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2017 Alumni Council Nominees

This page provides information about the Alumni Council nominees for 2017. These very capable alumni were selected among hundreds of candidates to represent Colgate alumni to the university.
Dr. Bernard Siegel

ERA I: Dr. Bernard Siegel ’53

While working toward his degree in biology at Colgate, Bernie Siegel earned membership in Phi Beta Kappa and the pre-med honor society Chi Pi Mu. He was president of the Colgate chapter of Alpha Chi Sigma, a professional fraternity for chemistry students. Siegel went on to earn an MD from Cornell. Today, he is a physician, speaker, and writer of New York Times best-selling books. He has served as his class editor and appeared at Reunion College. A member of the 1819 Circle, his support for Jewish Life on campus is noted in the Saperstein Center. He is the father of Jonathan ’79 and Stephen ’87 Siegel.
Timothy O’Neill

ERA II: Timothy O’Neill ’78

Timothy O’Neill is CIO of the real estate construction, development, and management firm NP International. He is also managing partner at Golden Seeds Fund 2 LP. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history at Colgate and an MBA from Columbia University. A longtime mentor in the Thought Into Action program, O’Neill has spent years volunteering for the admission office and career services, providing advice and job-shadowing opportunities for current undergraduates. A member of the Presidents’ Club Membership Committee, he has served as a Presidents’ Club agent for his class, and he has appeared as a Reunion College presenter.
Jon Tiktinsky

ERA III: Jon Tiktinsky ’82

Jon Tiktinsky, formerly principal at hedge fund Graham Capital Management, majored in economics at Colgate and traveled with the London economics and history study groups on his way to graduating with honors. He was a member of Kappa Delta Rho and the tennis team. An early member of the Presidents’ Club, Tiktinsky has served on the organization’s membership committee and represented his class as a Presidents’ Club chair and as a class gift committee chair. He has advised and mentored current undergraduates as a career services volunteer. He is the father of Alex Tiktinsky ’17.
Karl Clauss

ERA IV: Karl Clauss ’90

Karl Clauss formerly served as associate vice president for institutional advancement and director of capital support at Colgate. Today, he is vice president for advancement at Swarthmore College. As an undergraduate majoring in political science, Clauss played hockey and helped his team to the NCAA Division I title match during his senior year. Since graduation, he has spent 14 years of his professional career working for Colgate’s advancement office. A member of the 1819 Circle and Presidents’ Club, Clauss has volunteered for the admission office, served as a class agent and local alumni club board member, and supported Colgate hockey.
Becky Bye

ERA V: Becky Bye ’02

Becky Bye double majored in chemistry and religion at Colgate and graduated with high distinction in the liberal arts core curriculum. She was a cheerleader; a writer for the Maroon News; a chemistry teaching assistant and tutor; a member of the Manchester Study Group and the Jewish Student Union; and vice chair of her Senior Class Gift Committee. Bye earned her JD from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and is currently pursuing her DDS at the University of Colorado School of Dental Medicine. She began her service to Colgate 15 years ago as a volunteer for the Office of Admission. Since then, Bye has also served as a leader and member of the Colgate Club of the Rockies. For her dedication to Colgate, she received the Ann Yao ’80 Young Alumni Award in 2007.
Shevorne Martin

ERA VI: Shevorne Martin ’08

Shevorne Martin earned her degree in sociology and anthropology while playing basketball for the Raiders. Meanwhile, she was a member of student organizations such as WE FUNK, CSA, and BSU. She took an extended study trip to Western Australia, volunteered with the University Church, served as a Link staff member, and won the 2008 Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Award. After graduation, Martin worked at the ALANA Cultural Center. She later earned her master’s degree in higher education from New York University. Martin has been an active member of the Alumni of Color community, chairing its board and serving as a mentor to current undergraduates. During working hours, she is an account executive and production coordinator at BlueprintNYC.
Ian Murphy

ERA VII: Ian Murphy ’10

Ian Murphy, a senior transaction manager at commercial real estate firm CBRE Inc., was an economics major at Colgate, a member of the lacrosse team and the Newman Community. Since graduation, he has been an active supporter of Raider athletics, captaining efforts to raise funds for the university’s Division-I programs. An active member of the Chicago-area alumni community, he has served as a key volunteer for the Colgate Professional Networks and as a member of the Presidents’ Club Membership Committee.
Elizabeth DiCesare

