Brittney Delgado

Brittney Delgado’s dreams for a commercial real estate career now seem within reach. Thanks to a scholarship from an Orange County real estate professional group, Commercial Real Estate Women – Orange County (CREW), the Cal State Fullerton finance senior has received $5,000 toward tuition and books and professional networking opportunities.

“This scholarship will support me financially in attaining my MBA degree, which is most valuable to me since I can’t afford tuition on my own. This will aid me in paying for grad school,” says Delgado. “CREW is also helping me connect with successful real estate professionals. I now have more access to meet fellow women in the field, learn from them as mentors, take their advice, and support my career development.”

Once she earns her undergraduate degree at CSUF in May 2022, Delgado will apply to graduate programs at both University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and at her alma mater, but only after getting some applied experience in the real estate world.

“I want to further expand my knowledge and network in the real estate field. I have gotten my feet wet in commercial mortgage loans and private equity work,” she explains. “In grad school, I’ll learn about niche parts of real estate, such as development, and looking into potential opportunities of real estate law. Ever since I interned with the California State Teachers’ Pension Plan this past summer as a real estate investments intern, I have been fascinated by how buildings are structured, the process of financing new constructions, and what it takes to work with an architect to bring an idea to life.”

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TradingView chart

A limited number of undergraduate finance students from the College of Business and Economics at Cal State Fullerton are eligible for free PRO accounts on the investment and global markets platform TradingView, in exchange for student investment idea generation on the platform.

It’s all thanks to an agreement between the CSUF Department of Finance and the investment and cryptocurrency platform.

TradingView is a forum for trading, charting and networking used by more than 30 million traders and investors worldwide to spot opportunities across global stock and cryptocurrency markets. A major investment platform and mobile finance app, TradingView users have shared more than 8 million custom scripts and ideas across the platform. 

“We are delighted to enter into this partnership with TradingView that will bring a first-rate hands-on stock and cryptocurrency analysis experience to the classroom,” says Arsenio Staer, associate professor of finance, who initiated the program.

If you are a finance student who can generate high-quality investment ideas and trading indicators, please reach out to your Department of Finance faculty member.

CSUF is still No. 1 in California and third in the nation for awarding bachelor’s degrees to underrepresented students. That’s the latest from Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, which published its Top 100 Degree Producers list in October.

Specific to Hispanic enrollment, CSUF ranks third nationally for bachelor’s degrees awarded, and seventh nationwide (and first in California) for business education enrollment.

Hispanic Outlook on Education’s list of 2021 Top 100 Colleges and Universities for Hispanics ranks CSUF in third spot nationally for undergrad degrees to Hispanics, up from fourth place last year.

Read more about Cal State Fullerton’s leadership in educating underrepresented students in this CSUF News article.

Photo from Pixabay

While the post-COVID supply chain woes are truly global, Southern California may have the best visual image of the disruptions, as cargo ships in the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach wait to unload containers.

But from workforce disruptions in key manufacturing hubs, such as Southeast Asia, to driver shortages in the U.S. and elsewhere, the clogged seaports are only the middle of the jam that threatens the global economy over the coming months.

Min Choi, assistant professor of management at Cal State Fullerton’s College of Business and Economics, sees beyond the pandemic to the high cost of labor in developed countries as the genesis of today’s supply chain woes.

“In advanced economies, labor is expensive,” she says. “Local U.S. labor is more expensive than in Bangladesh, Malaysia or Vietnam. We rely on other countries so much. We buy a lot of products like toys and clothing that are completely made in parts of Asia.”

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Judith Garcia
Judith Garcia

“It’s so important to me that I was recognized by our prestigious School of Accountancy. I feel honored that my hard work as a student is paying off. It’s a great motivator to keep going and working hard for the rest of my college career.”

These are the thoughts of Judith Garcia ’22 (accounting), recipient of the Charles B. Shellenberger Endowed Scholarship. The award, founded by the late CSUF accounting alumnus, Beta Alpha Psi charter member and Fullerton College Accounting Lecturer Charles Shellenberger, has helped Garcia pay for her books and courses in her senior year. It has also given her inspiration as she looks ahead to her CPA exams and a career opportunity with Big Four accounting firm EY.

Online or In-Person, Preparation for an Accounting Career Continues

When Garcia arrived at Cal State Fullerton in 2018, she got involved in the Accounting Society, Sales Leadership Center and Women’s Leadership Program.

In spring 2020, life suddenly changed for Garcia and other students as courses and college life turned virtual.

