Category: Town & Gown Columns

Blue-White 2005: Prelude to a Comeback

By Kevin Horne & Chris Buchignani, March 2015 There are certain successes that everyone from the outside can predict. These are victories worthy of celebration, for sure, but movies aren’t made and books aren’t written about the events that everyone sees coming. The stories that inspire us the most and linger in our memories are ...

Is Penn State a Real University? (Nittany Valley Press Excerpt)

On its surface, the central question of ”Is Penn State A Real University?” seems ridiculous. Yet its thoughtful exploration by Dr. Ben Novak, a four-term former Trustee, reveals that there is far more to the answer than one might first imagine. In this abridged version of the book’s first chapter, which was originally published in ...

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TEDxPSU: Founding a Tradition

By Steve Garguilo, February 2015 It all started on Facebook. I wonder how often that is said now. In February 2010, I was browsing my Facebook newsfeed and saw that a fellow Penn State alum was participating in something called TEDxCMU. I took a peek at their website and saw this was an off-shoot of ...

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Graduate School & the Value of Extended Time in the Nittany Valley

By Kevin Horne, January 2015 “5… 4… 3… 2… 1… HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” I hear that same countdown every night, a few seconds before midnight, from my Beaver Avenue apartment, although its consistency makes it no less painful to digest. The commotion, of course, is coming from the line outside the local bar known for catering ...

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Joy of Christmas Spirits (Nittany Valley Press Excerpt)

Today, it is not unusual to enter a bar and find a laundry list of exotic beers on tap or to hear news of a local brew pub or microbrewery opening up. Such was not the case in 1984 (only five years after the legalization of homebrewing) when the editor of the Centre Daily Times ...

CBICC Archives Reveal Forgotten Stories

By Chris Buchignani, November 2014 “The past cannot be destroyed, but it can be neglected or covered over. When we don’t know what is in the past, we cannot use it, and we cannot release its power.” These words from former Penn State trustee Ben Novak help capture the sentiments underlying The Nittany Valley Society’s mission as a cultural conservancy ...

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Local Chef’s Menu Embraces ‘Home’

By Cori Agostinelli Kalupson, October 2014 The Nittany Valley Society spends much time as a group talking, writing, musing about what defines and affects one’s sense of place.  What unique qualities does a region have to have in order for one to call it “home?”  It has been a fascinating exercise for me, a 40-year ...