November 05, 2009

Margolis named to Disney advisory board

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Donna Margolis is going Disney, but don’t look for her in a Mouseketeer costume.

Actually, Margolis, assistant dean of the College of Business at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, is a new member of the prestigious Disney College Program National Advisory Board. Her recent appointment is for a three-year term. The board members serve as liaisons between the Disney Co. and the universities and colleges it recruits from.

“Having been chosen for the Disney External Advisory Board is truly an honor that will directly benefit SIUC as it gives us national influence on the internship program of a Fortune 100 company. It will further strengthen our partnership with Disney and provide a direct network with top executives. It is truly an exceptional opportunity,” Margolis said.

The first meeting of the advisory board is Nov. 16 and Margolis is anxious to get started in her new position.

During the past 29 years, thousands of college students from around the world have participated in the Disney College Program at the Florida and California facilities, earning income while acquiring valuable, hands-on experience within their fields of study. The advisory board, established in 1999, serves several key roles, from offering advice and recommendations, to assisting in assessing the needs and concerns of the academic community and participating in planning sessions. They also aid regional recruiters and network with other educators from institutions of higher learning globally. The board meets annually.

SIUC’s partnership with Disney is not new. The College of Business and Disney sponsored the “Student Experience Committee” in 2007, bringing Disney management to SIUC for a student services forum and sending committee members to Chicago to participate in a Disney Institute conference.

Margolis has long been a part of the SIUC family. She earned her bachelor’s in 1983 and her master’s degree in 1984, both in accounting from the business college. She’s Myers-Briggs qualified and worked in public accounting at various firms, including PricewaterhouseCoopers in St. Louis and at Ernst & Young in San Francisco and Newport Beach, Calif., after graduating from SIUC.

She returned to the University in 2000 as an academic adviser for the business college. The following year she became the college’s director of career services, a position she stilll holds. She also has been assistant dean of the college since September. Margolis is the founding director of the college’s first placement center and was a 2005 college-level winner of an Excellence Through Commitment Award. In addition, she received the college’s Outstanding Service Award in 2003.