When Robert Santana ’08 (child and adolescent development) took office as CEO of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Orange Coast in 2005, the nonprofit had a single site with 12 staff and 130 children and youth involved. Fast-forward a decade and a half, and the chapter serves nearly 9,000 children and teens across 66 sites with the help of nearly 175 dedicated staff members.

Santana will be a speaker at the G3X Conference at Cal State Fullerton’s Mihaylo College on Aug. 15. The four-day seminar provides professional development, guest speaker lectures and networking opportunities for Southern California nonprofit and social enterprise professionals. Register today.

A Mission-Driven Leader Heads an Expansion

Serving the youth of the cities of Santa Ana, Costa Mesa, Irvine, Orange and Newport Beach, Santana’s chapter provides opportunities in many historically underprivileged communities. When measuring success, he looks at the talent he has brought to his team.

“I define success based on the talent I have recruited and cultivated,” he says. “The leadership team we have at the club is world-class and our culture of innovation has driven me to think even bigger on behalf of those we serve. We’ve extended our reach and increased our bandwidth to take on the most challenging issues in Orange County while deepening the impact we bring to families.” Read More

David Wong, economics professor and chair emeritus at Cal State Fullerton's Department of Economics

David Wong

The Mihaylo College community joins all of Cal State Fullerton, Orange County and the broader economics field in mourning the death of David C. Wong, professor and chair emeritus of economics, who passed away on July 16, at age 71. He is survived by his family, including his wife, Kathy.

Wong earned his undergraduate degree from the University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica, before receiving a master’s and Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

He joined the faculty of Cal State Fullerton’s Department of Economics in 1981 and went on to teach generations of students in undergraduate coursework involving intermediate business microeconomics, intermediate microeconomic analysis, mathematical economics, and graduate courses on microeconomics. Wong gained emeritus status in 2015.

Mihaylo College Dean and Economics Professor Morteza Rahmatian paid tribute to Wong as a friend and professional.

“I have known David since 1988 when I joined the Department of Economics as a new faculty member,” says Rahmatian. “David was a great friend and a mentor. When I first became the department chair in 2004, David was there when I needed him. He was kind, patient and gracious with his time and wisdom. David was unique, and he will be missed.”

“David was a real scholar and a man of high integrity,” said Anil Puri, provost emeritus and longtime dean of Mihaylo College. “He was one of a kind in his wit and humor and he enriched our lives in his unique way. He will be missed by everyone who spent even a little time with him.”

Chiara Gratton-Lavoie, an economics lecturer, considered Wong invaluable in her professional development as a member of the college’s faculty. “Over the years, I have learned from David a great deal, and I have witnessed, many times over, his profound, unshakable, ingrained practice of high integrity,” she says.

At the time of his death, Wong was an engaged and active member of the Mihaylo College faculty community.

“He was very proud of his accomplishments as a teacher and scholar. His last words to me were ‘keep studying,’” recollects Andrew Gill, a veteran professor of economics. “I plan to do just that. David has been part of my life for many years. He was a mentor and a dear friend. I will miss him.”

Wong enjoyed reggae music, singing, dancing and the Latin language, incorporating Latin phrases in his email messages.

It is with great sorrow that Mihaylo College says goodbye to this great professor, instructor, colleague, friend, mentor and leader.

Real estate may be the lifeblood of the Orange County economy. James St. Louis ’20, president of the Real Estate Association, a student club providing related networking and professional development opportunities, discusses his goals and experience and how to launch your future in real estate.

“My dream job after college is to work for a well-known real estate company learning the ins and outs of development, investing and brokerage,” says James St. Louis, an intern with Lee & Associates and president of the Cal State Fullerton Real Estate Association. “My long-term career goal is to be financially free. I plan to get there by learning from my mentors and not being afraid to make mistakes along the way. I also want to own a business, whether in real estate or another field.”

The finance senior has been working toward a lucrative career for years, and he’s inspired by the successes and failures of acclaimed business leaders of the past, such as Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller. For all of them, St. Louis has recognized a commonality: building wealth through real estate.

“All these people invested in real estate in some shape or form,” he says. “I figured if real estate worked for all these men and women throughout history, why try to reinvent the wheel when I could implement their strategies in my life?”

As a freshman, St. Louis was already avidly watching online videos and reading articles and books on real estate, such as Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad. “I wanted to mold my career off of the many successful people who had done so before me,” he says. “For them, it’s about ‘how much work can I put in today, to reap the benefits in the future.’ I like to model my life goals off this mentality, playing the long-term game.”

St. Louis also looks up to present business leaders and athletes, such as Elon Musk, Warren Buffet and Kobe Bryant.

An Applied Look at Real Estate Through a Lee & Associates Internship

Like in many industries, St. Louis has discovered that internships can be the springboard to a future in real estate. He is currently interning with Lee & Associates, the nation’s largest broker-owned commercial real estate services firm.

