student walks on titan promenade on csuf campus

Photo by Matt Gush

Since the start of 2020, we have become more dependent on email as a primary source of communication for work, school and extracurriculars. It is easy to let it get to hundreds (or even thousands) of messages in our inboxes, but what is the best way to keep track of them all and still prioritize the most important emails? There is no one-size fits all for email decluttering, but here are tips on how to get your inbox closer to zero:

Make a Plan

When you have more than a thousand emails in your inbox, it can be hard to know where to start. Everyone has different commitments that need to be sorted out, especially in your inbox. Drafting a quick plan to read/sort them will make it more manageable and lead to better results in maintaining your inbox for the future. An example would be to set a date by which all unread emails need to be read, such as a 10 to 15 days. Another option would be to begin sorting emails into folders to keep them organized.

Set Aside Time Daily for Email Reading and Responding

If you have important matters communicated solely through email, a multi-day delay is not appropriate if you are failing to read what is being sent. At the same time, it is distracting to get an email in the middle of a task. Set aside designated times for reading and responding to email throughout the day.

Determine What’s “Spam” and What’s “Important”

School, work and personal email inboxes are all subject to spam. Flag those emails that you no longer want to receive in your regular inbox.

Unsubscribe from Unnecessary Mailing Lists

Mailing lists promise you discount codes, perks, and everything else and often send daily emails for products you don’t even want to buy anymore. It is important to be selective about the mailing lists you subscribe to and know when to unsubscribe(such as after receiving a discount). If you are not getting any real value from those emails, click on the very bottom of the email where it says “unsubscribe” and select when to receive emails or unsubscribe completely. Some companies offer weekly versus daily messages, which is a good option if you still want to receive a few updates from a retailer.

Overall, emails are essential during virtual learning and working remotely as they streamline communication. Keeping them organized is extremely important to stay on top of deadlines.

Student working on laptop outdoors at Cal State FullertonCalifornia Online Colleges ranks Cal State Fullerton as the Best Online College in California and the Best Value Online College, according to a review released in January that examined 1,506 online degrees across the Golden State.

CSUF leads a list of 20 public and private universities, which were assessed on program quality, student support and outcomes, and online support.

The recognition is particularly impactful in 2021, as most CSUF students have been studying virtually for nearly a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to the pandemic, about 5% of the university’s 40,000 students were enrolled in fully online programs, which include bachelor’s degrees in business administration, humanities and social sciences, and sociology. A number of online graduate degrees and certificate programs also serve students, including an M.S. in information technology and certificates in data science, human resource management and digital marketing.

Looking specifically at value, the university also ranks first as the Best Value Online College in California and second for the Most Affordable Online Colleges in California, after Cal State Fresno.

CSUF is second in the Top Hispanic-serving Online Colleges and Universities in California and second in the Top Asian American and Pacific Islander American-serving Institutions in California rankings.

Read more about the university’s accolades in this CSUF News article.

Upset Homegirls

Upset Homegirls

When protests erupted across the nation last summer after publicized reports of police brutality against African Americans, an activist organization arose in Fullerton, aimed at a unique form of resistance: celebrating Black joy.

In July 2020, Upset Homegirls of Fullerton invited their community to march with them at Fullerton City Hall in solidarity with Black Lives Matter protestors, but instead of holding up protest signs, they asked participants to dance while sporting their “BLK JOY” T-shirts as music from Black artists played in the background.

“It’s important, even in all that bad space, to bring all of that goodness,” says Brandy Factory, a founding member of Upset Homegirls. “Because you can’t fight anything without love, and I think there’s a lot of love that’s rooted in Black joy.”

Mei-Ling Malone, Cal State Fullerton African American studies professor, says Black joy has been a part of the African American experience for generations. It’s centered on the concept that despite trauma and oppression, there can be joy.

“Like other communities, Black folks, of course, feel tremendous pain, outrage, sorrow and depression, and we struggle with our mental health. But there is also a necessary longing and practice of joy,” says Malone. “As long as there has been racial oppression, there has also been resistance and Black joy.”

Natalie Graham, who is also an African American studies professor, has examined the influence of activism in art, and recognizes the power of celebration, despite much more work to accomplish in creating a just and equal society.

“I think Black joy acknowledges that, alongside whatever else is happening, we have the full right to feel our emotions,” says Graham. “It’s about honoring our humanity in the fullness of what it means to be alive and to be human.”

Read more about Upset Homegirls and Black joy in this Voice of OC article.

Terry Giles

Terry Giles

Cal State Fullerton’s Center for Leadership is celebrating a $1 million pledged gift from the Giles O’Malley Foundation, managed by longtime CSUF supporter and alumnus Terry Giles ’70 (speech communication). The center supports leadership education for Titan students and the broader Southern California business community.

