Professor found beaten in home

Christina Stavale

Professor of political science Gertrude Steuernagel was found beaten in her home yesterday afternoon.

As of about noon, Steven Hook, chair of the political science department, said he was told that Steuernagel was still in serious condition at Akron City Hospital.

After she did not show up for her 9:15 a.m. class yesterday, her colleagues became concerned, and Hook went to her home, where it was locked and no one answered. He then called the police department.

Portage County Sheriff Dave Doak said they found Steuernagel beaten in her kitchen. Her son, Sky Walker, was charged today with felonious assault upon Steuernagel, and yesterday with assaulting an officer. He was found in the basement.

Doak said Walker kicked Deputy Amy Dougan in the mouth when she was at the scene. She was treated and released from Robinson Memorial Hospital.

He could not release any information about how Steuernagel was beaten or when the beating happened, as the case is under investigation. Walker is being held in the Portage County jail.

In a letter to the editor dated March 27, 2008, Steuernagel wrote that her son, 18 years old, has autism. She wrote that they’d never had a conversation, but her son taught her to “be in the moment.”

Hook described Steuernagel as “one our strongest instructors for more than 40 years,” adding that he hopes and expects her to rejoin the department later this semester.

She was teaching two classes this semester, one in women’s politics and policy, and the other in political theory.

Contact news editor Christina Stavale at [email protected].