Ed Hart, director of the Cal State Fullerton Center for Family Business, at the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda, California. Ed Hart, director of Cal State Fullerton’s Center for Family Business, is passionate about the impact that family-owned firms have on the Southern California community and on those who work for and with them. His advice and leadership provides guidance and support that impacts Southern California local businesses across all industries.

For dozens of Southern California business executives and visionaries, CSUF Center for Family Business Director Ed Hart has played a pivotal role in assisting their firms as they seek to stay competitive and impactful in the ever-changing 21st century environment and pass the leadership baton to a new generation.

“Ed’s ability to connect us with the appropriate business professionals has moved us forward in our journey towards continuity. He has a deep understanding of family-business dynamics; thus he is able to offer the appropriate help, but he also personally cares about the wellbeing of his members and, most importantly, has a genuine desire to help others,” says Michael Gaviña, a member of the Center for Family Business and purchasing director of F. Gaviña & Sons Inc., a four-generation Los Angeles area coffee importer, roaster and supplier. “Our family has derived a large value from the partnerships we’ve built with family-business professionals. The center is a great place to share stories with family businesses and meet professionals who can guide your business governance. I have no doubt that you will experience a similar value-add by participating if you have a family business.”

It is a sentiment shared by dozens of executives from organizations encompassing industries ranging from aviation manufacturing to private education, who are inspired by Hart’s leadership to build a community and ensure that family businesses are equipped, through expert-led workshops and thought sharing, for continuity and increased success for generations to come. Read More

Mihaylo College Economics Senior Hafez Karimi ’19 (second from right) receives an award for his assistance of homeless residents at H.I.S. House in Placentia. Also pictured are economics professors Denise Stanley (far left) and Radha Bhattacharya, who is also the director of the Center for Economic Education (second from left). Fellow intern Adara Cervantes ’19 (economics) is at far right.

Supporting an effort to provide workforce and financial skills for residents of Orange County homeless shelters, Wells Fargo Bank has funded an initiative that empowers the Cal State Fullerton Center for Economic Education to assist residents of the Homeless Intervention Shelter (H.I.S. House) in Placentia.

With nearly 5,000 homeless residents, Orange County is actively seeking solutions to the plight of the region’s less fortunate. The Cal State Fullerton Mihaylo College of Business and Economics, operating with a $30,000 grant from Wells Fargo Bank, is working to ensure the workforce readiness of homeless shelter residents through one-on-one coaching, mock interviews, and direction on how to find and utilize resources to enhance their skill set.

The grant-funded program began in fall 2018 and works with Homeless Intervention Shelter (H.I.S. House), a transitional living facility a little more than a mile from the main Mihaylo College campus. The program tasked the university’s business students as interns to provide weekly site visits in which assessment, surveys, lesson plans, and targeted vocational and financial education resources were provided to the house’s residents.

The interns also worked with the Center for Healthy Neighborhoods in Fullerton and the Thomas House Family Shelter in Garden Grove. The program is slated to run through spring 2019 and include additional homeless shelter sites as the center expands the scale of its operation

“Our program benefited residents who are homeless due to job loss, incomplete education and insufficient occupation skills,” says Radha Bhattacharya, director of the Center for Economic Education and an economics professor. “Research studies indicate that the primary need of homeless shelter residents is a job that will enable them to climb the ladder of upward economic mobility.”

The interns provided the program’s beneficiaries with information on current job opportunities; what employers are looking for; and supporting digital and traditional employment search tools, including résumé and online profile development. Financial coaching included guidelines on how to stay within a budget and advice on avoiding scams, identity theft and emergency shortfalls.

Recognizing the importance of basic educational skills, English language education, literacy and numeracy, and software and office skills were an integral component of the program.

Student interns reported on their progress at the end of the fall semester in December, with Hafez Karimi ’19 (economics) awarded for being most impactful at the H.I.S. House outreach.

