Jerry Conrey and Mihaylo College entrepreneurship student Tristan Starkweather pose in the Tustin office of Conrey Insurance Brokers.

Tristan Starkweather (left), recipient of the 2018 Conrey Scholarship, poses with scholarship founder Jerry Conrey. The annual $3,500 award funds the entrepreneurship education and development of a Cal State Fullerton student.

Jerry Conrey, agency principal of Tustin-based Conrey Insurance Brokers & Risk Managers, established the Conrey Scholarship, helping to fund the education of 14 Cal State Fullerton entrepreneurship students over the years. He discusses his passion for giving back and supporting the dreams of young professionals.

When Jerry Conrey and his wife, Victoria Conrey, an Orange County physician, look for potential recipients of their $3,500 scholarship, academic excellence is one of the factors, but it isn’t the only criteria for the Orange County couple.

Recalling his days as a Cal State Fullerton finance and political science student balancing education, employment and campus involvement, Jerry seeks to support students who have demonstrated acumen in both the philosophical and practical side of learning and personal development. Read More

CSUF Mihaylo College alumnus Scott O'Brien'77 (second from left) converses with the college's current dean and other faculty members.

Scott O’Brien ’77 (second from left), owner of The Safariland Group in Ontario, California, speaks with Mihaylo College Dean Morteza Rahmatian (right) and other faculty members. The law enforcement protective products manufacturer is preparing for major cost savings after a student consulting project.

With the assistance of eight interns from Mihaylo College, The Safariland Group, a law enforcement and security product manufacturer based in Ontario, California, and owned by CSUF marketing alumnus Scott O’Brien ’77, is preparing for a major savings in operating expenses.

The seniors, who graduated this year with a concentration in operations and supply chain management, examined optimal lean operations strategies for the rapidly growing company as part of their capstone course.

Applying concepts gained in the classroom, the interns advised O’Brien on enhancing its inventory system and standard operating procedures to ensure that Safariland thrives in an environment of increased demand that outpaces the company’s former supply structure.

Acting on the recommendations of the students, Safariland is preparing to streamline lead times, bringing its inventory to the highest standards and reducing late orders by more than 80%.

For more on the Safariland capstone internship and how it has provided invaluable experience to the graduating students as well as assistance to the host company, continue reading Students Provide Cost-Saving Solutions for Local Business in CSUF News.

Mihaylo College Finance Professor David Nanigian stands in front of a group of CSUF personal finance students at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, site of the 2017 Financial Planning Association Conference.

David Nanigian, director of the Personal Financial Planning Program, and students outside the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee, at the FPA Annual Conference.

For Mihaylo College’s Personal Financial Planning Program, a highlight of the past academic year was a student visit to the Financial Planning Association Annual Conference, the largest gathering of Certified Financial Planner™ professionals in the world. This opportunity was made possible through a $25,000 grant from the Orange County-based McBeth Foundation.

Cal State Fullerton personal financial planning students joined more than 2,000 certified financial planners (CFP®) in Nashville last October for the Financial Planning Association (FPA) Annual Conference, providing networking opportunities with industry leadership and exposure to domestic and international speakers who are defining the field.

The visit to the conference was made possible by a $25,000 grant from the McBeth Foundation, which funds individuals and groups who are making an impact on their communities in Southern California. Named after the late Laguna Beach philanthropist Barbara McBeth Woodruff, an artist and farmer who spent her life in Orange County and Phoenix, the foundation has previously funded such leading California organizations as the San Diego Zoo and the South Coast Symphony.

Gaining from Industry Leaders and Connecting With Fellow Young Professionals

Mihaylo College Associate Professor of Finance David Nanigian, director of the Personal Financial Planning Program, says the exposure and experience that students gained at the three-day FPA Conference will have a significant impact on their academic and professional future. Read More

Ryan Schluttenhofer, a Mihaylo College accounting alumnus with a deals consultant role at PwC in New York City.Accounting grad Ryan A. Schluttenhofer is a global deals consultant of Big Four accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in New York City. He discusses his career, inspirations and the impact of his Mihaylo College education.

When Ryan A. Schluttenhofer ’14 graduated with his bachelor’s in accounting, he wanted to work in New York City. Having held internships with PwC, one of the world’s foremost professional services firms, the young professional received a full-time job offer from his employer.

For Schluttenhofer, relocating was an essential component: “I had the job, but I wanted New York City, because I wanted to connect with the city and its people,” he says. “I asked if I could relocate and was given the position I asked for. This enabled me to experience the intersection between the firm, regulatory bodies and industry stakeholders.”