Giles is the owner and president of Houston-based Giles Enterprises and a widely acclaimed trial lawyer, who has defended clients such as Richard Pryor, the Martin Luther King Jr. Estate and the victims of Catholic Church priest abuse cases. Giles’ commitment to his alma mater began decades before with support of scholarships for the campus’ debate program. In the 1960s, it was the debate program at Cal State Fullerton that first drew the young Giles to the university.

“It was great fun and great preparation for my career,” he reminisces. “It’s not difficult to see the jump from collegiate debate to trial lawyer or chairman of the board — all require training so that you’re able to think quickly on your feet.” Read More

Jehu Jogwe

Jehu Jogwe ’21, NABA OC president

Black students at Cal State Fullerton’s College of Business and Economics met virtually on Jan. 27 to discuss the formation of an on-campus chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA). The first of its kind in Orange County, the chapter will provide tools for Black business Titans to develop personally and professionally and maximize their career readiness.

Focused on accounting as a profession, the organization is open to all business students, with a mission vital to uplifting one of the most underrepresented demographic groups on campus and in the Orange County business community.

“Black students on our campus are underrepresented in the classroom, and there is a sense of isolation that can occur. We want those students to know that we have a community dedicated to supporting one another during our journey through the business college,” says Jehu Jogwe ’21 (accounting), acting president of the new organization.

“We’d have a lot of hope in Black students knowing that we can be the future business leaders of Orange County. We have diverse experiences, hardships and knowledge that we can leverage to create the future of diversity, equity and inclusivity at CSUF and specifically be able to find some commonality and connections with one another that are very meaningful.” Read More

Isaac Alferos

Isaac Alferos

Cal State Fullerton’s tradition of sending one student to Washington, D.C., to intern in the nation’s capital as part of the Panetta Congressional intern program continued in 2020, but unlike in previous years, the experience was entirely virtual.

Isaac Alferos ’22 (finance), currently also serving a two-year term on the California Student Aid Commission advocating for the state’s higher education students, was chosen for the Panetta program’s scholarship in 2020. He learned virtually, despite the closure of the House of Representatives during the duration of the program.

Instead of living and working in D.C., Alferos attended more than 30 Zoom sessions over two weeks, which were led by experts discussing foreign and domestic policy topics. Some of the speakers were former presidential cabinet secretaries, California state officials, researchers and journalists.

“It became an endurance game of keeping up with each lecture and understanding the subject area. Recognizing the ability to ask a cabinet secretary their thoughts on current policy is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so I wanted to make sure I was well prepared and ready. I affectionately called it ‘Public Policy Bootcamp,’” says Alferos.

Panetta Scholars were tasked with writing an extensive policy paper and reviews, and group chats with fellow scholars were integral to succeeding.

“We spent many all-nighters collectively supporting each other,” recalls Alferos.

Alferos looks forward to a career in social policy, specifically marshalling the ability of higher education to combat broader issues such as incarceration, basic needs insecurity and economic inequality.

For more on Alferos’ experience and the Panetta Internship, see this CSUF News article.

The online Master’s in Information Technology (MSIT) program at Cal State Fullerton’s College of Business and Economics has again been recognized by U.S. News & World Report, which has ranked the degree 17th nationally for Online Graduate Business programs (non-MBA).

The university’s online graduate programs in education and engineering were also recognized, ranking fourth and 25th, respectively, in the 2021 Best Online Master’s Programs, released on Jan. 26.

The program is ranked first in California and is widely noted for its low cost and high quality, as well as the strong research acumen of its teaching faculty.

Established in 2005, years before many universities were offering fully online technology programs, today’s MSIT offers concentrations in information technology management and data science, and is regularly updated to reflect the latest technological trends, such as cybersecurity and resilience. Read More

Woman using smartphone and laptop

If you’re like most people today, you’re constantly using tech devices, including smartphones, laptops, tablets and desktop computers. Sometimes, you might start a task on one device, such as shopping, working or studying remotely. And then complete it on another.

Is multi-device use good for society? Is it bad for society? And why do we switch devices for different tasks?

Chi Chen, lecturer of Information Systems and Decision Sciences (ISDS) at Cal State Fullerton’s College of Business and Economics examined these questions in his 2020 study, “Multi-Device Use: Understanding the Motivations behind Switching between Multiple Devices during a Task,” which appeared in the International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction.

We talked with him about the study and what it tells us.

CSUF Business News: What motivated this study? And what are its practical implications?