For More on the Center for Economic Education

Mihaylo College’s Center for Economic Education engages the Southern California community with personal financial development and workforce development skills. This includes outreach to local schoolchildren, such as an annual Economic Literacy and Business Olympiad that enables local secondary students to perfect their business and economics skills while competing for scholarships, through such activities as reading business and economic news from The Wall Street Journal and stock market games for high school and middle school youth.

Other center initiatives include an IDA program sponsored by U.S. Bank intended to reduce the financial burden of attending college for Cal State Fullerton students, and financial literacy workshops for underprivileged teens.

For more information on the center, visit them online. Or read more articles about the center and its impact.

A laptop user looks at a screen that is emblazoned with a lock key and various numbers, emblematic of the captivity that ransomware represents.

Ransomware, which holds your files and system hostage for a ransom, is one of the many forms of malware attacks that are increasingly a threat to individuals and organizations. Image from Pixabay

With a student, faculty and staff population exceeding that of many cities, the Cal State Fullerton community faces the challenges of preparing its IT infrastructure for the cybersecurity demands of today’s wired world. Tony Modiri ’91, head of information security for the campus, looks at how the university is staying safe and offers advice you can use, whether at CSUF or in your personal life.

When checking your campus email, you notice an email message claiming to be from a faculty member a friend had as a professor a few semesters ago. It says your account will be terminated in a few days, but by clicking on the link, you can ensure continued access. By using an appeal to fear, the senders hope you will click on the link, only to find yourself in an unsecure space, with no relationship to CSUF, where cybercriminals can steal your personal information.

Tony Modiri ’91 (business administration and computer science), Cal State Fullerton’s head of information security, is at the forefront of thwarting such attempts to hijack the campus’ digital networks for nefarious purposes. Under his leadership, the campus has stayed at the forefront of organizational security by building strong defenses against threats and preventing dissemination through the network.

Still, as hackers and other cybercriminals continue to evolve, it takes the participation of every member of the campus community – from faculty to maintenance staff to students – to recognize and act upon best security practices, all the while developing habits that can reap reputational, financial and security benefits in your personal life as well. Read More

A boy receives an ear scan using state-of-the-art 3d technology.Jason Szolomayer ’02 (finance) is the founder of 3dp4me, a nonprofit dedicated to providing hearing aid solutions to the world’s underprivileged through 3-D printing. The Cal State Fullerton grad’s first project is providing ear molds for hearing aids to Middle East refugees and low-income residents in Jordan.

When longtime Costa Mesa resident and CSUF finance grad Jason Szolomayer ’02 taught English in the Middle Eastern kingdom of Jordan, he volunteered at the Holy Land Institute for the Deaf and Blind, where he witnessed firsthand the challenges of providing aid to the hearing impaired.

Globally, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), some 466 million people have a hearing disability worldwide, 70% of whom are in developing countries, where such a challenge can result in loss of employment, education or self-development opportunities. As many as 34 million school-aged children worldwide struggle with hearing challenges.

Working with his partner, Brother Andrew de Carpentier, chair of World Wide Hearing, Szolomayer changes lives with 3-D printing technologies, which creates personalized silicone mold aids. Their new nonprofit, 3dp4me, an acronym for “3-D Printing for the Middle East,” is currently fundraising and registering to offer hearing aid molds to those in need, particularly children.

While initially focusing on Middle East populations in partnership with the Hearing Express project, it is a concept that the social entrepreneur hopes will be replicated in other global regions. Read More

Kevin Chiu and other members of the Catalyst Software team stand in a field.

Kevin Chiu ’14 with his team at Catalyst Software. Chiu says effective recruiting is vital for startup success.

Catalyst Software Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer Kevin Chiu ’14, a marketing graduate from Cal State Fullerton’s Mihaylo College of Business and Economics, has been named a Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree for the Enterprise Technology 2019 list. The 27-year-old’s startup provides an integrated platform enabling client-focused account managers in companies to track, identify, and respond to customer metrics and trends. By consolidating data, emails, notes, reminders and memos, the platform enables their customers to easily identify churn risks and upsell opportunities, which include small- to medium-sized enterprises, in addition to larger corporations.

