Introduced in 2013, the Hanover College Distinguished Young Alumni Award is one of the highest honors bestowed upon an alumna/us, under the age of 40, by the College. The award recognizes alumni who have enhanced the reputation of the College through their outstanding professional achievements, personal accomplishments, and/or their loyal service to their alma mater.

We're proud of what our alumni do around the world. You lead in your communities. You create new ways to serve and meet needs. You take what you learned as a student and use it to make things better in your work, where you live and for the people closest to you. Every year we highlight some of the amazing things you or your classmates have done and honor them during the Alumni Award Luncheon.

2018 distinguished young alumni award recipients

Bryan Gabriel '06

Bryan Gabriel ’06, 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 (science, technology, engineering, math) Community Leadership Advisory Board and Hanover’s Engineering Advisory Board, as well as the Phi Delta Theta fraternity housing board.

Jared Smith '08

Jared Smith ’08, who lives in Louisville, Ky., is an award-winning trial lawyer. 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.

jesika kuzouka Young '08

Jesika Kuzuoka Young ’08 is the co-owner of Women Who Wine for a Cause, which raises awareness for women- and children-based organizations while connecting professional women. She also serves as president of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Kentucky/Southern Indiana Chapter (the 5th largest chapter in the Nation) and, in 2016, earned NAWBO’s EPIC Award for supporting partner of the year.

In 2017, she was highlighted in Louisville (Ky.) Business First’s feature “Forty under 40” and was earlier named among the Jeffersonville (Ind.) News and Tribune’s “20 under 40.” Jesika was a Woman of the Year candidate for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, raising funds for a cancer free future, has been appointed a Governor's Kentucky Colonel, and is the 2018 Woman to Watch, from Biz Women Publication. Young, who resides in Floyds Knobs, Ind., with husband Jerod ('04) and two daughters Claire Marie (6) and Cameron Pearl (2), also serves on the NAWBO Foundation Board of Directors, The Women’s Foundation of Southern Indiana, Greater Louisville Inc. public policy committee, and is a contributing writer to Millennial Mom Magazine and blogger of 'Mom Boss'.

past distinguished young alumni award winners are listed below.

Nomination form

Nominations are accepted until July 1 for the following year awards luncheon. All nominees are kept in the nomination process for three years and are reviewed annually during the fall semester. Honorees are selected by a committee convened by the Alumni Leadership Council and the President of Hanover College. The award is presented by the President in May at the Alumni Awards Luncheon. To submit a nomination, please complete each section of the form above. The nominator must provide all materials pertinent to the nomination. The Selection Committee will not conduct further research on behalf of any nominee.

Distinguished Young Alumni Award Criteria

  • Previous award winners are not eligible. A list is provided below.
  • Nominee must be a graduate of Hanover College and under the age of 40
  • Nominee must have made significant contributions to their community, state and nation through professional service, public service and/or civic activities.
  • Nominee must be living
  • Nominee is not on the Board of Trustees
  • Nominee is not on the Alumni Leadership Council
  • Current faculty and staff of Hanover College are not eligible to receive this award.

Your Information

Nominee's Information

Nominated for (please check any that apply and supply additional supporting details below)

Community Service

Service to Hanover College

Professional Achievement

Please be sure to review all your information for accuracy before submitting this form.

past distinguished young alumni award winners

2017 Award Winners

Brian Michitti '05
Katie Miltner '02
Catherine Fannin Peel '01

2016 Award Winners

Elisabeth McCandless Edwards ’98
Molly Orebaugh Dodge ’98
Aaron Tobian ’98

2015 Award Winners

Emily Burks Perry `99
John Resig `01
Bill Wilcox `01

2014 Award Winners
Jeff Daniels `98
Lara Hayes Needham `96

2013 Award Winners
Phil Chamberlin `01
Jill Robinson Kramer `98
Lori Helton Welker `97