RVP Upstate NY: Elizabeth DiCesare ’05

Beth (Wolyniak) DiCesare graduated from Colgate with a degree in biology, earning departmental honors and a place in the Beta Beta Beta biology honors society. She was an Alumni Memorial Scholar, Sidekick, and tutor as well as a member of the Newman Community and the concert orchestra. DiCesare went on to earn a PhD in earth and environmental science from Lehigh University. Today, she is a lecturer of biology and environmental science at Rochester Institute of Technology. As an alumna, DiCesare has participated in Real World, volunteered with the admission office, and served as a class gift committee agent. She is a past president of the Lehigh Valley alumni club and current president of the Rochester alumni club. DiCesare is the sister of Michael ’98, Christopher ’01, and Brian ’03 Wolyniak. She is married to Daniel DiCesare ’05.
Robert Austrian

At-Large: Robert Austrian ’85

Bob Austrian majored in economics at Colgate and earned an MBA at New York University. At Colgate, he was a member of Konosioni, and sang first tenor and was an officer in the Colgate Thirteen. Since 1985, Austrian has enriched his Colgate and Hamilton connections by serving as president of the Colgate Thirteen Alumni Association and as a member of the Presidents’ Club Membership Committee as well as volunteering for admission and career services. A homeowner at 13 College Street, Austrian and his family return to Hamilton frequently. Formerly a leading sell-side software analyst at Morgan Stanley and BofA Merrill, and later CEO of Stanford-based eHuman, Inc., Austrian is now an investment professional at Neuberger Berman in New York.
Debra LoCastro

At-Large: Debra LoCastro ’05

Debra LoCastro graduated with her degree in psychology. She was a member of the Colgate Jewish Union and the Breast Cancer Awareness Coalition as well as a Kappa Kappa Gamma sister. For the last 10 years, she has worked for Google and has risen from sales associate to Chief of Staff to the CIO. A member of the Millennium Scholars Program Committee and the Presidents’ Club, LoCastro also serves on the Alumni Advisory Board to Colgate Women in Business. She has volunteered for career services, welcoming interns at Google and making multiple appearances at Real World. She is married to Jack Beebe ’06.

FAQ’s

What is the Alumni Council?
The Colgate Alumni Council is the governing body of the Colgate University Alumni Corporation and consists of 55 alumni nominated for their exemplary volunteer service to Colgate. This independent body’s role is to represent the approximately 33,000 living Colgate alumni to the University, and ensure that the University’s largest consistent base is heard and has a voice in the future of the institution.

The Council is a diverse body with representation from all eras and geographies. The annual nominating process strives to bring alumni onto the Council who have a variety of Colgate experiences, viewpoints, and professional vocations. The one common trait binding all Council members together is a love for Colgate and a desire to see the University prosper into the future.

While not a policy making body, the Council has significant influence with the Administration, and are often used as a resource and sounding board. In addition, 6 members of the Council serve as full voting members on Colgate’s Board of Trustees (“Alumni Trustees”) to ensure that the alumni body is always well represented on the Board.
How can I find out more about the Alumni Council?
The Alumni Council’s web page describes its mission and goals. Also see current Alumni Council members and their leadership assignments and Alumni Council meeting summaries. You can also look on the Colgate Facebook page and Alumni Council Twitter feed. Learn more about the Alumni Council's most recent accomplishments.
What might I consider before running as a petition candidate?
Any alumnus may seek to run as a petition candidate. People seeking to join the Council in this way, however, should consider that they’ll be running in a contested election against other dedicated Colgate alumni volunteers.

Decades ago, elections for the Alumni Council were normally contested: more than one candidate was nominated by the Council for each open position. The Council moved away from this method in the 1980s because very few alumni voted in the elections, and the election created (for lack of a better term) “losers”: dedicated alumni volunteers who were disillusioned by their loss and less inclined to continue as active volunteers.

One of the goals of the Alumni Council is having Colgate alumni be as involved and engaged with the University as possible. Rather than going directly to a contested election—an election in which half of the candidates will be disappointed and potentially withdraw from alumni service—we suggest that alumni first submit their names to the Nominations Committee and try to join the Council without a contested election.

