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Urhahn receives merit award

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

(Photo)
Kerwin Urhahn
CAPE GIRARDEAU - Kerwin Urhahn of Portageville is among the six Southeast Missouri State University graduates who received the 2004 Young Alumni Merit Award.

The awards were presented at spring commencement exercises held Saturday at the Show Me Center.

Urhahn received notification of his nomination in the fall, and in March was notified that he was chosen for the award.

"I'm thankful and appreciative of the nomination and the selection," Urhahn said. "To me it is a great honor - one of those things you don't ever really anticipate receiving and it's very nice to be recognized; a bit overwhelming."

The Young Alumni Merit Award, presented by the Southeast Missouri State University 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 graduate by presenting them with the award.

With he and his fellow honorees being regarded as the tops in their respective fields, Urhahn said he felt it was "quite an honor to get to meet some of these other people" as well as "daunting to think I was chosen to receive the award."

Urhahn graduated with a bachelor of science in education degree with a mathematics education major in 1990 and completed a master of arts degree with a major in administration and supervision in 1996.

He is currently the superintendent of schools for the Portageville School District and is attending St. Louis University pursuing his doctoral degree in education.

"I've been fortunate that I've had good people around me," Urhahn said. Without people like Ronnie Cookson at Scott County Central, who he did his student teaching with, Bill Myers, Bob Noyes and Barb Dalton at the Bloomfield School District and former Sikeston schools superintendent Dr. Robert Buchanan, Urhahn said he never would have been able to receive such an award.

In addition to the people who he works with, Urhahn also credited his parents, Charles and Kay Urhahn of Oran, and his brothers, Eric Urhahn and Derek Urhahn, with providing support that was crucial in his success.

"The people of Portageville have been extremely supportive and nice to me," he added.