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Steve Pyne
Steve Pyne (Dining Services)

A New Face in the Cafe

While Bob Pyne, new director of the Peace and Justice Center at St. Norbert College, was still settling into his office his son, Steve Pyne, was already making his mark, having found his feet fast as a staff member at the Caf.

Bob is introduced to readers in the print issue of the St. Norbert College Magazine (Spring 2010) but Steve made it into print first through this profile in the independent student newspaper, the St. Norbert Times. The article appeared last fall.


A New Face in the Cafe 

By Garrett Lancelle ’10

If you happen to be in the cafeteria during lunch hours, you may see a cafeteria employee with Ray-Ban glasses busting a groove and with a grin from ear to ear. That man is Steve Pyne. Steve is the son of the new Peace and Justice Center director, Dr. Robert Pyne.

Steve was born Sept. 6, 1986, in Dallas, Texas. He was born with Down syndrome, but he says this does not make him any different from anyone else: “Those with special needs want to be loved and cared for. Treated with respect, just like anyone else.”

While growing up in Dallas, Steve worked at two different law firms and was a part of a youth organization called Young Life. Steve attended Notre Dame School of Dallas, a school for those with mental disabilities.

He spoke about some issues he had in school prior to Notre Dame: “When I was in a public school in 2001, I had no self-esteem. My school was real tough. Notre Dame helped me open up and meet many people.”

Just this past summer, the Pyne family moved from Dallas, Texas, to Ashwaubenon, Wis., a transition Steve says was not so easy: “It was our most difficult change, but making the friends that I have had so far has made it a lot easier. I was surprised how quickly I made friends. Just the other day I went to a movie with some of the Peace and Justice Center interns.” 

Steve said that one of the funniest things about the transition from Texas to Wisconsin has been the accent: 'People always say “I’ll have a laaaaarrrgge Coooooke' and that always makes me laugh.” He also lives just a few blocks down from Lambeau Field, home of the Green Bay Packers.

As an avid Dallas Cowboys fan Steve says this does not faze him: “I don’t really care how faithful Packer fans are. I think it is kind of funny when the Packers lose.”

During Steve’s trip to Africa, Steve spoke in front of hundreds of Africans about having Down syndrome: “It was an amazing experience to go there to speak to hundreds of people in a disability center. That was pretty incredible, because it was a good opportunity to share with them my life experiences.”

When asked about what his feelings were about having Down syndrome, Steve said: “It can be hard to have special needs, but that’s what makes us unique. We have a lot to contribute. Even if you have Down syndrome, or don’t have a hand, or are in a wheelchair, I know that God created us all uniquely and wonderfully.”

Knowing that it is hard for some people to speak to those with special needs, Steve stated: “Sometimes it is hard to come out of your comfort zone. Like going to Africa was for me. You just have to take your time, really listen, see what they are saying, and be there for them. Just like you would for anyone else”

Steve looks forward to all of the snow in the winter. He plans to go sledding and skiing. Steve also looks forward to meeting many more people here at St. Norbert and wants everyone to know that they can “come up and say hi to me. I am a pretty nice guy!”

Spring 2010 magazine

Web extraLook here for web-only content that expands on topics presented in the current St. Norbert College Magazine (PDF).

Text Extra Too 'Old School’ for our own good?
President Tom Kunkel challenges colleges and universities to embrace new ways of delivering higher education.

Text Extra A new face in the cafe
Steve Pyne (Dining Services), who has Down syndrome, was profiled in this recent article in the student newspaper, the St. Norbert Times.

Audio La Perichole
St. Norbert College Magazine dropped in on a rehearsal for this three-act operetta production, to be staged on campus.

Video More than a photo
A gallery of images from a trip that connected a child in Kenya with his sponsors in the United States.

Text Extra A father’s love
Jeff Kratz ’92 offers a unique perspective on a father’s love.

Audio Words from life
The poetry of Ken Zahorski (English, Emeritus) deals with fathers and sons, phases of life and familiar figures remembered across the years.

Video World view
Gratzia Villarroel (Political Science) speaks with Dean Michael Marsden on international issues and educational opportunities.

Audio Man of property
Joe Jones ’12 sits down with Mike Dauplaise ’84 to discuss an education in entrepreneurism and the launch of Jones’ third business. He is 21 years old.

Text Extra Dick Bennett on Gary Grzesk
The basketball legend remembers his years presiding over the storied defensive career of Grzesk, current coach to the Green Knight men.

Story ideas? Your ideas for future magazine stories are most welcome. Write to the editor with any suggestions or comments.

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