CSUF economists Anil Puri and Mira Farka at an economic forecast event.With Californians sheltering in place due to coronavirus, Cal State Fullerton economists Anil Puri, director of the Woods Center for Economic Analysis and Forecasting, and Mira Farka, co-director of the Woods Center and associate professor of economics, presented an April 22 virtual spring forecast.

Looking at the impact of coronavirus and related disruptions on the national and local economies, the two economists anticipated unprecedented declines in gross domestic product (GDP), employment and consumer spending during the second quarter of 2020, but a recovery that will erase much of the damage by the end of 2021, assuming the virus follows the anticipated trajectory and no massive flare-ups occur.

“Making a prediction is both an art and a science,” said Puri. “It is a difficult task under the best of circumstances. In a time like this, one thinks of Yogi Berra, and his famous quotes: ‘It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future,’ and ‘The future ain’t what it used to be.’ So it’s not only a tough task but the future may be quite different from the recent past. The virus has been like a ticking bomb or wildfire that has gone throughout the world.” Read More

Two students wearing face masks walks on Cal State Fullerton campus promenade

Photo by Matt Gush

Zoom has become the application we use the most for classes and meetings since the transition to virtual learning started. While video calling is an easy task, there are certain rules that should be followed in order to be courteous to all participants and the host. As students, we understand the importance of being respectful of our professors and especially of prospective employers. Here are a few tips according to Psychology Today when it comes to Zoom etiquette:

Mute your mic

For most of our classes, professors mute all participants before they enter the classroom. When this is not the case, it is important to make sure you mute your mic for no background distractions. Participants should be able to fully engage in the lecture/meeting while it is taking place, and you can always unmute yourself when you are adding to the discussion. 

Consider your video background

While there is no judgment for waking up to your 8 a.m. class right out of bed, there are certain guidelines that should be followed when your camera is on. If you are eating, talking to someone else or have an inappropriate background, it would be a wise choice to not have your video on. Lighting is important as well when video is required as it allows all participants to see you clearly. Be courteous and promote a productive environment versus being a distraction. 

Close your applications

By closing all of your open applications (this includes Instagram, Facebook, etc.).  and focusing on your Zoom call, your video connection will greatly improve and assure you get all of the information.

Consider a headset

A headset provides better audio on your end and enhances your hearing capabilities. This will be especially helpful during discussion meetings, open forums and while presenting during a lecture. 

Let others know you are done

Even if it is through a virtual setting, saying “I am finished” or “Thank you” after you finish your commentary is key to a fluid Zoom call. The other participants will be able to give their input and continue the meeting agenda without fear of cutting you off.

Utilize the additional features

The “Chat” feature allows you to add commentary or questions, which is especially helpful during lectures when professors are asking for feedback. At the same time, you can use the “raise hand” feature to ask a question without interrupting the speaker. Use these to make your calls better and voice your needs. 

End the meeting

Just as you close a door when you leave a room, you must remember to sign out or “leave the meeting” when it has concluded. If it was an interview with an employer, remember to thank them for their time. It is important to keep your regular manners when it comes to goodbyes over video. 

Overall, Zoom etiquette is extremely valuable for everyone during this online transition. Whether it is a lecture or interview, it is important to present yourself well, just as you would in person. Happy Zooming! 

An ambulance rushes to a call in an urban area.

Photo from CSUF News

When Cal State Fullerton computer science student and CSUF Startup Incubator resident Bryan Ruef isn’t studying, he is making a difference as the U.S. combats coronavirus – both as an emergency medical technician helping out with local needs in Orange County and as founder of 10-8 Systems, a next-generation computer-aided dispatch system used by first-responders globally.

“First-responders are definitely at risk in this pandemic,” says Ruef. “We walk into patients’ homes, and we’re in the back of a small ambulance with little space between us and those who are ill.”

Ruef is also making a difference through his brainchild, 10-8 Systems, which assists dispatchers by providing the exact location of an emergency and better anticipating needs; along with its other capabilities, the system is in great demand across the nation.

