickinson Law grad, is an assistant district attorney in Montgomery County, where he specializes in homicide cases. I often ask him what he’s working on, and this time it turned out that he was about to head to Adams County for the trial of David Grove’s killer.

Kevin had volunteered his time to help prosecute the case, offering his considerable experience in homicide work by serving as an assistant to the Adams County DA Shawn Wagner for the duration of the two-week trial. Kevin presented the opening statement and questioned some of the witnesses, and this past Tuesday, he and Wagner got a conviction on first-degree murder. (The defense had asked the jury to convict Johnson on a lesser charge of third-degree murder.)

Kevin Steele ’92g

Kevin also helped argue the state’s case during the penalty phase of the trial, with the jury having to choose between a death sentence or life imprisonment. Last night, the jury came back with the verdict the prosecution wanted: death.

I’m not sure whether I could vote to sentence someone to death. That’s a whole other story. But I’m happy for Kevin that he got exactly the outcome he wanted, and that he achieved some measure of justice for a fellow Penn Stater.

The York newspaper published an interesting first-person piece on Tuesday by a reporter who was on the scene the night David Grove was killed. It’s worth a read. And, on a happier note, Penn State’s College of Ag Sciences announced on Wednesday that Penn State junior Nicholas Moore is the first recipient of a scholarship established in Grove’s name. Money to endow the scholarship came from the Conservation Officers of Pennsylvania Association in cooperation with Grove’s family and the Fraternal Order of Police/Conservation Police Officers.

Tina Hay, editor

October 5, 2012 at 4:13 pm 1 comment

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