There’s also the expense of a contested election. In 2006, petition candidates (all of whom were associated with “SA4C,” the precursor to ABC) contested eight of the Alumni Council-nominated candidates. That election cost approximately $120,000 to mail a ballot to each of Colgate’s over 33,000 alumni, to engage an outside firm ensure the fairness of the election, and for other expenses. Each of those petition candidates lost.
What is the cost of a contested Alumni Council Election?
How does the Alumni Council nomination and election process work?
The process is described in detail on the Alumni Council’s nomination and election page. A quick summary: The Alumni Council's Nominations Committee considers over 300 Colgate alumni—everyone who is suggested to the Committee by someone or who self-nominates—for nine slots: 7 representing each era of Colgate alumni, and 2 representing alumni "at large."

In doing its work, the Nominations Committee uses the following five criteria, which have guided the formation of a successful, engaged board for decades: (1) breadth of Colgate volunteer experience—with a particular eye toward demonstrated leadership; (2) consistent participation in Colgate’s fundraising programs; (3) diversity of talent and perspective, including occupation, community service, gender, race, and geography; (4) evidence of time and service to the world beyond Colgate.

The Alumni Council’s nominees are voted on by the full Council in the Fall and announced in the Winter issue of the Colgate Scene. At that time, any alum who wasn’t nominated by the Alumni Council can gather 75 signatures and run as a petition candidate. The election culminates at Reunion: if there are no petition candidates, a unanimous ballot is cast for the Alumni Council-nominated candidates.  Otherwise, the candidate(s) with the largest number of votes in each Era and At-large prevails.  

This year, one alumnus has petitioned to run in opposition to a council-nominated candidate. While the Alumni Council supports the right of any alum to run, and is committed to a fair election, the Alumni Council also believes in its comprehensive nominations process, and wholeheartedly supports the candidate who the Nominations Committee has chosen.
Are there ways to be considered for membership on the Alumni Council other than running in a contested election as a petition candidate?
Yes. Any Colgate alumnus or alumna can recommend him or herself, or any other member of the alumni community, as a nominee to the Alumni Council, at any time. Alumni recommended to the Nominations Committee are considered for nomination in its next cycle.

Following the 2011 election, the four petition candidates were asked whether they would like to be considered by the Alumni Council nominations committee in its process. Two of the candidates responded affirmatively, and their names were submitted to the Nominations Committee. These candidates were reviewed, along with hundreds of others, in the process.  No request was made this year.  
How can I recommend myself or another alumnus for membership on the Alumni Council?
The Nominations Committee solicits potential nominees at the Alumni Council’s nomination and election page, as well as through the Colgate Scene and elsewhere. Many candidates come to the Council’s attention through nomination by other alumni or by self-nomination, and we encourage alumni to nominate themselves or others all year long.
How is the Alumni Corporation promoting a fair election—and one that alumni will participate in?
Because the integrity of the process has been so important, the Alumni Corporation has hired an independent, third-party firm to make sure the election is managed fairly and impartially. Each of the candidates’ biographies and personal statements are presented side-by-side on the official website of the election.  (You may log into that site when you receive your unique login credentials by e-mail or letter.)
I’d like to be a volunteer for Colgate. How can I do so?
There are dozens of opportunities for alumni to reconnect—opportunities that immediately help the university and its alumni, and promote communication and dialogue.
  • Alumni volunteers are the backbone of the district clubs network, which each year provides over 300 social, academic, athletic and service events for Colgate alumni across the country and the world.
  • Alumni serve as admissions volunteers, introducing Colgate to high school students who might not be able to visit campus, and giving students a deeper understanding of what Colgate has to offer.
  • Alumni raise money for Colgate, as class agents and President’s Club volunteers, in Reunion classes, and for particular groups such as the Maroon Council, Silver Puck and the Colgate Thirteen, to name a few.
  • Alumni provide career advice, employment leads and job opportunities to students at SophoMORE Connections and through the A Day In The Life program, and to fellow Colgate alumni via the Professional Networks.
  • Alumni serve as student leadership mentors, advising fraternity and sorority chapters and other student groups.
And there are many more ways, our website features Thirteen Ways to Get Involved for alumni seeking other ways to reconnect. And since volunteer service is the core criterion for the Nominations Committee’s selection process, someone who builds a record of Colgate volunteerism in this way is likely to come to the attention of the Committee to be considered for membership. We encourage alumni to contact Jenna Webb, Director of Alumni Relations, if they would like to become volunteers for Colgate: it would be our pleasure to help them find meaningful and rewarding volunteer roles.