The new federal stimulus package, which earmarks billions of dollars for improved security and spawned a surge in private security services as commercial and industrial sites are closed, has provided new avenues for 10-8 Systems to make an impact.

“Some federal agencies are using this opportunity to move to modern systems, and they want to do it quickly,” says Ruef. “We just signed a five-year agreement with a city in Maryland, and we’ve been given the green light by a federal police agency to deploy to their locations across the United States.”

Read more in this CSUF News article.

Two men hold a crate of personal protective equipment.

Medical supplies to assist with the coronavirus epidemic are collected from the Orange County beauty industry. Photo by Kevin Chang, the Daily Pilot.

It is called “Operation: Nailing It for Health Care Workers.” Tam Nguyen ’05, a Cal State Fullerton MBA alumnus and steadfast friend of the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics, is helping health-care workers fighting coronavirus by donating masks and gloves used at Advance Beauty College, the Nguyen family’s business, which educates hundreds of Orange County residents for beauty industry careers.

Nguyen’s announcement was made in tandem with Johnny Ngo, president of Whale Spa and Skyline Beauty Supply, and was the first press conference for both men.

On March 31, Nguyen and Ngo reported that 75,000 masks and more than 280,000 gloves had been collected. Read More

Amani Roberts, Cal State Fullerton lecturer and founder of DJ company The Amani Experience, works in the mixing studio.Years before Amani Roberts became a management lecturer at Cal State Fullerton and associate director of the Center for Entertainment and Hospitality Management, he was a professional disk jockey. While he was a hospitality management student at Howard University in Washington, D.C., in the mid-1990s, Roberts saw a performance by Biz Markie and was moved to try his hand at spinning records himself. Eventually, he went on to found Amani Experience, a global DJ company.

In his new book, DJs Mean Business: One Night Behind the Turntables Can Spin Your Company’s Success, Roberts relates being a DJ with the startup world. He creatively compares the different time slots of a DJ set (from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.) to the different stages of starting and growing a business. Read More

Mihaylo College Management Professor Goli Sadri, head of the Women's Leadership Program, is passionate about giving Cal State Fullerton female students communication skills that will help them in their careers.

Dr. Goli Sadri, professor of management at Mihaylo College.

To best present your work to colleagues, good communication at work requires planning and thinking about the information you share. In a Mihaylo College Center for Leadership video, Management Professor Goli Sadri mentions three valuable tips, especially for women, when communicating at work to make your conversations more effective:

Know your Linguistic Style

“Linguistic style” is the way we each communicate, and it includes stories, word choice and directness. Men and women have different linguistic styles: Women tend to say “sorry that happened” more often than men when addressing a group mistake, which Sadri explains as “a potential problem is that people who frequently apologize come across as weaker, less confident, and more to blame than people who don’t.” She suggests being more aware of the words you use and the impact they may have.

Be More Direct

Many women tend to soften the message when delivering a task to a colleague – for example, Sadri explains, “women might say ‘maybe you can finish the report by Thursday’ instead of ‘finish the report by Thursday’” So, being more direct when assigning a duty, such as “the report needs to be finished by Thursday,” will eliminate the indirect approach and lead to fewer misunderstandings.

Own Your Ideas

Sadri mentions “women are sensitive to the social dynamics and say ‘we,’ while men are more sensitive to power dynamics and say ‘I.’” These differences become a problem because a woman may not get full credit for her accomplishments by utilizing “we” instead of “I.”

These communication tips take some time to implement. Do not feel that you should jump in and use all of these suggestions immediately, but thinking about them and understanding how they can help improve the clarity and directness of your speech at work will help you as you move forward in your career.


A diverse group of Cal State Fullerton business students talking, walking and studying in the James D. Woods Grand Foyer of Steven G. Mihaylo Hall.

Photo by Remington Graham.

