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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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November 2015

When Kate Granahan was 10 years old she started joining her grandmother on the golf course.

“I enjoyed the fact that golf is both challenging and an athletic feat for me,” Granahan said. “I think it motivates me so much because it has helped shaped who I am today.”

The quality time with her grandmother helped shape Granahan into a dual athlete in high school, where she was a member of the boy’s golf team and girl’s soccer team. A Pennsylvania native whose father and grandfather are Penn State alumni, Granahan enrolled at Penn State with the goal to become a veterinarian. She brought her passion for golf, too, and as a freshman walked onto the women’s golf team.

Granahan, however, reevaluated her plans to pursue her plans to become a veterinarian. As she researched other career paths she discovered the PGA Professional Golf Management (PGM) option through the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management (RPTM).

Joined by her parents, Granahan toured the PGM facilities at University Park and, with her parents support, decided to change her major to PGM.

“Golf is a mental sport so what you learn on the course can also be applied off of the course,” Granahan said. “It’s also about perseverance. If you want to become a better player you have to proactive, play more, and you have to have goals. That is exactly how your life should be driven as well with goals and perseverance.”





To gain experience Granahan completed an outside staff internship at the Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, New Jersey, and an inside staff internship Cherry Hills Country Club in Englewood, Colorado.

Granahan hopes to one day coach teams or run her own teaching facility possibly teaching competitive junior golfers until they begin their college career.

“I would love to be my own boss. If I could teach competitive juniors until their college career or until their semi-professional career that would be a dream of mine,” Granahan said.

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. Granahan found a home in Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management (RPTM).

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.