CSUF grad Ryan Feghali in front of a Little Caesar's location he ownsFranchising has been a lifelong passion for Cal State Fullerton marketing alumnus Ryan Feghali ’12, who, with his family, leads Cedars Group, which manages fast food franchise locations throughout California and Arizona, with plans for further expansion in the future.

Proud Lebanese Americans, the Feghalis are also active in helping people in the capital city of Beirut recover from the devastating Aug. 4, 2020, explosion that displaced more than 300,000 people.

Ryan Feghali talks about his career journey, the joys of franchising and how you can help the people of Beirut. Read More

Anil Puri and Mira Farka2020 has been the most unstable year economically in most of our lifetimes. What will 2021 and beyond hold?

Cal State Fullerton’s annual Economic Forecast Conference, presented in a virtual format this year, will examine where we’ve been and where we’re going in an Oct. 22 forum featuring esteemed economists Anil Puri, director of the Woods Center for Economic Analysis and Forecasting, and Mira Farka, the co-director of the center and associate professor of economics.

Presented over Zoom between 10:30 a.m. and noon next Thursday, the forecast, entitled The Great Disruption: Searching for Innovative Solutions and Infinite Possibilities in a Post-COVID World, will cover the current trends in coronavirus infection globally and locally, the impact and outlook for fiscal and monetary policy, how Orange County’s labor and housing markets are holding up, and what local business professionals are saying about the budding recovery.

Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, there’s no fee to attend, and there’s no limit on attendance, so invite your friends and colleagues to register to watch this forecast too. It will surely be 90 minutes well spent. Reserve your spot today!

The Economic Forecast Conference, presented in partnership with Orange County Business Council (OCBC), is title sponsored by U.S. Bank and supported by nearly 20 sponsors covering all sectors of the Southern California economy.

Students in a class at Titan Capital ManagementThe greater Cal State Fullerton campus community is benefiting as Titan Capital Management (TCM) – the applied stock and bond portfolio program of the College of Business and Economics – has donated nearly $80,000 of its real-funds investment returns to programs across campus addressing needs raised by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The investment program’s positive returns for the fiscal year are a testament to the prowess and hard work of the finance students who manage the portfolio, which typically supports the business college’s Tutoring Center and scholarships.

“I’m proud that we gave to different university programs outside of the business school in this very difficult time, and that we made the effort to more than double our distribution for the common good of the university,” says Jeff Van Harte ’80 (finance), chair and chief investment officer of Jackson Square Partners, founder of TCM and program advisor

Among the several university programs supported by the investment fund this year are the Center for Healthy Neighborhoods, the Center for Economic Education, the School of Nursing, President’s Scholars and Guardian Scholars, in addition to the typical Tutoring Center appropriation

Learn more about TCM’s giving during the COVID-19 pandemic in this CSUF News article.

students in Halloween costumes on CSUF campus

With spooky season coming and midterms looming, we are getting closer and closer to fall. While this marks seven months of being at home, we all need some inspiration on what to do around SoCal for this season. Here are some drive-in and socially distanced events coming in October:

Urban Legends Haunt –OC Fair Event Center

Home to the OC Fair, the Event Center will host the Urban Legends Haunt from Oct. 1 through Nov. 1. At the event, guests drive through storytelling sets with live performances, four interactive show zones and a light show with special effects. General admission tickets begin at $59.99 on Wednesday (for up to five people in a car) and increase $10 every day through Sunday. For more ticket options and additional information, visit https://urbanlegendshaunt.ticketspice.com/urban-legends-haunt

 Los Angeles Haunted Hayride – Bonelli Regional Park

 The Haunted Hayride experience rolls along from Sept. 25 through Nov. 1 near Raging Waters in San Dimas. A multimedia story on a movie screen with spooky sets and characters from Midnight Falls creep around the drive-in. On arrival, cars pass through All Hallows Lane straight out of a horror movie, and Monte Revolta will take complete management of the theatre with his Minions of the Living Dead. Standard two-person car tickets vary between $49.99 for row 7 to $59.99 for row 6, with the ability to add backseat passes for $9.99 each (not to exceed eight individuals per car). Ticket information and times are available at https://losangeleshauntedhayride.com/.

