Southeast Honors 2004 Young Alumni Merit Award Winners


Six Southeast Missouri State University graduates have been selected as recipients of the 2004 Young Alumni Merit Award. The awards will be presented at spring commencement exercises at 2 p.m. May 15 in the Show Me Center.

Recipients of the award are: Natacha Perrotta of Atlanta, Ga.; Kerwin Urhahn of Portageville, Mo.; Dr. Matthew Janzow of Victoria, Texas; Christopher Blair Schoessel of Hermitage, Tenn.; Lt. Corey Pritchard of Lemoore, Calif.; and Lindell Barks of Sedgewickville, Mo.

The Young Alumni Merit Award, presented by the Southeast Missouri State Alumni Association, is given annually to honor those alumni under the age of 36 who have brought distinction to the University through professional growth, service, and individual character. Each academic college at Southeast honors a distinguished young alumna or alumnus by presenting them with the Young Alumni Merit Award.

The recipients and the college presenting each award are as follows:


Natacha Perrotta earned a bachelor of science in business administration degree with a major in finance in 1995, earning a perfect 4.0 grade point average.  She continued her education by earning an M.B.A. at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. Perrotta is currently an associate at A.T. Kearney in Atlanta, Ga., where her responsibilities include client-based consultation and implementation of innovative strategic improvements.


Kerwin Mike Urhahn graduated with a bachelor of science in education degree with a  mathematics education major in 1990.  He completed a master of arts degree with a major in administration and supervision in 1996.  He is currently attending Saint Louis University where he is pursuing his doctoral degree in education. Urhahn currently serves as superintendent of schools with the Portageville School District.


Dr. Matthew Janzow earned a bachelor of science degree with a major in interdisciplinary studies in May of 1991.  He received a medical degree from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and completed an internship and residency in general surgery at Kansas University Medical Center in Kansas City, Kan. While at Kansas University Medical Center, he was chief resident of general surgery and received the Outstanding Chief Resident Award.  He served in the U.S. Navy as a general surgeon from 2000-2004.  Janzow and his wife, Melissa, have two young sons, Zachary and Luke.  Janzow is board certified by the American Board of Surgery for the practice of general surgery and is a surgeon with Victoria Surgical Associates of Victoria, Texas.


Chris Schoessel earned a bachelor of science in mass communication. A popular local singer by the time of his graduation, he requested and received permission to perform his original song, “This is the Day,” at Southeast Missouri State University’s commencement exercise in December 1997. While attending Southeast, he was chosen as one of 25 singers in Missouri to tour with The Missouri Ambassadors of Music (1997) and performed as a soloist during the concerts they gave in seven foreign countries in 1997. Since that time, he has had a No. 1 hit, “Who Do You Think You Are,” completed his first country music video, and was the Golden Music Awards 1999 New Horizon Award winner.  Schoessel is better known in Nashville as Chris Blair, where he lives, works and tours with his band.


Lt. Corey Pritchard is a 1996 graduate of Southeast Missouri State University, where he earned a bachelor of science in engineering physics. Pritchard is a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy, currently serving on the USS Abraham Lincoln as part of the Strike Fighter Squadron VFA-115.  Pritchard made aviation history in 2002 as the first pilot to land the Navy’s new Super Hornet fighter plane on an aircraft carrier during the plane’s maiden deployment.


Lindell Barks graduated from Southeast Missouri  State University in 1991 with a bachelor of science in industrial technology degree. Barks is currently employed by TG Missouri Corp. in Perryville, Mo., as assistant general manager of Quality Assurance. He previously has served as assistant general manager of quality with the Safety Systems Division, assistant general manager  and manager of Quality Control, project engineer-inspection manager, quality engineer and supplier development specialist.