Six Alumni to Receive 2011 Young Alumni Merit Award


CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., May 5 , 2011 — The Southeast Missouri State University Alumni Association has selected six alumni to receive the University’s 2011 Young Alumni Merit Award.

The six will be honored at a commencement luncheon at 12:15 p.m. May 14 in the Student Recreation Center and will be recognized during spring commencement exercises at 2 p.m. May 14 in the Show Me Center.

The Young Alumni Merit Award is given annually to honor those alumni 37 years or younger who have brought distinction to the University through professional growth, service and individual character. The Alumni Association chooses from the list of nominees representing each college and selects the recipients. Nominations may come from faculty, staff or alumni.

Alumni to receive the award and the college they represent are as follows:

Harrison College of Business

Christie Johnson Nardozzi received her bachelor of science in business administration degree, accounting major, in December 1998.  After graduating, she spent 11 years with Accenture, a global technology and management consulting company.  She currently leads the support organization for The Home Depot’s international division. “I’ve spent my career helping companies achieve the next level of optimization in their operations,” she said. “It’s such a great feeling to walk into a store and see people using the applications that I helped deliver.”

College of Education

Michael Johnson received his bachelor of science in education degree, mathematics education major, in December 1997 and his master of arts, secondary administration major, in December 2004.  He is currently the principal at Scott City High School and resides in Cape Girardeau.

“My most significant achievement is the sight of my students walking across the stage at high school graduation knowing that I have often played a small part in their success,” Johnson said.

College of Health and Human Services

Roy Van Brunt, III earned his bachelor of science degree, criminal justice major, law enforcement option, in May 1996.  He is a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigations in Miami, Fla.

“Through Educate Tomorrow, I mentor 15-23-year-olds who are aging out of the foster care system by helping them enroll in college and training programs, find housing and jobs, and apply for education and social assistance,” Van Brunt III said.

College of Liberal Arts

Dr. Christopher Robertson earned his bachelor of science degree, philosophy major, in May  1997.  He is an associate professor at James E. Rogers College of Law, University of Arizona, in Tucson, Ariz.

“My research on the medical causes of home foreclosures was cited in the national media, and our findings were even mentioned in the President’s state of the union address,” Robertson said.

School of Polytechnic Studies

Stephen Bauer received his bachelor of science degree, industrial technology major, visual communications option, in 2000. He is a director of special projects with Public Allies in Milwaukee, Wis.

“I launched and directed the Nonprofit Workforce Coalition, a national group of over 70 nonprofit organizations, focused on promoting careers in the nonprofit sector, increasing the diversity of the nonprofit workforce and working to provide federal student loan relief to nonprofit professionals,” Bauer said.

College of Science and Mathematics

Dr. Cristie Bruening received her bachelor of science degree, interdisciplinary studies major, in May 1998. She resides in Greenwood, Mo., and is an attending physician, anesthesiology, at St. Luke’s Hospital.

“In three successive years, I accepted the nomination to be chief resident for my residency class, accepted a position in a pediatric anesthesia fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis, and finally, became board certified for my specialty,” Bruening said.



Christie (Johnson) Nardozzi


Michael Johnson


Stephen Bauer


Dr. Christopher Robertson


Dr. Cristie Bruening