“What I wanted out of an internship was to learn all the aspects of the industry so I can make a more educated decision on what career path I want to take within real estate,” he says. “Throughout my internship, I’ve experienced the different sides of commercial brokerage, property development, investment properties and the back-end knowledge needed to succeed.”

Prior to interning, St. Louis had heard from others the praises of residential real estate careers and that commercial real estate was unfriendly and strict. He was disabused of this notion when he found an internship at a commercial real estate firm.

“At Lee & Associates, I met the most family-oriented and kindest people I’ve met. From the interview to present, I’ve felt welcomed with open arms by all who work at the office,” he says. “My biggest surprise is that I’m part of a team that specializes in industrial real estate. I’ve always wanted to be involved with the commercial side of the business, but never imagined the industrial market. I’ve enjoyed the experience and can’t wait to continue learning.”

St. Louis encourages other Titans to find internships through their network, whether the opportunity is exactly in their field of choice or in a slightly different direction. “My friends and I have applied to hundreds of internships online and heard nothing back. Once we used a connection to recommend us, we all got positions at desired companies,” he says. “Don’t get discouraged if your ideal company isn’t hiring. Find any company that’s related to your industry and gain experience. I’ve told many people that any internship is better than none at all.”

Getting Started with the Real Estate Association

Cal State Fullerton’s Real Estate Association, which is open to all CSUF students of all majors, is a great way to build your network.

“Members of the Real Estate Association get access to the placement program I went through with Robert Taylor, owner of REMM International and one of the guest speakers for the club,” he says. Taylor ’67, ’73 is also a member of the board of directors for the Center for Real Estate, which supports the student club. “He is very knowledgeable about development and investments, and I met with him multiple times to talk about the industry and to observe how he thinks about real estate opportunities. It was thanks to Taylor that I obtained my internship with Lee & Associates through the center’s internship placement program.”

Meeting with high-level executives, brokers and property developers provides opportunities to get expert answers to questions about the sectors, and connecting with fellow club members is also invaluable, he says.

“Talking with like-minded individuals about how to achieve financial freedom and helping others find internships in real estate is what I find so exciting.”

Cal State Fullerton Mihaylo College GAP 4+1 accounting student

Cal State Fullerton accounting student Alexis Rock

Cal State Fullerton’s accounting education programs are committed to providing the most efficient, thorough and relevant introduction to the field possible.

Alexis Rock is part of the GAP 4+1 Guaranteed Accounting program, a partnership between Irvine Valley College, a community college in South Orange County, and Cal State Fullerton’s Mihaylo College, enabling students to complete their associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting within an accelerated format. Students can go from high school graduation to a master’s degree in only five years.

Rock, who is also an administrative and research assistant at Mihaylo College’s Center for Corporate Reporting and Governance, an industry- and academic-focused center providing continuing education and development for professionals, was a participant in the cutting-edge, first in the nation collaboration with robotic process automation firm UiPath in spring 2019, whic brought next-generation automation into the classroom. Read More

Mike Golebiowski, vice president of health care strategy and innovation at B. Braun Medical Inc.

Mike Golebiowski

Mike Golebiowski ’01, vice president of health care strategy and innovation at B. Braun Medical Inc., a German medical and pharmaceutical device company with a presence in more than 50 countries, began his career in health-care administration while a marketing student at Cal State Fullerton.

“I was working at Logic Nutrition while finishing my undergrad degree, and my market research project for school was focused on new products at Logic Nutrition, which was then utilized for product launches at the company,” says Golebiowski. “I always had an interest in health care, so I applied for an internship at B. Braun’s Medical Pharmaceuticals division in Irvine. During this time, I was active in the Cal State Fullerton chapter of the American Marketing Association, which facilitated an internship offer at Experian. This lead to B. Braun bumping up their offer.”

Nearly two decades later, Golebiowski leads marketing for the company from their U.S. headquarters in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, spearheading the branding of new health-care innovations, including the latest infusion and nutritional therapies, strengthening the company’s U.S. market, and expanding its global footprint.

The Titan grad credits his tenacity, commitment and innovation for his career success – skills he encourages others to exhibit to maximize their journeys. Read More

Cal State Fullerton Mihaylo College students in Singapore as part of a study tour.

Mihaylo College management capstone students pose in Singapore, while on a 13-day study tour earlier this summer.

For 30 management undergrads at Cal State Fullerton’s Mihaylo College of Business and Economics, their capstone course included a 13-day study tour to Thailand and Singapore from May 28 to June 10.

Led by Associate Professor of Management Lorenzo Bizzi, the study abroad opportunity included immersion in local culture, such as enjoying local food at street markets and visiting palaces and temples, as well as business excursions giving an inside look at the innovation transforming this region of East Asia.

