headshots of seven alumni achievement award honorees

Alumni Achievement Awards and Distinguished Young Alumni Awards were presented to seven Hanover graduates during a May 5 ceremony in the J. Graham Brown Campus Center. The honors, presented annually, recognize Hanoverians who have distinguished themselves in their profession and through service to their community or the College.

Dr. David Henderson ’69, Marabeth Ice Levett ’71, Jon Miller ’97 and Richard Nicholas III ’72 each received the Alumni Achievement Award. Bryan Gabriel ’06, Jared Smith ’08 and Jesika Kuzuoka Young ’08 were each presented with the Distinguished Young Alumni Award.

Henderson, who resides in Silver Spring, Md., is deputy director for clinical care at the Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). He is a fellow of the American College of Physicians, Infectious Diseases Society of America and the Society of Healthcare Epidemiology in America (SHEA).

Henderson’s primary research interests probe occupational risks for, and prevention of, the transmission of bloodborne pathogens in the healthcare setting and the epidemiology and prevention of healthcare-associated transmission of multi-drug resistant organisms.

He has received seven NIH Director's Awards and two Department of Health and Human Services Secretary's Distinguished Service Awards. In 2010, to honor his career contributions to epidemiology, Henderson was selected as the SHEA Lecturer for the 5th International Decennial Conference on Nosocomial Infections.

Levett has been an active member of the Columbus and Culver, Ind., communities for more than 40 years, donating her energy to civic, social and educational organizations.

Levett served as co-chair for Hanover’s “Live Our Loyalty” campaign, which secured more than $50 million in cash, pledges and planned-gift commitments from 2009-14. She was co-leader of Concerned Citizens of Marshall County, which opposed and won a ban on commercial wind farms in that county. She has been a member of the Lake Maxinkuckee Association Board and president of its environmental fund board.

Levett has given her time to a number of Columbus-area organizations, such as Bartholomew County Historical Society, Columbus Cotillion, Columbus Culture Club, Columbus Magazine Club, Treasure Hunter’s Antique Club and P.E.O, a philanthropic educational organization for women.

Miller recently completed his 10th season as Hanover’s men’s basketball coach. He has guided the Panthers to a 172-97 overall record, including back-to-back 20-win seasons.

Under Miller, Hanover’s squads have also earned two consecutive Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference regular-season and post-season titles, as well as two straight berths in the NCAA III tournament.

The Panthers’ 2016-17 campaign proved to be one of the best in school history. The team advanced to the College’s first NCAA III tournament Elite Eight and finished with a 26-4 overall mark.

Through the last eight seasons, Miller’s squad has registered the highest victory total of any team in the conference (105-39). Hanover is the only HCAC program to qualify for the league’s post-season tournament in each of the last nine years.

Nicholas served in a variety of positions during a 27-year career with the Coca-Cola Company.

His roles with Coca-Cola included service as chief economist for hedging sugar purchases, manager of purchasing operations, manager of strategic planning, vice president Burger King account team-worldwide, senior vice president Coca-Cola-Japan, president Coca-Cola-Korea and Micronesia, president and chief executive officer Coca-Cola-India and senior vice president McDonalds account team-international.

Prior to his tenure at Coca-Cola, Nicholas, who now resides in Roswell, Ga., worked as commodity economist for Clayton Brokerage and as agricultural economist in-charge of hedging sugar, coffee and cocoa purchases for The Pillsbury Company.

Before graduate school, he joined the Peace Corps and worked for the Ministry of Economic Development in Botswana. He also served the British government in India, Angola and Rhodesia.

Gabriel, who lives in Nashville, Ind., is the founder and chief executive officer of Mainstream Fiber Networks, which focuses on providing affordable fiber optic broadband and telecommunications services to unserved and under-served communities in Indiana.

The growing operation, with more than 200 miles of cable, serves rural area schools, governments and communities in four south-central Indiana counties.

In addition to his corporate efforts, Gabriel served as a trustee in Washington (Ind.) Township from 2008-12 and supports education programs centered around technology. He is currently a member of the Brown County (Ind.) Schools S.T.E.M Community Leadership Advisory Board (science, technology, engineering, math) and Hanover’s Engineering Advisory Board, as well as the Phi Delta Theta fraternity housing board.

Smith is an award-winning trial lawyer at McCoy, Hiestand & Smith, PLC, in Louisville, Ky.

In 2017, Kentucky Monthly named Smith a top lawyer and rising star. He was recipient of the American Association for Justice’s New Lawyers Division Excellence Award in 2016-17 and, in 2015, was recognized as the Kentucky Justice Association’s outstanding board member.

Smith was included in the National Trial Lawyers “Top 40 Under 40” from 2015-17. He was tabbed one of the National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys’ “Top 10 Under 40” in 2016.

A state delegate to the American Association for Justice, he was one of 16 individuals selected to participate in its 2017 leadership academy. He also serves as a district vice president on the Kentucky Justice Association’s board of governors.

Young, formerly vice president and commercial banking officer for MainSource Bank’s Kentucky/Southern Indiana market, is a co-owner of Women Who Wine for a Cause, which raises awareness for women- and children-based organizations and connects professional women.

She also serves as president of the National Association of Women Business Owners Kentucky/Southern Indiana Chapter and, in 2016, earned NAWBO’s EPIC Award for supporting partner of the year. In addition, she was highlighted as the 2018 “woman to watch” by BizWomen and, in 2017, was included in Louisville (Ky.) Business First’s feature, “Forty under 40.”

Young, who resides in Floyds Knobs, Ind., is involved with Greater Louisville Inc., Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Women’s Foundation of Southern Indiana and a contributing writer to Millennial Mom Magazine.