Abington mourns longtime business professor Steve McMillan

global Abington embedded programs March 2017

Steve McMillan, second from left, associate professor of business at Penn State Abington, traveled to Malta with students in 2019 to teach a course that focused on ethics in international business contexts. 

Credit: Penn State

ABINGTON, Pa. — The Penn State Abington campus community is mourning the loss of G. Steven McMillan, associate professor of business, who died suddenly earlier this month.

McMillan’s passion for teaching and boisterous personality led him to become a beloved figure on the campus he called home for almost three decades, and his research into corporate policies and their implications on competitive intelligence earned him the respect of colleagues worldwide. 

For several years, he also served in an additional role supporting NCAA Division III student-athletes on campus as they worked to balance their academic and athletic obligations. 

“We are all greatly saddened by the news of Steve’s passing," said Erin Foley, director of athletics, intramurals and recreation. "As the faculty athletics representative, Steve made a major impact on our student-athletes as he advocated and provided them with the support they needed academically. We join with the entire Penn State Abington community in offering our deepest condolences to his family and friends."

Michael Bernstein, professor of social psychology and interim division head of the Division of Social Science, Business, and Education, said McMillan will be deeply missed.

"When people talk to me about Steve, they often describe him as a character. He was a fixture on campus for years, and you could always see him coming from a mile away with his bright colorful shirts and his big personality. He loved teaching, and he loved his students," he said. 

Steve loved teaching, and he loved his students.

—Michael Bernstein , professor of social psychology and interim head of the Division of Social Science, Business, and Education

McMillan was an award-winning educator and scholar. He was the recipient of four Fulbright Scholar Program awards and spent semesters conducting research and teaching abroad, twice in Malta as well as in Belgium and Finland. He published several articles on his research in international, peer-reviewed journals, including in the International Journal of Innovation Science

McMillan began teaching at Abington in August 1998 and quickly made an impact on the campus community. The class of 2002 voted to give him the annual Lion Heart Award, which recognizes an inspiring faculty or staff member whose energy, effort and integrity demonstrate a commitment to excellence and upholds the standards of the University. McMillan earned Abington Scholar of the Year honors in 2002 and 2010.

His teaching focused on strategic business planning, leadership and motivation, business ethics and management. He led students on embedded programs, which include a short-term study abroad component to add depth and breadth to course concepts.  

In 2019, McMillan traveled to Malta with six business students for a 10-day cultural immersion that exposed them to global perspectives on business ethics. Malta was selected because of McMillian's experiences there and its central location among Europe, Africa and Asia.

When McMillan reflected on the Malta course, he said he was thrilled to take students who had either not traveled or had minimal experience outside of the United States.  

“To see and experience another culture, and one so different from that of the United States, will perhaps provide that spark for these students to continue to travel the world as their academic and professional careers develop," he said at the time. 

McMillan also presented professional development seminars across a host of industries including State Farm, Prudential and MetLife insurance companies, DuPont and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 

He earned his doctorate in management from Temple University and a master’s degree in accounting from American University, where he was a Scholar of the Year nominee. While earning his bachelor’s degree in economics at the University of North Carolina, he was named an Albert S. Keister Scholar. McMillan was a veteran of United States Navy.  

About Penn State Abington 

Penn State Abington provides an affordable, accessible and high-impact education resulting in the success of a diverse student body. It is committed to student success through innovative approaches to 21st-century public higher education within a world-class research university. With more than 3,100 students, Penn State Abington is a residential campus that offers baccalaureate degrees in 25 majors, accelerated master's degrees, undergraduate research, the Schreyer Honors College, NCAA Division III athletics and more.