Students met with executives at Siam Commercial Bank, the largest financial institution in Thailand; explored the tech-rich startup campus of Thailand’s True Digital Park; visited a Singaporean company competing with Amazon; and marveled at the latest cash-free mobile technology at next-generation grocery and dining shop Habitat by Honestbee.

Rebecca Sandler ’19 (business administration-legal studies) was struck by the community-based culture that pervades business in Asia.

“For example, True Digital Park had a small community for their workers, including apartments, a gym and other commodities you would find in your local town,” she says. “I feel that business in Asia had more to do with the mindset of helping the whole company, while the U.S. tends to focus on individual success.”

Continue reading this article on CSUF News. Or read more of our articles on the Mihaylo College management program.

A room in The Bell, a pop-up hotel open in August 2019 by Taco Bell.

The interior of The Bell, Taco Bell’s pop-up hotel in Palm Springs, which sold out in minutes with rooms available for $169 per night. Photo from Taco Bell

Taco Bell, the Irvine-based fast food chain that has brought fast, low-cost, Mexican-inspired foods to markets around the world, debuted a pop-up hotel, The Bell: A Taco Bell Hotel and Resort in Palm Springs on June 27. The hotel will be open for four nights in August. Chiranjeev Kohli, Cal State Fullerton Mihaylo College marketing professor, examines the chain’s decision to launch the hotel, its impact and what it might mean for the future.

With more than 7,000 locations around the world on five continents, Taco Bell has come a long way from its first location launched by San Bernardino entrepreneur Glen Bell Jr. in 1962. But on June 27, 2019, the chain, now a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, captured the world’s attention with the launch of a redesigned Palm Springs hotel and resort, replete with a taco theme.

Known as The Bell, the initiative for now is limited to accommodations for only four total exclusive nights beginning on Aug. 8. The experience features a poolside lounge with an in-house DJ, salon, gift shop, movies, gym and Taco Bell-themed menu.

According to Mihaylo College’s Chiranjeev Kohli, a marketing professor and former consultant for Taco Bell, the strategy is all positives for the Orange County fast food giant. Read More

Dalip Jaggi, Cal State Fullerton entrepreneurship student and founder of Devise Interactive.When he was 29, Dalip Jaggi sold his company, brand-focused engineering studio Devise Interactive, to Finnish software company Vincit, where the tech-focused Cal State Fullerton entrepreneurship student now works to create software development solutions to help companies thrive in the digital age.

For Dalip Jaggi, a teenage affinity for video games and a desire to make some extra cash set the stage for his current global profile as a tech-focused software entrepreneur. The Orange County native had saved up to buy his first computer and was just beginning to explore the internet and computer programs.

In 2003, he launched his first startup, using MIRC, the predecessor of today’s Slack, which served as the go-to hub for gamer communication.

“I started my entrepreneurial journey when I was 14, when I got into video games. I would play and then create game servers, VoIP communication and web hosting companies,” he says. “I would call these kiddie companies, because none of these startups were very profitable, not more than a few hundred dollars per year. But the takeaway was the operations – I was managing servers in every main U.S. hub from Florida to Chicago to New York to San Jose to L.A. That was the entry point to the internet and software development.” Read More

John Barton, Cal State Chico grad and entrepreneur, displays his app with executives of the North Orange County Chamber of Commerce.

John Barton (center) with the leadership of the North Orange County Chamber of Commerce, previewing his new app for chamber members.

Orange County entrepreneur John Barton was looking to take his business to the next level.

Once he became a resident of Cal State Fullerton’s Startup Incubator, he found the tools and the mentors to help him do just that.

After looking at a few concepts, including a money-saving app designed to connect college students with low-cost wholesome entertainment nearby, Barton settled on his current vision for Point `N Save – a customized app development and management service for businesses and organizations that may not have the know-how or desire to build and manage their own app, such as the North Orange County Chamber of Commerce, his first client.

For this client, Barton and his team built an app called Live Work Play. The app helps members of the NOC Chamber of Commerce get the most of their membership. It advertises member businesses and highlights chamber events, thus creating an interactive go-to source for chamber members and encouraging community members to get involved in the organization. Read More

ISDS professor Bhushan Kapoor Bhushan Kapoor, the outgoing department chair of the Cal State Fullerton Mihaylo College Department of Information Systems and Decision Sciences (ISDS), has taught information technology for nearly four decades, impacting several generations of industry leaders.

The instructor and researcher, who is retiring from his position, looks at the integration of technology in higher education over the past 40 years, his recent and forthcoming research, the growth of the information systems field, and how young professionals can position themselves for growth in this sector.

You have been a part of the Cal State Fullerton ISDS program since 1982. How has the department and technology in higher education changed over this time?

Cal State Fullerton and the ISDS department have changed tremendously. When I started, there was limited use of computers and technology in classrooms and delivery of course material. Even routine student registration and fee deposit were done manually using paper and pen. Read More