South Hills Kicks Off “Taste of Success” Speaker Series | South Hills School of Business & Technology
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Alumni Stories – Carla-Ann F. Henry
October 25, 2019

South Hills Kicks Off “Taste of Success” Speaker Series

Inaugural "Taste of Success" Speaker Series Group

South Hills Community News Release

“Taste of Success Speaker Series” was formerly known as the “Brown Bag Speaker Series.”

STATE COLLEGE, PA – The Career Services Team at South Hills School of Business & Technology’s State College Main Campus hosted a local speaker as part of the “Taste of Success” Speaker Series. The series provides students with opportunities to learn from local employers who provide valuable career information, tips, and pointers to help the students start thinking about what comes after graduation.

The series kicked off with a presentation by Shawnee Matis, a 2014 graduate of the Business Administration—Accounting (BAA) program and a Staff Accountant at Pennsylvania Certified Organic (PCO). PCO is a USDA-accredited organic certifying agency that educates and certifies growers, processors, and handlers of organic crops, wild crops, livestock, and livestock products.


Left to right: Ellen Spinelli, Career Services Coordinator; Shawnee Matis, Staff Accountant PCO; and student and PBL State President, Brandon Doerr


Shawnee talked about job opportunities in accounting and gave advice about how to have a successful career in the field. She also provided insights into the types of duties and day-to-day tasks that students can expect to perform once they enter the workforce. She talked about the importance of teamwork, flexibility, and the value of being open to learning and trying new things on the job.

After Shawnee’s presentation, she was presented with a gift by Ellen Spinelli, Career Services Coordinator, and Brandon Doerr, a 2nd-year BAA student and the newly-elected Pennsylvania State President of Phi Beta Lamba (PBL).



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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.