South Hills Community News Release
STATE COLLEGE — Every October is Medical Ultrasound Awareness Month (MUAM). It is an opportunity for medical professionals to boost awareness of the roles that diagnostic medical sonographers play in the healthcare field and to educate the public about medical ultrasound and its many uses. MUAM is co-sponsored by the following organizations: American Society of Echocardiography (ASE), American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM), American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (ARDMS), Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI), Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS), and the Society for Vascular Ultrasound (SVU).
In recognition of MUAM, the Diagnostic Medical Sonography (DMS) program at South Hills School of Business & Technology’s State College Main Campus presents a series of guest speakers. These industry professionals address the first-, second-, and third-year students to provide insights into the career of medical sonography. South Hills DMS program graduate, Cristy L. Murray, BS, RDCS (AE, PE), spoke to the DMS class about her career choice and personal experiences as a part of the 2018 MUAM speaker series.
Cristy provided an informative and inspirational overview of her three years working as a Pediatric Echocardiographer at the UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh. During the course of her presentation, Cristy talked about why she chose the cardiac echocardiography track at South Hills and the factors that inspired her to pursue a career in pediatrics rather than in adult echocardiography. Students in the DMS program at South Hills are given the choice of three different tracks (cardiac, general sonography, and vascular) from which to choose, a decision they make during their second year in the program.
She also discussed her experiences during the job search process, which included an interview at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. After much deliberation between Cristy and her husband, she eventually decided to turn down an offer from the Mayo Clinic in order to accept a position at UPMC.
A very interesting and informative part of Cristy’s presentation was a slide show of images she has acquired of rare pediatric congenital heart anomalies – conditions that a sonographer based in a community hospital might see only once in his or her lifetime.
Kari Schlegel was born in March 1992 and graduated from South Hills in September 2012.
The Kari Lynn Schlegel Memorial Gallery is named in memory of Kari Schlegel, a lifelong Bellefonte resident and 2012 graduate of the Graphic Arts program at South Hills.
Kari was often the exclamation point in any story about the Class of 2012. Her effervescent good mood, enthusiasm, and seemingly endless supply of optimism and positive spirit was infusive, lighting up the classroom.
Kari (right) is shown with her beloved sister, Mindy.
Her classmates still laugh at the memory of Kari wearing her bunny slippers on the Graphic Arts field trip to New York City. Groan-worthy puns and jokes? Kari had a volume of them. She delighted in sharing stories and photos of her four beloved cats as well as trivia and tales of Harry Potter and Disney World. She was a rare combination of innocence, maturity, trust, and hope. She was filled with a joy of life and an unconditional love for her friends, her family, her pets… and people she just met. That was Kari Schlegel.
Kari dressed as Captain Jack Sparrow for the South Hills “BooFest” Halloween party in 2012.
She loved her school, even coming back to audit several GA classes after graduating. Kari also particularly enjoyed returning to South Hills every summer to perform as part of the Music Picnic Series with the Bellefonte Community Band.
Kari died December 15, 2016, in a tragic automobile accident. It’s a loss everyone who knew her still feels. In the end, Kari truly lived her life with passion and joy, treating others as she wanted to be treated: with love, compassion, and respect.