Chi Chen: Recent years have been marked by the emergence of a diverse array of devices, such as desktop and laptop computers, smartphones and tablets. Increased availability of these devices creates an ecosystem that enables use of multiple devices to complete single or multiple tasks. As a result, multi-device use has gradually become a popular pattern in recent years. However, despite the growing awareness and popularity of multi-device use, empirical studies pertaining to motivations behind the intention to use multiple devices have been limited, motivating me to conduct this research.

The results of this study suggest that people tend to use multiple devices because they learn from experience and realize that using different devices can help them complete different tasks easier and faster.

When there is a good fit between one device and a specific task, this fit motivates them to switch devices. For example, a smartphone is easier to access and read than a laptop. The laptop can help people type faster than the smartphone. As a result, people switch from one device (the smartphone) to another (the laptop). The practical implications are essential for IT device providers. They need to simplify multi-device use by developing a seamless synchronization of data and content between devices and sharing of those devices.

Chi Chen, CSUF ISDS lecturer

Chi Chen

Business News: How was this study conducted, and what were the goals?

Chen: The study was based on a questionnaire of 217 subjects. This study invited the subjects to a lab in which we explained a trip-planning scenario to them. After understanding the scenario, subjects then stayed in the lab and answered the questionnaire that measured the variables related to the research model. The goal is to understand why the subjects decide to use multiple or single devices to complete the trip-planning task.

Business News: Do you see any harm to individuals or society with the increased use of multiple devices?

Chen: Some main problems are decreases in focus and learning, memory impairment and increased stress levels, resulting in reducing your efficiency and performance because your brain can only focus on one thing at a time. However, multi-device use has become an unstoppable trend as we are emerging in the multi-screen world. Also, according to the results of my research, people intend to and are even eager to use multiple devices to deal with different tasks. My point is that instead of [discouraging] people [from] using multiple devices, we need to find a way to collaborate with our devices to increase the performance and to make our lives easier and nicer. This study serves as a starting point that inspires and opens up a rich and new research avenue for this field to move from traditional single-device use to a model focusing on understanding complex patterns of multi-device use.

For More on Information Systems

Cal State Fullerton’s College of Business and Economics is a leader in information systems education and research. For more on faculty research and student and alumni stories, read more of our articles on Information Systems and Decision Sciences.

Photo from Pixabay

No sector in the U.S. economy has been hit as hard by the COVID downturn as entertainment and hospitality, which has been largely on ice since the virus first emerged a year ago.

But Jennifer Chandler, chair and associate professor of management at Cal State Fullerton’s College of Business and Economics, sees a positive long-term future the industry.

“The industry’s trajectory has changed, but its future remains bright,” says Chandler, noting flexibility, use of technology and customer mindset as reasons to anticipate a renaissance. Read More

Katrina Smith has been hard at work helping businesses in Orange County and the Inland Empire make it through these tough times. While the pandemic has taken a toll on the economy, she and her team have made the necessary adjustments to best support them through the process.

Smith is the associate regional director of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), and her work at the center has been a high point in her career. “The ability to serve with such truly amazing people and directly affect individuals’ and families’ lives by supporting their entrepreneurial dreams is beyond explanation.”

This December, Smith was been recognized by the Greater Irvine Chamber as an outstanding 40-Under-40 business professional in Orange County. The award honors professionals younger than 40 employed in Orange County with excellent leadership skills, integrity and initiative.

The Orange County Inland Empire SBDC Network is supported by both federal, state, and local funding and has more than 100 consultants who provide guidance to small businesses and entrepreneurs to successfully start and grow their organizations. This year, the center reinvented the strategies they use to help businesses survive and recover during the pandemic. Smith oversees and manages the center’s operations, compliance and financial programs and assists in outreach and community engagement with economic development organizations in the region.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, SBDC has helped almost every business in the network to thrive in these difficult circumstances. “When we receive emails or notices from businesses about how we have helped them during this time, it makes the extremely long and strenuous hours absolutely worth it,” says Smith.

She credits several people who have supported her throughout her career. “I think the most influential [professionally] have been my previous boss, Denise Bell, who retired from Sponsored Programs at CSUF Auxiliary Services Corporation, and my current boss, Mike Daniel, regional director of the Orange County Inland Empire SBDC,” says Smith. “Both have exuded passion, a work ethic and leadership qualities that are beyond exemplary. On a personal level, I would definitely recognize my grandfather, mom and sister who have modeled and instilled qualities that I believe have allowed me to prosper in my career so far.”

The recognition came as a surprise to Smith. “It was definitely a shock and very unexpected to be recognized,” says Smith. “I’m truly honored and grateful, and I share this recognition with the amazing team within the entire network.”