This article is the second in our series on 2019 Mihaylo College commencement speakers. 

Former CSUF President Laila Dadabhoy, a 2019 Mihaylo College commencement speaker, poses in the lobby of Steven G. Mihaylo Hall.

Laila Dadabhoy

When Laila Dadabhoy ’19 earns her marketing degree, she will already have the she will already have the experience of leading a large and diverse community. Her election victory in spring 2017 to the presidency of Associated Students Inc. (ASI) made history as the first Muslim woman to hold the top student elective office at Cal State Fullerton.

During her year as ASI president, Dadabhoy worked to ensure that the student government was more accessible to the university’s commuter student majority, increased the visibility and resources of the Diversity Initiative Resource Centers (DIRC) that celebrate and advocate for Cal State Fullerton’s campus community, and forged partnerships with the surrounding employers to ensure viable career pathways for students.

But Dadabhoy considers the many experiences during her time at Cal State Fullerton as high points. “Among the most significant experiences were my work in the Dean’s Suite [as a student assistant helping with the college’s social media] and my MGMT 449 class,” she says. “My work helped me understand the dynamics of the college and was very illustrative of the work and research that takes place in the marketing of the college. MGMT 449 was a very thought-provoking course, and I appreciated the application of concepts from previous classes. Sean Jasso was a phenomenal professor, I would highly recommend students register for his sections.”

Dadabhoy points to the diversity of the Mihaylo College community as a pivotal inspiration. “The variety of backgrounds, among both students and alumni has helped me to become a more thoughtful and informed person,” she says. “I want to apply everything I’ve learned here not only to make myself and my family proud, but also as a tribute to everything I have been granted at Cal State Fullerton.”

Dadabhoy has a variety of passions and interests, from international travel and athletic endeavors to being an avid fan of Mihaylo College’s social media accounts.

“Turkey is one of my favorite travel destinations, my favorite cuisine is Thai food, and something I’m looking forward to in the near future is completing my first marathon,” she says. “Is it too high-brow to say that my favorite Instagram account is @csufmihaylo? I really like these three accounts: @patagonia, @_nitch, and @humansofny. They are different in many ways, but I appreciate the diversity they each bring to my feed.”

One iconic moment on the Mihaylo College Instagram channel was when Dadabhoy dressed in a dinosaur costume for Halloween in 2016 to the delight of the Dean’s Suite staff. Check out the hilarious video!

Looking ahead to the future, Dadabhoy looks forward to law school – and a future in higher education. “If all goes well, I hope to practice tax law within the private sector upon finishing school,” she says. “Ultimately, however I am interested in becoming a professor.”