HWS Welcomes New Board Members – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

HWS Welcomes New Board Members

The Hobart and William Smith Colleges Board of Trustees elected two new members during its most recent meeting in February.

Michael E. Rawlins ’80, P’16, principal user experience design architect at the Walt Disney Company, and Warren K. Zola ’89, P’18, executive director of Boston College’s Chief Executive Club at the Carroll School of Management, will begin their four-year terms on the HWS Board beginning July 1.

From strategy and design, to analysis and research, Rawlins is the principal user experience design architect at the Disney Company’s Direct to Consumer and International Division in Bristol, Conn. Previously at ESPN, which is majority-controlled by Disney, Rawlins served as the principal user experience design architect for the company’s Fantasy Tools and Design Division and worked to improve internal and external interactions employees have with ESPN’s enterprise business applications. He has also led teams as a user experience strategist at companies such as Cigna, FiServ, MassMutual, Hartford Life and Aetna.

A proven expert in user experience, design and ethnographic research and usability testing, Rawlins has been an instructor at the Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. He is the past vice president of the User Experience Professionals Association (UXPA.org) and president emeritus of the Connecticut UXPA (CTUXPA.org).  He is also the immediate past president for A Better Chance Program in Glastonbury, Conn., and a board member at the Hill-Stead Museum in Farmington, Conn. Rawlins is a two-time recipient of the White House’s President’s Volunteer Service Award, earning bronze recognition in 2015 and silver in 2017.​​ (The service awards were issued by Disney through the company’s partnership​ with the Corporation for National and Community Service.)

At HWS, Rawlins double-majored in history and art history. Rawlins completed Honors work, graduating with high honors in History. He served as an RA, was a member of the Student Court, appointed as a Druid, and was a member of the varsity soccer team for four years. As an alumnus, he has participated in the Professionals in Residence series and the Multicultural Networking and Career Conference hosted by the Salisbury Center for Career, Professional and Experiential Education. He is among five of six children in his family to attend Hobart and William Smith, including the late Philip Rawlins ’75, Janice Rawlins-Faulkner ’76, Marilyn Rawlins-Grundy ’86 and Norman Rawlins ’88; his son Dylan Rawlins graduated from Hobart in 2016.

Since 2014, Zola has served as the Executive Director of the Boston College Chief Executives Club, a program of the Carroll School of Management at Boston College. Long recognized as one of the world’s premier business forums, the Boston College Chief Executives Club hosts prominent CEOs of global companies for an audience of business leaders. Previously, Zola served as Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs in the Carroll School of Management for 10 years.

As an attorney and thought leader in the business of sports and sports law Zola is frequently contacted by national media outlets for his insights and perspective. He is an adjunct faculty member in the Carroll School’s departments of Business Law & Society and Operations Management where he teaches courses in sports law and the business of sports, and he has written scholarly articles for legal textbooks, books, law reviews, and newspapers.

At Hobart, Zola majored in economics, served as an RA, was a member of the cross country and track teams, managed the Hobart basketball team and worked at WEOS-FM. He earned a B.A. with Honors at HWS, a J.D. from Tulane University, and an M.B.A. from Boston College. He has been an active member of the Massachusetts Bar since 1993. In addition to his service on the HWS Board of Trustees, Zola serves on the Boards of Directors of the nonprofits Mass Mentoring Partnership and You Can Play. His daughter, Gabrielle A. Aulwes Zola, graduated from William Smith 2018.