With the 11-year bull market slain, unemployment rising to historic highs and sharp forecasted declines in GDP, the economy is on a rocky path, prompting half of Orange County employers to cut their staff, according to Cal State Fullerton economists Anil Puri and Mira Farka of the Woods Center for Economic Analysis and Forecasting.

The news was part of the Orange County Business Expectations Survey, a quarterly poll of local business leaders assessing the strength of the local economy, released last week. Read More

Glassblower Alex Dixon at work at the glass studio at Cal State Fullerton.

Alex Dixon at work at Cal State Fullerton’s glass studio.

While coronavirus has forced all students to head home and continue their studies online, the challenges are perhaps most felt by those who major in hands-on arts disciplines, such as glassblowing.

Alex Dixon ’20, a Cal State Fullerton glassblowing student and graphic design student assistant for the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics, has been adapting to our new virtual existence by focusing on a book project that highlights his glasswork achievements while awaiting the reopening of the Cal State Fullerton Glass Program, a club for students pursuing glass blowing as a hobby and career.

“Many of us in the glass program come from different backgrounds and various fields in art, so most of us have switched mediums to keep the creative flow going. I myself am a 3-D artist and a designer, so I’ve been spending more time working on designing a book of my inspiration and photography,” says Dixon. “Although we can’t blow or sculpt glass at the moment, this gives us time to think and conceptualize ideas for new bodies of work.” Read More

Food supplies are loaded into the trunk of a vehicle at the drive-by Second Harvest Food Bank pantry

Image from CSUF News

When Cal State Fullerton Master of Public Administration alumna Claudia Keller ’17 started her role as chief mission officer for Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County in January, little did she know that she would soon be leading one of the largest relief efforts in the county’s history, getting groceries and supplies to food-insecure households.

In her role, Keller manages the food bank’s fundraising, advocacy and government affairs efforts, ensuring the organization that serves 250,000 residents each month – in good times – has the resources and reach to prevent hunger in California’s third-most populous county.

Recognizing that COVID-19 would bring a sharp increase in need and a sharp decrease in volunteers and staff, Second Harvest quickly mobilized three initial truckloads of food and hygiene supplies. They immediately let corporate and individual donors know what would be needed if the pandemic impacted the county. Read More

Students walking under Cal State Fullerton's entrance

Photo by Sonya DeBerry

During this tumultuous period in our lives, resilience is one of the most important traits a student can add to daily life. Whether it is in your work or personal life, resilience, which is the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties, will lead you to a more stable lifestyle. Here are five tips to becoming resilient, according to the American Psychological Association:

  1. Rely on relationships. Reach out to your loved ones and friends to keep you grounded; it will help you ease tension and stress. Contact a loved one – maybe a cousin or friend from high school – who you haven’t spoken to in a while. It feels good to reopen relationships, crack up to some old inside jokes, or to share “stay-at-home” stories with a loved one.
  2. Embrace change as healthy. Change is often not expected because we get comfortable with the way life is going. We get used to routines and deadlines. Embracing the fact that things are going to change and not worrying too much about the things you can’t control will help ease your mind and quell anxiety.
  3. Make daily goals you can check off. There is a lot of satisfaction in being able to track your progress and reminding yourself of the things you can control versus those you cannot. Create a short list of things you want to get done today, and as you finish each item, put a line through it. Focusing on the things you want to get done and finishing them is a great way to make you feel accomplished at the end of your day.
  4. Let yourself feel. It’s natural to want to put up a tough front so others don’t see that you’re having a hard time dealing with things, but you have the right to be worried and fearful during uncertain times. Feeling and accepting these strong emotions will actually help you process them. Don’t push them down because they will always find a way out. It helps to talk about these feelings with a trusted friend or loved one.
  5. Prioritize your mental and physical health. Use this time to work on yourself, both mentally and physically. Eating well and keeping your body moving will release needed endorphins to brighten your mood.

As students who are used to routine and frequent goals, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused huge changes in our lives. Take care of yourself and your friends and family during this trying time. We are in this together, Titans.