Nights of the Jack – King Gillette Ranch, Calabasas

For those interested in Instagrammable Halloween content, Nights of the Jack is the place to be. It features thousands of hand-carved Jack O’ Lanterns with various designs as you drive the ranch in the comfort of your car. Vehicle ticket prices begin at $70, and motorcycles, RVs, buses, and limos are not allowed. The mile-long trail takes 25 minutes to drive at the 5 mph speed limit. To reserve tickets and check time slots, visit https://nightsofthejack.com/.

Descanso Gardens – La Cañada Flintridge

If you’re looking for a socially distanced stroll through traditional seasonal displays, Descanso Gardens is the perfect choice. Highlights include a hay maze, pumpkin arch, scarecrow trail and a house made entirely out of pumpkins. The Halloween display is part of regular admission to the garden (which is $15 for adults, $5 for kids), but you will need reservations from Oct. 1 through Oct. 31. To choose your times and check out availability, visit https://www.descansogardens.org/programs-events/halloween/.

City National Grove of Anaheim

Not feeling the spooky season vibes? There are plenty of drive-in options for those looking to get out for some entertainment at City National Grove of Anaheim:

Oct. 2: The Yeti Film Tour

Oct. 3: Clasico Capitalino Drive-In: America vs. Pumas

Oct. 16: Iliza Shlesinger

Oct. 24:  Ziggy Marley

Parking is $15 the day of the show. For more information on times, visit https://enjoyorangecounty.com/city-national-grove-anaheim/.

Students walk on campus at Cal State FullertonIn 2019-2020, Cal State Fullerton awarded more degrees to students from historically underrepresented demographic groups than ever before in its history. A total of 4,594 such degrees were awarded, up from 4,494 in the prior year and 36.6% more than in 2015.

The vast majority of these degrees, 4,357, were awarded to Hispanic/Latino students, including 2,461 bachelor’s degrees and 301 master’s degrees to Latinas, which is emblematic of the university’s role as a designated Hispanic-serving university.

In August 2020 rankings from U.S. News and World Report, Cal State Fullerton was fourth among top public schools, fifth for most innovative schools, third for best undergraduate teaching programs and ninth for social mobility (a metric sure to increase with the rise in underrepresented student degrees).

Read more in this CSUF News article.

The 2019 Titan Fast Pitch Competition at CSUF

Photo by Matt Gush

Southern California middle school, high school and college students will compete in Cal State Fullerton’s annual Titan Fast Pitch competition – in which participants are judged by business leaders on their 90-second entrepreneurial pitches – with competitor submissions due by Oct. 17 and the finals taking place virtually on Oct. 31 this year.

While the event will be virtual for the first time, it will remain true to the mission of challenging students to take the first step down the entrepreneurial path, while also providing scholarships of up to $1,500, for the top four finishers.

“Whether we know it or not, so much of our lives are built and enriched by entrepreneurs. Everything from the technology we use, the food we eat, the way we learn, and the nonprofits making real change were influenced by entrepreneurs,” says Travis Lindsay, adjunct professor of entrepreneurship and manager of the CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship and CSUF Startup Incubator. “All the leaders of tomorrow will be entrepreneurs, and if we can get these middle school, high school, and university students thinking more like entrepreneurs, then we will have achieved our mission.” Read More

Jack W. Coleman, former Cal State Fullerton School of Business dean

Jack W. Coleman

This fall, the Cal State Fullerton business college community is mourning the loss of Professor Emeritus of Accounting Jack W. Coleman, former business school dean and former vice president for academic affairs. Coleman died on Aug. 24 at age 97.