Chiu discusses the features of the platform, his entrepreneurship story and what grads should know about starting a business in today’s competitive environment. Read More

Cal State Fullerton student Lauren Sukumar encourages young people of all backgrounds to seek careers in computer science. Lauren Sukumar ’19 (information systems and computer science) fell in love with computer science with her freshman information systems course at Cal State Fullerton’s Mihaylo College.

Deciding on a second major in computer science, Sukumar has pursued research opportunities in the field, such as a two-semester independent study examining retention of students from underrepresented demographics, including women, in the university’s computer science program. She has also served as vice president of the CSUF student chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery – Women in Computing student chapter, and a research internship at UC Irvine.

Sukumar is the recipient of the Information Systems and Decision Sciences Outstanding Student Scholarship and has been on Mihaylo College’s Dean’s List for seven consecutive semesters.

“Technology’s influence is not limited to one industry or profession. It can be academically and professionally liberating, as it conceivably holds value and insight for any other discipline,” she says. “Computer science offered choice and space to uncover my passion in the digital age: security and technology policy in health care, education and the labor market. I aspire to analyze and develop policies that help society safely and effectively adapt to technological change.”

Sukumar encourages young professionals of all backgrounds to consider opportunities in information systems. “There is a place in computer science for anyone interested if they trust their curiosity, pursue what excites them and find a community to share their knowledge,” she says. “Along the way, they will surely define their place and, hopefully, help others do the same.”

Read more in Sukumar’s first-person account in The Orange County Register.

For more on Mihaylo College’s Information Systems and Decision Sciences (ISDS) program, visit the department online. Or read more articles about information systems.

Cal State Fullerton finance students stand together at the Paul Merage School of Business at UC Irvine on Nov. 30, 2018, following the SMIF Competition, in which they took top honors.

CSUF Mihaylo College finance students pose at UC Irvine’s business school on the sidelines of the SMIF presentation, sponsored by CFA Orange County, on Nov. 30, 2018.

A team of finance students from Cal State Fullerton’s Mihaylo College of Business and Economics won first place – and the opportunity to manage a $100,000 investment fund – in an investment competition against teams from five Southern California universities.

Finance students enrolled in FIN 341 – Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF) received a big boost when they won the rights to manage a $100,000 stock and bond portfolio. The students competed against teams from five other California universities, including UC Irvine, Chapman University and Cal State Long Beach, for the best investment presentation at the Nov. 30 SMIF Competition, held at UC Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business and sponsored by the Orange County chapter of the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute.

For the competition, the students defended their investment philosophy and process provided previously to the competition in a written report. They then presented their economic outlook, identified trades suitable for the client and the environment, and described the risk management practices they would pursue should they be given the opportunity to manage the portfolio. The student teams were evaluated by a panel of six finance industry professionals judging the contest.

Chapman University was awarded second place and received a $50,000 portfolio; the UC Irvine team took the third spot with a $30,000 portfolio. Cal Poly Pomona, Cal State Long Beach and UC Riverside comprised the remaining finishers. Investment decisions are delegated to each of the winning university programs to enable students to perfect their investment management skills. Each decision is reviewed and approved by the investment committee of the CFA Society of Orange County before being implemented into the portfolios.

Noting that the SMIF program enables students to apply skills and knowledge across all aspects of business, including accounting, finance, economics, information systems, marketing and management, Finance Lecturer Marcia Clark sees the initiative as essential to many participants’ academic and professional futures.

“SMIF students often develop a passion for the financial markets, which leads them to apply to the prestigious Titan Capital Management program at Mihaylo College,” she says. “That program builds on the investment management skills developed in SMIF and provides a head start to our graduates as they embark on careers with leading firms.”

