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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Forward-Thinking Leaders: A&S Welcomes New Dean’s Advisory Board Members

The new Board members will help further the strategic objectives of the College.

Nov. 5, 2021, by Dan Bernardi

New DAB Members 2021.jpg
New members of the A&S Dean’s Advisory Board, clockwise from top left, Lisa Courtice, Claude Cowan, William David Tobin and Karen Au Frank.

Four new members recently joined the Dean’s Advisory Board of the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S). Dean Karin Ruhlandt welcomed Lisa Courtice '84, Claude Cowan '68, Karen Frank '03 and David Tobin '91. They join a group of more than 30 alumni, parents and friends of A&S who serve as stewards and advocates for the College. The Board advises the Dean and helps develop resources to advance A&S’ strategic objectives.

“From finance to healthcare to the nonprofit sector, each of our new Board members have taken unique paths to professional success, while also giving back to communities here or abroad. Their lives demonstrate the power, flexibility and ethical foundation of their A&S education,” says Ruhlandt. “We thank them for their commitment and dedication to strengthening the liberal arts and sciences at A&S”

New advisory board members include:

Lisa Courtice ’84

Dr. Lisa S. Courtice is president and CEO of the United Way of Central Ohio, one of the largest United Way organizations in the country. Courtice is a psychologist with over 25 years of experience working in nonprofit leadership. She served for over 10 years as the CEO, Co-CEO and clinical director of agencies directly providing services to those living in poverty in Ohio and was appointed by the Columbus City Council to serve on the Commission on Black Girls in 2018. Courtice majored in political science in A&S | Maxwell and received a master’s degree from West Virginia University and a Ph.D. from the University of Akron.

Claude Cowan ’68

Dr. Claude Cowan is an ophthalmologist at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and clinical professor at Georgetown University Medical Center. Cowan has served in numerous leadership roles including: Chief of Ophthalmology at Howard University, chairman of the Washington, D.C. Diabetes Control Program Advisory Council and board member for the International Eye Foundation. He majored in biology in A&S and received an M.D. from Howard University Medical School and an M.P.H. from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Cowan’s son Carl Cowan II and nephew William Rogers are both graduates of Syracuse University’s iSchool.

Karen Au Frank ’03

Karen Au Frank is an associate partner for organizational change management at IBM and previously spent 12 years at the consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. Frank is the founder and strategic director of The Nightwatch Foundation, Inc., which is dedicated to the advancement of neonatal care by supporting nurses and doctors in third world countries. She majored in psychology in A&S and after graduating founded the Syracuse University Alumni Club of New York City. Since 2017 she has served as a director of the Syracuse University Alumni Association.

William David Tobin ’91

William David Tobin is a co-founder of technology-forward real estate capital markets firm Mission Capital Advisors (recently purchased by Marcus & Millichap - NYSE : MMI) and is a founder of EquityMultiple, an online loan and real estate equity syndication platform. Prior to founding Mission Capital in 2002, Tobin was an asset manager in the asset resolution department of Dime Bancorp from 1992 to 1994, and from 1994 to 2002 worked with a national brokerage firm, where he started and ran a loan sale advisory business. Tobin is on the board of directors of H Bancorp, the holding company of Sunwest Bank, is a member of the Real Estate Advisory Board of the Whitman School of Management, and is a board member for A&M Sports/Clean Hands for Haiti, which supports Haitian children by providing scholarships, access to health care and educational resources. Tobin majored in English literature in A&S and attended the MBA program at NYU’s Stern School of Business. His son Lorenzo ’25 is enrolled in the Whitman School of Management.