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Alumni Stories – Dave Keller

Dave Keller, Class of 2017
 
“I believe that I received a quality education because my instructors didn’t cut corners. They also made sure we understood the content before moving on.”
 
Q: Describe your current role and your duties and responsibilities:

Dave Keller: I work at Penn State University, and I recently was promoted from a Programmer/Analyst 1 to a Programmer/Analyst 2. I design, develop, modify, and maintain new and existing web applications within my department (Financial Information Systems) as well as the entire Corporate Controller’s Office of the University. I am considered a Full Stack Web Developer. I handle everything from front-end development to back-end development including the following: database design, CSS styling, client-side coding with JavaScript and JavaScript Libraries, server-side coding with Adobe® ColdFusion, holding meetings to gather project requirements, web accessibility, testing, documentation, etc. (The whole nine yards.) I also help maintain the Corporate Controller’s Office’s Drupal website. I am also involved in training/development of our current intern/future interns.

Q: How did South Hills prepare you for this career?

Dave: South Hills prepared me for my career by teaching me the fundamentals of computer programming and web development. I learned the basics of JavaScript, JavaScript libraries, PHP, C#, C++, Objective C, Java, SQL Server database, and more.

Q: Describe Your Career Path after graduation. What did you do right after you left South Hills?

Dave: I secured an internship here in my current department {at Penn State} during my time at South Hills. At the end of my internship, I was offered a full-time position as a Programmer/Analyst 1.

Q: Do you have any professional highlights you’d like to discuss? Accomplishments, achievements, favorite projects?

Dave: I was recently nominated for what is called the Charles R. Chambers Award, an award that is given to a full-time employee in the Corporate Controller’s organization who exhibits a conscientious and dedicated attitude toward their professional responsibilities above that normally expected or required.

Q: Why did you choose South Hills?

Dave: I chose South Hills because of its reputation for quality education without the costs of going to a university as well as the teaching style.

Q: What was the most valuable lesson — inside or outside the classroom — you learned at South Hills?

Dave: Good things happen to those who try and have a willingness to better themselves.

Q: Do you have any favorite South Hills classes or instructors?

Dave: I enjoyed all of the classes pertaining to programming. Jeff Joiner and Guido Santella, naturally, were my favorite instructors, based on classroom content.

Q: Where did you do your South Hills Internship and what role did you play?

Dave: I did my internship where I work now.

Q: What was most valuable about the internship experience?

Dave: Actively developing a real-life application that is used by close to 500 users across the University.

Q: What advice do you have for current or prospective students?

Dave: Pay attention, ask a million questions, and take your education seriously. There are hundreds of other perspective graduates applying for the same jobs you will be applying for. You want to be the one that stands out!

Q: What were the most important things you learned while attending South Hills?

Dave: Web development and SQL Server database.

Q: What South Hills campus clubs/activities/organizations were you involved with?

Dave: I was a Student Ambassador.

Q: What is your best South Hills memory?

Dave: My best South Hills memory was walking at graduation and receiving a diploma as I didn’t get to walk for high school graduation. The “I did it!” moment came full-force as I had already secured my full-time position before graduating.

Q: If you could describe South Hills in three words, what would they be and why?

Dave:

  1. Caring – I feel that my instructors genuinely cared about their students and their education. They want you to succeed.
  2. Thorough – I believe that I received a quality education because my instructors didn’t cut corners. They also made sure we understood the content before moving on.
  3. Fun – I can most definitely say that my time at South Hills was enjoyable. Before enrolling, I worried that I wouldn’t like school.
Q: What are your interests, Activities, and Hobbies,?

Dave:

  • Interests: Learning as much as I can to forward myself in my career.
  • Activities: Spending time with my wife and daughter.
  • Hobbies: Cigars and Bourbon. :)

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Kari Lynn Schlegel

March 4, 1992—December 15, 2016

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.