Centre Focus: Public safety and social issues in the spotlight

Video posted April 30, 2013 in News by Centre Focus


This is a special on-location show produced by public affairs broadcasting students to shine a spotlight on a series of  major public safety and social issues.  These include gun control, violent video games, doping in American sports, the root causes  and extent of  alcohol abuse in Centre Region,  and the negative social and psychological  impact of  smart phones on fundamental social skills.

Various members of the Centre Focus team, introduce their reports from locations around the region including Beaver Stadium, the main Penn State campus at University Park, and downtown State College. 


In the wake of the Aurora theatre shootings and the Sandy Hook mass school shooting, Centre Focus reporter Kyle Krabill and team members Brian Pavlic and Adam Leutner examine local views on the national gun control debate. They take a closer look at the issue with local gun enthusiasts as well as supporters of stricter Federal gun control legislation.


A decades-old debate over the impact of violent movies, magazines and now video games is examined by The Centre Focus team.

Reporter Victoria Wain and team members Lauren O’Malley, Mirella Wells, Mike Stehlin and Jasmine Janifer, talk with national experts researching the impact of violent video games on individuals.  These include suspects in high-profile mass shootings including Colombine, the Colorado theatre shootings,  and the Sandy Hook  school shootings.


Alcohol abuse is a widespread and popular pastime in any college community and Penn State is no exception.  And in the past several years, several high-profile incidents have resulted in severe or deadly consequences.  

The reporting team of   Chris Chun, Joanie Vasiliadis, Nicole Salcito, Tyler Estright, Lauren Zielinski and Troy Weller go to the front lines of the problem and find many dangerous trends, during their focus on some of the most severe examples of abuse.   They document the problem and report on the costly impact to abusers, taxpayers, the university, and the entire region.


Extensive peer pressure and other social trends, increases the extent of alcohol abuse and its consequences in and around college communities.  That’s what Reporter Ami Lightcap and producing team Paige Wasliewski Jessica Davidson, Rob Greissinger and Yewande Demola-Seriki have found as they go beyond the statistics and examine some of the root causes of alcohol abuse in a college community.

From downtown riots and extensive property damage, to  weekly arrests and alcohol-related deaths,  the team talks with area police and community leaders who offer their theories on why the problem continues to grow. 


The high-profile cases of doping in sports has reached epic levels in recent years with scandals involving world cycling superstar Lance Armstrong, and a host of major league baseball stars.
The athletes involved were role models for millions of youth athletes, and the Centre Focus team takes a closer look at both the negative and positive impact on future athletes in the region.

Reporter  Joanie Vasiliadis and story producers Troy Weller , Lauren Zielinski and Yewande Demola-Seriki talk with area athletes, coaches and leading national experts on the problem.


Millions of Americans of all ages now use and depend on smart phones to conduct their daily business and communicate in some form. 

But the Centre Focus team of Kyle Krabill, Adam Leutner and Brian Pavlic, report that a growing number of smart phone users have literally stopped communicating with each other. Leading researchers say there are disturbing social trends emerging as both children and adults immerse themselves in these phones.   In fact, some seem to be losing complete sense of everything around them.  Some experts in this report, claim these devices can cause  a loss of fundamental social skills which  could have serious impacts on society going forward.

About the Contributors

mirellawells's photo


Senior / Broadcast Journalism

Mirella Wells is a senior from Yardley, Pa. majoring in broadcast journalism with minors in both history and English. She is an active member of the ComRadio news team as a reporter, anchor and most recently a producer. She is a hard working student who pays great attention to detail in her writing and work. She worked as an intern for WBCB 1490 in Levittown, PA. After graduation, she aspires to be a reporter for a local radio or television station in the Philadelphia area.

Tyler Estright's photo

Tyler Estright

2013 Graduate / Broadcast Journalism

Tyler Estright is an aspiring broadcaster and media relations specialist with a passion for sports media and background in kinesiology. He’s been involved in many aspects of media including broadcasting, reporting, media relations, editing and producing.

Mike Stehlin's photo

Mike Stehlin

Senior / Broadcast Journalism/Crime, Law & Justice

Mike Stehlin is originally from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Mike has a strong background in sports broadcasting.

Victoria Wain's photo

Victoria Wain

Senior / Broadcast Journalism

Victoria Wain is a senior from Hershey, Pa. majoring in broadcast journalism with a minor in history. She is an active member of the ComRadio news team as a reporter and anchor. She is a current intern for B94.5 in State College. After graduation, she aspires to be a reporter for a radio or television station.

Lauren O'Malley's photo

Lauren O'Malley

2013 Graduate / Broadcast Journalism

I am a broadcast journalism major graduating in Spring 2013. As a broadcast student, in my future professional field of business, I would be interested in reporting as a field reporter or investigative journalist.​

Jasmine Janifer's photo

Jasmine Janifer

Senior / Broadcast Journalism

I am currently a senior Broadcast Journalism major and Sociology minor at Penn State University. My main career focus is to work in the social media industry. I have taken communication courses at Penn State that have prepared and strengthened my skills in writing as well as broadcasting. I have participated on a showed called “The-U” with the PSU-TV club on campus during my junior year and I have written several fashion articles for an online blog called The Urban Revival.