From 1968 to 1979, Coleman led the School of Business and Economics, as it was named at the time, while serving as a professor of accounting. During his tenure, Cal State Fullerton officially became a university, with the business school as one of its colleges. By the time he left office, the school had about 5,000 students and was increasing in diversity and impact.

While Coleman was dean, the business school moved to Langsdorf Hall, where it would remain until relocating to the new state-of-the-art Steven G. Mihaylo Hall in 2008.

After briefly serving as executive vice president at San Jose State University, Coleman returned to Cal State Fullerton’s business college in 1982, and ultimately served as CSUF’s vice president for academic affairs from 1985 until his retirement in 1991.

Coleman’s impact spanned many spheres and sectors: He was active in the community, including service on school boards and chambers of commerce; he was also a veteran of the U.S. Air Force in the European front of World War II and a postwar hurricane hunting pilot. Read more about him in this CSUF News article.

Andrew Kraemer, founder of Wallet Squirrel

Andrew Kraemer, founder of Wallet Squirrel

Self-described “finance ninja” Andrew Kraemer founded Wallet Squirrel in 2015 and was soon joined by his best friend Adam Olson. The site has grown to a go-to spot for personal finance advice and information presented in an approachable and lighthearted way. It has a particular focus on how to create multiple sources of income to build personal wealth.

We talked with Kraemer, who shared a little about the Wallet Squirrel story and what it takes to succeed in content creation today. Read More

TRUFF hot sauce co-founders Nick Ajluni and Nick Guillen

TRUFF hot sauce co-founders Nick Ajluni ’15 (left) and Nick Guillen ’15.

In 2017, Cal State Fullerton grads Nick Ajluni ’15 (management) and Nick Guillen ’15 (communications) launched a luxury hot sauce brand, TRUFF, through their Instagram account.

Three years later, the black and white truffle-infused hot sauce is sold at such retailers as Whole Foods, Wegmans, Neiman Marcus and Barney’s, as well as through online outlets.

By early 2019, after raising its first round of capital, the brand was already valued at more than $25 million, and its growing international presence, including in Australia, Kuwait and South Korea, suggests that even greater things are in store for TRUFF. Read More

Workers wear personal protective equipment at an office during the coronavirus pandemicSix months since workplaces around the world shuttered in response to the coronavirus pandemic, academics, business professionals and the public agree that the future of working will be forever changed.

But how exactly will a post-COVID workplace look?

Hybridization and Agility – The Watch Words of the Future

Anticipate a hybrid model of some telecommuting and some work on site, all in line with what works best for company productivity, say Cal State Fullerton management professors Jay Barbuto, Gerard Beenen and Shaun Pichler.

“A realization has emerged amid the pandemic that the traditional ‘work-at-the-office contract’ is not, in all cases, the best mode for productive employee engagement,” says Barbuto, director of the Center for Leadership and professor of management.

Agility will be the name of the game for the foreseeable future, and that means business leaders will have to focus on listening, inclusion and compassion to support the human element of this rapid and unprecedented change.

“The crisis has made clear that a lot of work can be done remotely. Alternative work arrangements were more of a luxury before the pandemic but are going to be the new normal,” says Pichler, who consistently points to research that telecommuting employees are at least as productive as those in the office, notwithstanding the burnout and psychological impact of the pandemic, shutdowns and economic downturn.

Beenen says a likely norm will be one or two days of telecommuting each week, with attendant environmental, energy, societal, economic and work-life benefits, but the actual mix will depend on the performance and achievement goals of each company or organization.

“Business leaders care about increasing productivity and reducing cost. Less time commuting and more freedom to work hours that you want to work can increase productivity,” says Beenen. “Lower cost is achievable as office spaces convert to hoteling models where employees don’t have a permanent office but reserve a virtual one when they need to come in. As long as outcomes are achieved, remote work can be both possible and desirable.”

With telecommuting skeptics becoming firm believers, it will be increasingly necessary for tomorrow’s workers to have experience and success in remote work environments.

Read more about what tomorrow’s workplace may be like in this CSUF News article.