Alumni Association announces '5 Under 35' honorees


2024 5 Under 35 Honorees

The University of Akron Alumni Association is proud to announce the Sixth Annual 5 Under 35 awards, celebrating the achievements of five young alumni. Since its inception in 2018, this annual award has highlighted alumni under the age of 35 who have excelled in their professional fields and made significant contributions to their communities.

The 5 Under 35 awards ceremony is a unique event, held in an open forum format. It provides an opportunity for UA's student leaders, faculty and staff, along with the honorees' families and friends, to engage in a moderated discussion. This forum offers insights into the honorees' experiences, professional advice and inspirational stories.

This year's event will take place on Feb. 28, 2024, from 6-8 p.m. at the Jean Hower Taber Student Union. The honorees for the Sixth Annual 5 Under 35 awards include:

2melissaboswell.jpgMelissa Boswell '15, B.S. in Biomedical Engineering, currently the director of bioengineering at Joe Gibbs Human Performance Institute

Zach Lowe.jpegZach Lowe '14, B.A. in History and AYA Integrated Social Studies, serving as an education resource specialist at C-SPAN

Sain_white_coat_headshot.jpgDr. Elizabeth Sain '15, B.S. in Dietetics, a resident physician at Summa Health

_F6A0158.jpgKenneth Smith Jr. ‘15, B.S. in Aerospace Systems Engineering, working as a project engineer and risk manager at The Aerospace Corporation

2Reniece Tatum.jpgReniece Tatum ‘21, B.A. in Organizational Supervision, CEO and owner of Belle Amour Salon and founder and CEO of Dream a Wig Organization

2024 marks the first year that nominations were open to the public, resulting in over 40 exceptional alumni being considered. The selection committee chose this year's recipients for their outstanding achievements and impact in their respective communities.

"Each year, the 5 Under 35 awards celebrate the remarkable achievements of five exceptional alumni who have the opportunity to return to their alma mater and share their personal and professional journeys with UA students," said Willy Kollman, assistant vice president of alumni relations and the executive director of the UA Alumni Association. "The diverse and successful paths of this year's recipients demonstrate the University's dedication to fostering leaders and innovators who are ready to make significant contributions to the world."

The awards event is co-hosted with the University Ambassadors student organization. The Ambassadors work with collegiate and administrative offices to promote and represent the University at special events with current and future students, alumni, government officials, donors and friends of UA.

For further details about the event and the honorees, please visit