But despite the uncertainty and changes of the pandemic, Garcia has benefited from a supportive network and top-notch accounting instruction.

“The best part of being a student at CSUF has been the people I’ve met. I’ve connected with a lot of fellow accounting majors, and we talk about recruiting, the various firms, and things outside of school and work. Even though we weren’t on campus, we could still connect with each other. School can be hard sometimes, so having friends supporting me along the way helped make it a lot better,” recalls Garcia.

In spring 2021, Garcia took two main intermediate accounting courses with Assistant Professor of Accounting Anthony Chen. Despite the online modality, Garcia appreciated the innovative instructional approaches that Chen employed.

“We went over real problems in class, applying what we learned in his recorded lectures. You can go over the recorded lectures a lot, but when you’re doing problems together with them and asking questions in real time, that helps solidify your learning. I feel that was a really good way of presenting it,” says Garcia.

“I am very proud of being part of the School of Accountancy. I know I sound like a nerd, but I really like accounting. It’s an interesting topic and is changing so much every day. And it’s exciting to see how the school is evolving as well.”

After graduation, she plans to pass a few sections of her CPA exam before starting her first full-time job at EY in 2023, where she interned in the summers of 2020 and 2021.

But Garcia is already planning her long-term future, too.

“Eventually after my time at EY, and I do want to stay for a good while, I see myself moving into nonprofit accounting, working for philanthropic organizations, or doing accounting for media and entertainment.”

Advice for the Class of 2022

As part of a graduating class that has experienced a once-in-a-century pandemic, new technologies, and a rapidly changing work and school environment, Garcia has this advice for her peers:

“Never stop learning. Learning is such a beautiful thing. I know sometimes school is stressful, but what makes it stressful is all the projects, assignments and deadlines. But once you take all of that away, what’s left is education. We’re so lucky to be at this great school learning such great topics from great faculty. Once we’re done with our college careers, the learning should never stop. If you’re passionate about a topic, it won’t be hard to learn about it.

But be sure to find a balance between your school self and your personal self. I made a mistake in my first few years of college by focusing so much on school and neglecting my personal life, family and friends, which I feel is not a good thing to do. You should find a balance. Obviously, don’t forget about school, but have a life outside of school, too.”

Congratulations, Judith Garcia, on your scholarship! And best wishes on your future!

Kristen Pham poses in front of images of Vietnamese refugees.
Kristen Mai Pham ’92 stands in front of images taken when Vietnamese refugees, including her family, arrived at Camp Pendleton in 1975.

After more than two decades in the health-care field, Cal State Fullerton management alumna Kristen Mai Pham ’92 launched a second career as an author, sharing her experience as a Vietnamese American.

One of her stories, “Welcome to Tent City,” a thank you to the humanitarian personnel, volunteers and U.S. Marines who helped her family after they escaped from their war-torn homeland in 1975, was featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Kind (of) America: 101 Stories about the True Spirit of Our Country, published in 2017.

It was the first of her 13 published works in the iconic series to date, and three of her essays have been accepted for inclusion in the University of California, Irvine Libraries Southeast Asian Archive for preservation.

Pham discusses her writing career and how all of us can become better writers and share our personal journeys:

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A teacher instructing elementary age students in a classroom
Photo from Pixabay

When looking for new homes, savvy buyers almost always research the quality and proximity of nearby public schools. Even DINKs and single purchasers look at the school system with the belief that it will impact the value of their housing investment.

Mitchell Livy, associate professor of economics at Cal State Fullerton’s College of Business and Economics, recently examined the impact of new school openings on property values in his study, “Days and Confused: Housing Price and Liquidity Response to New Local Public Schools,” which appeared in the Journal of Real Estate Research, co-authored with Nicholas Irwin of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Mitchell Livy
Mitchell Livy

“In this study, we estimated the influence of the opening of new elementary schools on nearby housing prices and liquidity. We found that both measures are positively impacted when a home is zoned for a new school, even though it is of unknown quality,” says Livy. “This research is unique in the real estate and amenity valuation literatures because we jointly estimate the price and liquidity changes resulting from the introduction of new schools.”

Livy and Irwin discovered that the sales price of homes within the area served by the new school increased by 2.4%. But perhaps even more significantly, the length of time homes were on the market declined by 48 days, suggesting that while new school openings will modestly boost home values, they may certainly make it easier to sell.

