Life in Happy Valley

Life in Happy Valley
Life in Happy Valley

Happy Valley isn’t just the nickname for the physical environs surrounding Penn State. It’s a state of mind, a way of life.  

In many ways, State College is a quintessential college town that hums with the energy of the campus. But the borough and its surrounding municipalities have their own distinct rhythms, thanks to a thriving business community, exceptional housing in safe, family-friendly neighborhoods, first-rate schools and healthcare, and highly engaged government agencies and civic organizations.   

And, of course, there’s plenty to do in the area, whether you’re staying a day, a weekend, or permanently. 

The Corner Room, located on the corner of College Avenue and Allen Street just across from the Allen Street Gates, has been a State College staple since 1926
The Corner Room, located on the corner of College Avenue and Allen Street just across from the Allen Street Gates, has been a State College staple since 1926

Take a stroll around downtown State College and explore the abundant shopping options, or enjoy a cocktail or dinner at one of the many great bars and restaurants that line College Avenue.  

Like the great outdoors? Recreation options abound, from the area’s numerous hiking and biking trails to pristine natural locales including Bald Eagle State Park, Penn’s Cave & Wildlife Park, Rothrock State Forest, Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center, Tussey Mountain, and Mount Nittany Conservancy 

Sports lovers will find plenty to enjoy, whether you’re among the throngs cheering on the Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium or taking in a State College Spikes game on a beautiful summer night at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park. And for arts and culture, you can’t go wrong with an exhibit at the Bellefonte Art Museum for Centre County or a concert, play, or classic film at The State Theatre  

Meanwhile, the area hosts numerous special events throughout the year, among them the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, the People’s Choice Festival of Pennsylvania Arts & Crafts, and the Centre County Grange Fair, the only remaining tenting fair in the nation.  

Considering all that, it’s no wonder why the region is routinely named one of the best places to live in the country 

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Rock Ethics Institute research associate Yael Warshel is poised to receive a book award at the International Communication Association’s annual meeting for her pioneering work in the book “Experiencing the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Children, Peace Communication, and Socialization.” Her book, a critical examination of peace communication interventions and their effects on children in conflict zones, has received international acclaim, with this being the book’s second major accolade.

Penn State University Libraries’ Open Publishing program recently launched a new Open Access monograph. “The Future of Foster Care: New Science on Old Problems,” edited by Yo Jackson and Sarah Font, is a collection of expanded conference proceedings from the 2019 conference of the Child Maltreatment Solutions Network, a national leader in research designed to influence public policy that better protects vulnerable children from abuse.

P. Gabrielle Foreman, Paterno Family Professor of American Literature and professor of African American studies and history at Penn State and a 2023 MacArthur Fellow, embarked on a decade-long creative endeavor that culminated in her recently released edited volume, “Praise Songs for Dave the Potter: Art and Poetry for David Drake.”

WPSU uncovers the stories that unveil the triumph, grit, caution and legend that make up the history of the commonwealth in a new digital series titled “Past PA.”

Janet van Hell, a longtime Penn State faculty member in the College of the Liberal Arts’ Department of Psychology and director of the Center for Language Science, was recently promoted to distinguished professor of psychology and linguistics.

Liberal Arts Professor of English and Asian Studies Xiaoye You’s new book on rhetoric in early imperial China offers insights into how ancient rulers built and maintained an empire, and what that may reveal about contemporary issues.

Nearly 100 Centre County high school students visited Penn State’s University Park campus on April 12 to participate in the fourth annual Language and Linguistics Day hosted by Penn State’s Center for Language Science.

The Penn State Consortium on Substance Use and Addiction recently hosted its fourth annual conference in the HUB-Robeson Center at the University Park campus. 

An interdisciplinary team of Penn State researchers have received a $442,750 grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, to support a multi-faceted, three-part study that observes how gay and bisexual men search and find HIV prevention information — specifically information about pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, a medicine that when taken as prescribed, is very effective at preventing HIV.

Two Penn State professors — one in history and the other in art history and anthropology — have collaborated on a three-pronged project that will spark conversation and awe about the art, culture, science and history of Andean peoples.