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What is Health and Human Development?

Diverse fields of study that share one
common goal: enriching the lives of others.

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July 2016

Lisa Halat has found a way to make working feel less like work and more like fun.

That track has resulted in serving as a stagehand during the Paul McCartney concert at the Bryce Jordan Center through the Introduction to Arena Management course and as activities intern at Marriott’s Barony Beach Club in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. And, she hopes after graduation, it will land her a gig with a music festival.

More than 4,500 Penn State students are enrolled in the College of Health and Human Development (HHD) studying a wide array of fields, each committed to the concept of improving the quality of life for others. Halat, who found a home in the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management (RPTM), is one of those HHD students, and this is her story.

“RPTM has shown me that there are so many different fields of recreation to explore,” Halat said. “Music festivals intrigue me because they combine my passion for event planning and the music industry.”





While fun, Halat takes her pursuit of a career in recreation seriously and it shows. She has completed two internships with Marriott Vacation Club.

“It all comes down to the hands-on experience. My experiences in resort recreation have not just allowed me to lead activities, but also to develop relationships with guests, understand every activity has its own individuality, and provide quality experiences for overall guest satisfaction,” she said. “These three characteristics, whether I choose to stay in resort recreation or not, will help me as a professional in any field of recreation. You cannot teach that in a textbook.”

The Resort and Commercial Recreation Association (RCRA) presented the 2015 Outstanding Student Award to Halat during the RCRA annual conference at the South Seas Island Resort on Captiva Island, Florida.

“I have been attending RCRA national conference since 2012 and every year has served as an amazing networking opportunity for me,” Halat said. “Over the last four years, I have developed a RCRA family: students, faculty, and professionals who I look forward to seeing every year.”

In addition to RPTM, there are a variety of areas for students to study within HHD through the Departments of Biobehavioral Health, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Health Policy and Administration, Human Development and Family Studies, Kinesiology, Nutritional Sciences, and the School of Hospitality Management. Learn more about HHD.