“This research improves understanding of the housing market and can inform policymakers. A home is a substantial expense and frequently a large portion of a households’ net worth,” says Livy. “Given the impact of new or changing amenities on housing prices and liquidity, it is important for policymakers to consider overall policy impacts.”

Ed Hart
Ed Hart

The 6th Annual OC Influencers for Good awards, which will be presented by the Institute for Community Impact on Nov. 3, will honor two members of the Cal State Fullerton College of Business and Economics network: Ed Hart, director of the Center for Family Business, and Tam Nguyen ’05, president of Advance Beauty College and an adjunct faculty member.

The recognitions, which are part of a program led by the Passkeys Foundation, honor Nguyen as a Business Pillar, in light of his family’s beauty training program that has graduated more than 40,000 nail professionals, many of them Vietnamese immigrants. Hart will be recognized as an Education Pillar, highlighting his leadership providing mentoring and community to Southern California family businesses, as well as his From the Hart podcast, featuring inspiration from business and civic leaders.

Tam Nguyen
Tam Nguyen

“This recognition is really mind blowing and humbling for me because I feel like I’m the one influenced by so many other people. I’m surrounded by talented, wonderful, compassionate and giving people in my personal life and in my professional life,” says Hart.

“Receiving the Business Pillar Award is both an incredible honor and an awesome responsibility,” Nguyen says. “Advance Beauty College, our network of family-based entrepreneurs and our international partners around the globe will continue to strive toward what it truly means to be a Titan for our community and for our world.”

For more on the Center for Family Business, including the courses, affinity groups and resources available to member firms reach out to Hart at Read more of our family business articles.

A collaborative workplace environment

Mahdi Ebrahimi, assistant professor of marketing at Cal State Fullerton’s College of Business and Economics, examines the trend of bringing one’s “whole self” to work in his 2020 study, “Juggling work and home selves: Low identity integration feels less authentic and increases unethicality,” published in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes and featured in Harvard Business Review.

In this study, which involved 800 participants, Ebrahimi and his coauthors looked at the two major identities in a typical employee’s life – their “professional/work” identity and “non-work” identity. Ebrahimi found that when employees don’t believe that their “whole self” integrates with the culture of their workplace, there is greater likelihood of unethical workplace behavior. The study concludes that when corporate leaders put into practice their company’s authentic mission and vision, they will experience better performance from their employees.

Insights about the study and its implications from Ebrahimi:

We all juggle multiple identities. We have a work identity that could be assertive and competitive and a home identity that may be caring and supportive. We wanted to see what happens when our identities are incompatible or even in conflict with one another (we call this low identity integration). Across multiple experiments and a field study we found that when people juggle identities that are incompatible, they feel less authentic, and that ultimately leads to more unethical behavior.

Mahri Ebrahimi
Mahdi Ebrahimi

According to multiple national surveys, the new generation of workers (i.e., millennials and Gen Z) want to bring their whole self to work. Our research suggests that when employees are given the opportunity to create work identities that are compatible with their home identities, they are more likely to behave ethically. Given that unethical behavior is a pervasive issue in organizations, ethical employees reduce the financial and reputational costs of unethical behavior in organizations.

There are several ways that organizations can promote identity integration. Companies can give employees more control. This has become even more critical after the COVID-19 pandemic. Employees want to have control over where and when they work. In addition, companies can create a culture of authenticity at the leadership level. When leaders authentically display the values of their organizations, employees become more authentic and ethical.

For More on Marketing

Marketing faculty in the CSUF College of Business and Economics are leading applied researchers in their field and are educators for the next generation of professionals entering the high-tech, globalized world of 21st century marketing.

For more on CSUF marketing, visit the department’s website or read more of our articles on marketing.

Anil Puri and Mira Farka presenting at the Economic Forecast Conference

Now in the fourth quarter of 2021, hope springs eternal that the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is behind us. Labor demand is strong, and economic growth continues. However, expectations earlier in the year for a rapid vaccine-induced recovery have proven overly optimistic, with the resurgent delta variant, rising inflation and fiscal uncertainty dashing early hopes. 

“It is likely that the most memorable thing about 2021 will be that it is turning out to be different than what it promised in its onset,” says Mira Farka, associate professor of economics and co-director of the Woods Center for Economic Analysis and Forecasting at Cal State Fullerton’s College of Business and Economics, and Anil Puri, director of the Woods Center and CSUF provost emeritus. 

Farka and Puri presented a three-year outlook for the national, California and Orange County economies at an Oct. 20 virtual conference attended by Southland business leaders, academics, policymakers and business students. 

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