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Van Steenburg Honored as Distinguished Visiting Alumnus

PLATTSBURGH,NY (March 7, 2008) - SUNY Plattsburgh alumnus John "Jack" Van Steenburg will be returning to campus on Tuesday, April 1, to give a talk as part of the Distinguished Visiting Alumni program.

Jack Van Steenburgh Van Steenburg, a New York State Police staff inspector who works out of Albany, will deliver a talk titled "Public Safety: Commitment to Serve, Protect and Defend the Citizens of New York State" at 4 p.m. in the Krinovitz Auditorium of Hawkins Hall. The talk is free and open to the public.

Van Steenburg graduated from SUNY Plattsburgh in 1980 as an accounting major. Even as he was taking accounting classes, however, he knew that he wanted to be in the field of law enforcement. According to his long-time friend and fellow alumnus, Peter Ensel, Van Steenburg's uncle had always told him that law enforcement was looking for accounting majors because of the increase in white-collar crime. After college, Van Steenburg followed his dream and became known for his efforts in the area of traffic safety.

"He is considered to be one of the leading experts in the country as far as traffic safety goes," said Ensel, who is chair of the communications program at the college. "He's been called numerous times as an expert witness all across the country for accidents and such.

"Knowing Jack and his experience and qualifications, I can honestly say students working toward degrees in accounting and law enforcement will be well served by his visit," added Ensel.

Van Steenburg currently directs the state police performance and control audit program.  In this capacity, he examines records in order to provide an assessment of operations, management and critical infrastructure. He also teaches ethics to the state police leadership class and serves as an adjunct instructor at Sage College where he has developed a course in ethics in criminal justice.

He has 22 years of law enforcement experience in patrol, investigations, supervision and policy making and has worked as a director of traffic services, overseeing the strategic planning, development, staffing, management evaluation and financial administration of highway safety programs. In addition, he has authored a national publication titled "Traffic Enforcement: Saving Lives and Combating Crime."

Command posts that he has overseen include those at events like the World University Games, the Woodstock Rock Festival and the mobilization of 700 troopers to New York City in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The Distinguished Visiting Alumni Award Program brings former SUNY Plattsburgh students back to campus to discuss their careers with current students, faculty members and others. They share new ideas and become more involved in the academic mission of the college.
"The DVA program reconnects a lot of alumni to the campus," said Rose Anderson, director of Alumni Affairs. "After being a part of the program, 99.9 percent say that they would like to come back and teach. It's just one of our best programs for both students and alumni. The alums show students what can be done with a SUNY Plattsburgh degree."

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