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From the Editor's Desk: 2016 in Review

Not one to miss out on the bevy of year-end review lists, State College Magazine Editor Maggie Anderson rounded up her favorite articles from each issue in 2016.


Though I hadn't yet become editor of State College Magazine, I was working as associate editor for the January 2016 issue. January is always a hard issue to work on because of our production schedule—as the world is gearing up for Christmas and the winter break, we're thinking about resolutions and eating right. It can make a person a little crazy. But as we worked on this article about superfoods, we had a lot of fun setting up the photos with all of the gorgeous food we found. We loved making this cover, puzzling together the pieces of deliciousness.

But even more than the cover in January, I loved the story about Chuck Fong, written by Steve and Karen Deutsch. It was that month that his solo show "Dinor Bleu" opened at the Bellefonte Art Museum for Centre County. It was so popular that the museum kept it up a month longer than planned! Anyone who has lived in State College for an extended period of time has probably met Chuck, or at least heard of him. People loved seeing the project he'd been working on for years—and we're glad we got to tell the story.


This issue will always hold a special place in my heart because it is my first issue as editor. I took on an incredibly big—albeit sweet—project in the cover story about local chocolatiers and cocoa scientists, but, as you might imagine, it was a lot of fun.

But another fun piece of this issue was getting to know Dave Dix on the eve of his retirement. Anne Quinn Corr, typically a food writer, interviewed Dave and found out some great tidbits to include in her profile of him. Whether you knew that Dave is a daredevil or not, getting to know this community figure was a treat.

MARCH 2016

Ah, the food issue, a perennial favorite of many readers since former editor Jennifer Zeigler started it years ago. This was the fourth installment of the Fabulous Food Finds story, and, boy, was it fun! We keep track of delicious dishes all year and talk to local food experts to see what they're excited about.

And the cover is my favorite page from this issue because it's award winning! We were so honored to receive a Bracket Award from CP2—Central Pennsylvania Creative Professionals. A panel of industry professionals in Baltimore judged work from the Centre Region, and we were so proud to be included in the fabulous group of winners.

APRIL 2016

Our annual Home & Garden issue always features a beautiful house, but we wanted to find another way to tell the story of a house and home. That brought us to the local project that is the

The "Home for Changemakers" has become almost a symbol of the good things young professionals and students are doing in our community—and we wish them much success in the future! It's fascinating to watch what comes out of this unique living arrangement. Associate Editor Robyn Passante did a fantastic job of telling the story of these people enacting change in our community.

MAY 2016

As it has been for many years, May is our annual "Teachers of the Year" issue! The fabulous teachers for 2016 were great sports in donning capes and striking a pose for our Super Teachers theme, and we know that all teachers are superheroes! We love telling the stories of how these people came to be teachers and what they do each and every day to make our community great by inspiring children.

In May, we started to cover another group of inspiring people in our StartHere column. Former New Leaf Initiative Executive Director Galen Bernard kicked off the bimonthly column by talking about young professionals in our community. Columnist Dana Ray has kept that going strong, and we're looking forward to telling more of these stories in 2017!

JUNE 2016

This has to be one of my favorite covers ever—Tom Griffiths was a great sport in going along with our vision for this shot. Luckily, it was a pretty nice day at the outdoor pool at the Penn State Natatorium.

But for me personally, my favorite story in this issue is the memorial profile of Butterfly Bob Snetsinger. We had Bob on a list of potential subjects for some time, and when we heard that he passed, we knew it was time to tell his story. His family and friends were so gracious in allowing me to document Bob's life and work.

JULY 2016

Again, a favorite cover of mine! We all just fell for this sweet pup—and if you were wondering, he did get adopted! As you may have read, my dog came from Centre County PAWS, so I was thrilled to tell the story of this fabulous organization.

But while there are many great pet photos in that story, the pages that stick out to me are the ones that hold Anne Quinn Corr's Dishing column from this issue. Art Director Matt Fern and I had an amazing time setting up this shot at our office studio—and, yes, eating the incredible pie afterwards. If you were wondering, those are my plates and towel! We often scour our cupboards for interesting objects to use in our many photo shoots.


This final issue of the summer was a lot of fun to produce, from talking to all the bartenders for our "Summer Sippin'" story to working with Russell Frank on his localized crossword.

But I think the article that really resonated with the most people was Pamela Monk and Lisa M. Rhue's "The State of Play."

I know they had a lot of fun talking to local residents about the ways in which they used to play, and I think our readers recognized their childhoods in the piece. Plus, Matt came up with such a fun way to design the pages — I think this issue is one of our best-looking ones yet!


I hope for September I can get a pass for choosing two favorites; it is, after all, our big double issue, with the Penn State football special Pigskin Digest included inside the September issue! I love that we have one enormous issue that previews both the incredible arts season and the much-anticipated football season.

Our cover featured both of the new quarterbacks, and Jeff Rice wrote a great article about these two new players. Though of course everyone had a guess about who would be named starter, we didn't know when Franklin would make the call. Luckily for us, it was mere hours before we went to print! But we knew our readers would still enjoy learning more about both of these talented young men.

In the regular September issue, I worked on the annual "Arts Preview," talking to everyone I could reach about what they had planned for the upcoming year. Each year that I work on this article, I'm re-amazed by the sheer amount of exhibits, performances, concerts and shows that we get to experience in this area. I hope you got to see some of the fabulous shows this fall! And take a look back at the article to see what's happening this spring.


October was our first "Downtown Issue," something I'm looking forward to continuing in the new year. Robyn put in some real legwork — quite literally — getting the scoop for this inaugural article. State College's downtown is one of the reasons people love living here — but we know there's still a lot to discover there.

That's why we wanted to tell you about all the art that's happening, share the story of a well-known businessowner, and hear from voices who've been living the downtown dream for decades. We can't wait to share more of these stories in 2017!


This year's November "Best Of" issue was our 30th one! We know this is one of the issues that people save and reference all year, so we actually start on this before the summer! And after three months of voting, we had more votes than ever before! So thank you for providing your input.

Some winners have won before, and we're glad to see new names in the votes as well — State College is the best because of its hardworking and passionate residents. And that's what we love covering in this issue.

Besides the "Best Of" article, we got to cover that hard work and passion in summer intern Boen Wang's article delving into the entrepreneurial spirit in Centre County. It's great to see individuals creating small businesses — and getting excited about living and working in State College.


And finally, the last issue of 2016. This was a unanimously loved cover in our office, and there's something that makes it a little extra special. In trying to figure out how to best represent the story about people living with gratitude, we tried many options, including paper snowflakes, heart-shaped Christmas ornaments, and cookie displays. Nothing worked quite right until I ran outside our office to cut greens from the landscaping and created this wreath. It was instant inspiration!

Of course, even better was the feature that this cover represents — it was a story that reverberated throughout the community, and I hope it will continue to do so throughout 2017. I'm grateful for 2016 — I'm honored to tell all of these stories and more, and we'll keep sharing your community, cover to cover, for many years to come.

Happy New Year!

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