BETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany College announced the recipients of the 2022 alumni awards at the Alumni Awards Ceremony during Homecoming weekend. Bethany College President Dr. Jamie Caridi led the ceremony, giving insight into what makes these alumni so special.  

“I have had the opportunity to learn more about each of our award-winners, and one thing is clear, they embraced their Bethany College experience in every way, and the results have been extraordinary,” says Caridi. “Our proof is in our outcomes, but perhaps I should say it this way – our proof is you. You were changed by the transformational experience you had here, and you have since taken your education and Bison pride into the world and made it better.” 

Roy Austin ‘66 and Frank Calabrese ‘70 received this year’s Community Service awards. The award is given to recognize alumni who demonstrate significant leadership and service to their region or community. Ralph Shaaya ‘74, Richie Siconolfi ‘72, and Dr. Michael Hynes ‘94 were selected for this year’s Distinguished Alumni Achievement awards, given annually for achievements and contributions to their profession or field. 

Austin founded Rockwell Business Solutions in 2007 and has provided coaching, mentoring, and seminars for hundreds of small businesses ever since. Austin has presented to audiences across the country at both the national and regional levels. He is a Vietnam Veteran with three Bronze Stars and two Army Commendation Medals. Austin is also a member of multiple clubs and the founder of Libraries For Kids, Int’l, a nonprofit helping establish libraries for rural schools in Kenya with little or no electricity or internet access.  

“If you would have told me three-and-a-half years ago we would be where we are today, I would have told you that you’re out of your mind,” says Austin. “God keeps opening doors and I just walk through them. But the real credit for this goes to my amazing board of directors and our amazing staff in Kenya. I am accepting this award, really, on behalf of them.” 

Calabrese holds many seats in W.Va. Not only is he a board member for the American Civil Liberties Union, but he is also a member of the Wheeling Human Rights Commission, National Demolition Association, West Virginia State Building Commission, AIDS Task Force, Task Force Domestic Violence, the NAACP, Friends of Wheeling, and the CALC—just to name a few. Calabrese was also selected in 2016 for the Martin Luther King Award from the Upper Ohio Valley Ministerial Alliance. Although he could not make the ceremony, his award was accepted by Mark Harshman, who told fond stories of Calabrese. 

“Friends, let me tell you, there are many, many others with stories to tell. Stories that not only speaks to the heart of the man I know as Frank Calabrese, but I like to believe in my heart is the spirit of Bethany.” 

Shaaya created Citibank’s Innovation Center in collaboration with the government of Israel in 2011. Since then, the lab has evolved into a major center for innovation, incubation, and acceleration for early-stage start-ups, encompassing areas of mobile, security, risk engines, data intelligence, and automatic trading. Prior to his association with the startup world, Shaaya was the CEO of Citibank in Israel. He now divides most of his time between Miami and Israel. Because of this, Shaaya was unable to make it to the awards ceremony.  

Siconolfi spent over three decades working for Procter & Gamble as the director of computer system validation for regulated products. Since his retirement in 2019, Siconolfi has been a consultant to the pharmaceutical industry, where he conducts scientific audits and manages computer system validation events and projects. Siconolfi is a co-founder of the Society of Quality Assurance, where he was elected president in 1990. He was awarded the designation of Fellow by the Research Quality Assurance society in 2014. While at Bethany, he was four-time One Meter Diving Champion, was elected to the Presidents Athletic Conference’s 60th Anniversary Team in 2015 as a diver, and was a two-time PAC All-Conference Soccer Player. Siconolfi was inducted into the Bethany’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1982 and earned All-American honors for diving.  

“I found moving to a career in science helped me to focus my understanding of what things did,” says Siconolfi. “It also prepared me for graduate school, six years in the army reserve, and developing an awareness that learning is a continuous endeavor.”  

Hynes currently is a superintendent for the Port Washington School District in N.Y., a Fulbright Specialist, and an associate professor of education and leadership in Long Island, N.Y. Hynes’ personal mission is to spread the message of the importance of a holistic approach to educating children. He fulfills this mission by tapping into social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development in students and highlighting it in his TEDx and keynote presentations. Hynes has been awarded the Friend of Education award and the Distinguished Leadership award by Phi Delta Kappa, among many other awards, as well as having multiple articles published on him.   

“Bethany has allowed me to do things that I have never done before. When I came here, I graduated in the bottom ten of my class in high school,” says Hynes. “I like to think that happened not because of my cognitive abilities or lack thereof, but because I was disenfranchised by the public school system. When I came here, I was a broken kid, but I grew into something that I thought I could never be. That’s because Bethany has the ability to draw out something that many universities and colleges can’t do.”