Alumni are currently employed in career positions at such companies as Goldman Sachs, PIMCO and Green Street Advisors.

For More Information

For more on Cal State Fullerton’s undergraduate and graduate finance education programs, visit the Department of Finance online. Also read more of our articles on the finance program.

Josephine Ngo, a management student at Cal State Fullerton who was awarded the PHIRA scholarship.

Josephine Ngo

Josephine Ngo ’20 and Phuong Nguyen ’20, both Cal State Fullerton Mihaylo College management majors, were each awarded a $2,500 scholarship from the Professionals in Human Resources Association Foundation. 

Two Cal State Fullerton management students concentrating in human resources were among the honorees for the 2018 Professionals in Human Resources Association (PHIRA) scholarship, which recognizes students seeking careers in human resources.

Phuong Nguyen, a Cal State Fullerton management student, is a recipient of the PHIRA human resources scholarship for 2018.

Phuong Nguyen

The two Mihaylo College honorees – Josephine Ngo ’20, an enforcement operative of the California Department of Consumer Affairs, and Phuong Nguyen ’20, a language intern at the Cal State Fullerton National Resource Center for Asian Languages who looks forward to an HR assistant role at McKinley Children’s Hospital beginning in January 2019 – will use the funding of $2,500 each to support their spring 2019 tuition. Both students, who shared this year’s annual full-time undergraduate award, are active in Cal State Fullerton’s Society of Excellence in Human Resources (SEHR), a student club providing professional development and networking for aspiring HR professionals.

“The PHIRA scholarships are competitive and awarded based on academic achievement, community service and a commitment to the HR profession,” says Shaun Pichler, associate professor of management specializing in human resources. “That two awardees are from Mihaylo speaks to the caliber of our students, the rigor of our academic programs, and our students’ commitment to leadership and service.”

The PIHRA Foundation annually awards scholarships ranging from $500 to $3,000 for undergraduates, graduate students and entrants into the field. While the application period has closed for 2018, the foundation looks forward to Cal State Fullerton applicants for next year. More information is available here.

For more information on opportunities in human resources, including a concentration devoted specifically to this field, visit the Department of Management online or call 657-278-2251.

Mitchell Livy, Cal State Fullerton Mihaylo College assistant professor of economics.Since joining the Cal State Fullerton Mihaylo College faculty in 2015, Mitchell Livy has been committed to examining the world from an economics perspective – and engaging the next generation of young professionals to do the same.

The Ohio State University alumnus has research interests in environmental economics, land use, urban and regional economics, and resource economics, with a particular focus on their impact on local communities.

Livy discusses his motivation, research, teaching and advice on why students should consider careers in economics.

What encouraged you to become a professor of economics?

I was drawn to economics because of the logic embedded in the subject, and the applicability of economics tools to a range of issues. I wanted to become a professor so that I could help and engage students in this interesting subject. Economics research can inform policy and aid in decision-making. Read More

Vivek Mande, department chair of the Cal State Fullerton Department of Accounting and editor-in-chief of the Managerial Auditing Journal.

Vivek Mande, accounting professor and department chair, is the new editor-in-chief for the Managerial Auditing Journal.

Cal State Fullerton Accounting Professor and Department Chair Vivek Mande has been appointed editor-in-chief, Associate Professor of Accounting Jie Zhou is associate editor, and Assistant Professor Walied Keshk is on the editorial board for the Managerial Auditing Journal, a recognized accounting journal providing industry-specific content of interest to academic and professional leaders.

The Mihaylo College of Business and Economics faculty began their roles with the journal on Dec. 1, 2018, the first known instance in which CSUF faculty have received such significant representation in the editorial content of a top-ranked research journal. Previously, the journal’s lead editors were based at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada.

Producing eight to nine issues annually, the journal highlights peer-reviewed qualitative and quantitative research studies, literature reviews and industry updates on national and global topics related to taxation, regulatory auditing, earnings management, audit effectiveness, and related fields. Read More