Four years later, Schluttenhofer advises high-profile clients, including Fortune 500 companies, on shaping strategy in times of exceptional change, around transformative deals. His career has led him internationally, primarily in the technology and media sectors.   Read More

Tiffany Bowman '18, a Mihaylo College economics grad and recipient of the Gianneschi Fellowship Award, which will fund her internship with equine therapy nonprofit Tara's Chance. Thanks to the Gianneschi Fellowship Award, sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank, Tiffany Bowman ’18 (economics) will serve as marketing director for Tara’s Chance, an organization supporting equine-assisted therapies for the special-needs community.

For nearly a decade, Tiffany Bowman has been committed to serving the Orange County community through volunteer activities with a number of philanthropic organizations. As the recipient of the 2018 annual Gianneschi Fellowship Award, the economics grad will utilize a $1,500 scholarship to fund her internship with Tara’s Chance, a Fullerton-based organization that utilizes therapeutic horseback riding to benefit those with physical and mental challenges.

At Tara’s Chance, six therapy horses provide weekly 30-minute riding sessions for 32 special-needs children. The organization seeks to expand its program to offer accessible and affordable services to all local at-risk youth and residents with disabilities.

In her internship role as marketing director, Bowman plans to enhance the organization’s outreach to the business community, service clubs, philanthropists and nonprofits in North Orange County and surrounding areas. Her duties will include advertising, public relations, event organization, research and marketing campaigns. She will serve under the organization’s executive director Tim Howells.

The fellowship award, which also includes a $1,000 stipend to the hosting nonprofit agency, is bestowed upon a student or recent graduate based on goals and prior experience in the philanthropic field and exemplary academic credentials. Bowman’s award will be officially bestowed at the Gianneschi Center’s G3X Conference at Cal State Fullerton campus on Aug. 14.

Bowman’s History of Making an Impact

As a student, Bowman was a leader in the Business Honors Program, where she served as executive director of internal engagement. In this position, she guided a team of 10 students to improve event planning on a limited budget. She also served the Business Inter-Club Council as vice president of public relations, where she coordinated the inaugural Mihaylo Mental Health Day, promoting mental health and well-being among one of the largest and most diverse college communities in the nation. Bowman was the recipient of the Boeing Scholarship, Nitori Scholarship and Business Honors Certificate of Academic Excellence.

She has also been active in CSUF Rotaract, an on-campus club affiliated with Rotary International, and Girls Inc. of Orange County, which seeks to inspire and empower female youth.

About the Gianneschi Center

The Gianneschi Center supports the Southern California social profit sector through professional development of veterans and professionals as well as young people seeking to devote their careers to making a positive impact. For more information on the center, including their upcoming G3X Conference in August, visit the Gianneschi Center website.

John Barton, founder of the Point N'Save app, which connects college students to wholesome entertainment and dining opportunities near their campuses.

Photo by Kyusung Gong, OC Register Contributing Photographer

While studying entrepreneurship at Cal State Chico, John Barton was searching for ways to connect students with wholesome fun as an alternative to the party scene. “I wanted to have an outlet for students who didn’t want to go out every night but wanted to have some type of social interaction that didn’t involve going to bars,” he says. He realized the campus community was largely uninformed of discounts for activities ranging from go-kart racing to diverse dining experiences.

Seeking a larger market to launch his concept, Barton connected with Mihaylo College’s entrepreneurship program. With the help of the CSUF Startup Incubator, which provided advice on marketing and business-plan development, and assistance on an investment pitch, Barton transformed the app he developed in his entrepreneurship capstone into a business. His initial target market includes students at CSUF, Hope International University and Chapman University.

The Point N'Save app, which seeks to connect college students with wholesome entertainment opportunities.

Barton’s Point ’N Save app, developed through the support of mentors and advisors at the incubator, is now available through the iPhone app store. It currently provides discounts to more than a dozen local businesses – from pizza parlors to coffeehouses to board shops – for anyone with an email address ending in .edu. Frequent users earn rewards, such as gift cards.

For more on Barton’s vision and how the Mihaylo College entrepreneurship program has assisted in making the app a reality, continue reading App Delivers Discounts, Rewards to Students in The Orange County Register.

Mihaylo College students and faculty pose around a table at the Experience Hospitality event in Anaheim, California, in April 2018, which exposed local high school students to careers in the restaurant, hospitality and entertainment industries.

CSUF students and faculty at the Experience Hospitality event. From left to right, Omar Hernandez, Marina Soriano, Monica Nguyen, Assistant Professor of Management Ellen Kim, Ivan Moc, Samia Ghandour, Chloe Cao and Irvin Aguinaga. Student Carmen Batres also attended but is not pictured.

This spring, Mihaylo College students and faculty co-hosted the 11th annual Experience Hospitality Orange County event, which gave 200 high school students from Los Angeles, Orange County and the Inland Empire a behind-the-scenes look at the restaurant, hotel and resort fields.

In April, the California State University Hospitality and Tourism Alliance, encompassing the hospitality programs at several local Cal State universities – including the Mihaylo College program offered by the Center for Entertainment and Hospitality Management – and the California Restaurant Association Foundation hosted high school students, hospitality professionals, and faculty and undergrads from several Southland universities for the Experience Hospitality Orange County event, a day of networking, mentoring and career development.

A number of Mihaylo College students shared their experiences with high schoolers, discussing their decisions to seek careers in hospitality and their university experience. They also accompanied the students on exclusive tours of hospitality venues, including the Anaheim Marriott, California Pizza Kitchen, ESPN Zone, Hilton Anaheim, House of Blues, McCormick & Schmick, Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen and Sheraton Park Hotel.

Reaching Higher With Hospitality

Ellen Kim, director of the Mihaylo College entertainment and hospitality program and an assistant professor of management, says engaging with the high school students, many of whom are from underprivileged backgrounds, is not only an investment in the industry’s next generation, but also opens doors of opportunity.

“Many of these students didn’t have plans to go to college when they came to this event,” she says. “We provided them with advice on a great career path, as well as how to succeed in college, including advice on juggling school and work, the art of time management, and the importance of applying for scholarships.” Read More

Paul Chappell, peace literacy director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, will be a keynote speaker at the upcoming G3X Conference at Mihaylo College in August 2018. Paul K. Chappell, the peace literacy director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, will be a keynote speaker at the upcoming G3X Conference at Mihaylo College this August. The advocate for peaceful and nonviolent solutions to personal and global challenges shares his ethos and passion.

As a high school student in the 1990s, Paul K. Chappell says he had many behavior problems and anger issues. Two decades later, the multiracial West Point graduate and Iraq War veteran (his father is part white and part black and his mother is Korean) is an advocate for peace and nonviolence in every aspect of society.

Chappell, peace literacy director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, which seeks to inspire and educate peace leaders, says nonviolent and constructive problem-solving approaches need to be an integral part of the educational system.

“Unfortunately, many people don’t take peace seriously. We need to view peace and peace literacy as a skill set in the same way that we view math or engineering,” he says. “This isn’t something that can be learned in 30 seconds. We have to train in it, understand it and recognize the framework and history of how it actually works.” Read More

By Elisha Gupta

The symptoms are clear: You follow hundreds of pet pages on Instagram. You stop every few seconds while you’re walking down the street to confess your love to a stranger’s dog. You meet new friends, and the first thing you ask them is “can I see pictures of your cat?” You’re a pet lover.

As a dog-lover with no dogs, I understand how tough it is. Thankfully, there are some great places and events in Southern California for petless pet-lovers to interact with our fluffier counterparts. These places are tried and true, and they are now my favorite destinations to meet dogs and cats:

Moon Cat Café
You might have heard of cat cafés in other countries and secretly wished that someone would open one in California. Well, cat-lovers of Cal State Fullerton, the day has finally come.

An adorable kitten sits on a wooden floor with sunlight in the background.Moon Cat Café is the world’s first mobile cat café, serving the Los Angeles County and Orange County areas. This café operates out of a renovated truck, bringing cats and coffee to shopping centers and parks. The owner, Janet Pao, drives the café around to various locations in Southern California.  Clearly, this is not your usual coffee shop – it has cats. And wheels.

At this unique café, each event will feature different cats. Pao partners with local rescue shelters to draw customers to interact with cats that are looking for their forever homes. Visitors can meet and play with the adoptable cats, all while enjoying a cup of gourmet coffee and pastries. If you happen to fall in love with one of the cats, you might just be able to take one home – after filling out an adoption application, of course.

How to get there: First, check the calendar on their website for event dates and locations. Then, follow your cat-like instincts (or Google Maps). Read More

Neda Ghafourian poses for a headshot at Mihaylo College, CSUF in 2014Mihaylo alumna Neda Ghafourian ’14 works as a content accountant at Netflix. After graduating from Mihaylo College with a double concentration in accounting and finance, she has spent the past few years working in Los Angeles.

We caught up with Ghafourian and discussed her current role at Netflix, her previous job at PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and her advice for students hoping to land their dream job.

Does she look familiar? Back in her college days, Ghafourian was heavily involved in the Mihaylo community and was a friendly face around the building. She was a Business Honors student, an executive board member of the Business Inter-Club Council and a staff member at the Mihaylo Tutoring Center.

Post-Grad: Working at PwC

Immediately after graduation, Ghafourian worked as an auditor at the Big Four accounting firm, PwC. She admits that, between learning the nuances of her first job out of college and developing new skills to work with clients, it was intense.

“Once I graduated, it was as if I had just enrolled into a new major called REALITY. Client interactions were a first for me, and there is no class or book that can prepare you for this, so it was an interesting learning curve to overcome. Deadlines were more than just ‘suggestions’ and affected your entire team, not just you,” says Ghafourian.

She is grateful for the time she spent at PwC. “It was challenging, to say the least, but one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had so far in my adult life,” she says. Then, another opportunity came knocking. Read More