Huntington Beach, California-based Teacher Created Materials is based on a mother and her two adult daughters.

A mother and her two daughters are the centerpiece of Huntington Beach-based Teacher Created Materials. From left to right, executive vice president Deanne Mendoza, mother and CEO/founder Rachelle Cracchiolo, and sister and president Corinne Burton.

About a third of America’s nearly 30 million small businesses are owned by mothers, many of whom pass on their enterprises to the next generation. In honor of Mother’s Day and National Small Business Week, we examine Teacher Created Materials, a local mother and daughter school materials company active in Mihaylo’s Center for Family Business.

From clothing stores to beauty salons, mothers start and operate millions of businesses in the U.S. and abroad that help form the backbone of the global economy. One such enterprise is Huntington Beach-based Teacher Created Materials, which was founded by Rachelle Cracchiolo in 1977.

From Hobby to Global Business

“Nearly 40 years ago, Rachelle was an elementary school teacher in the Fountain Valley School District,” says her daughter Deanne Mendoza, the executive vice president of the company. “While she was pregnant, she wrote an art education book, Quick Fun Art. She went to three publishing companies, but no one would publish it. She finally decided to self-publish. It began as a hobby, but became the global business that we have today.”

While the enterprise writes materials in English and Spanish, the company’s corporate partners translate teaching materials into 12 languages, giving the materials a global reach. Covering reading, writing, mathematics, social studies and the sciences designed for students from preschool to high school, much of the company’s international business is focused on English-language education – a growing demand in many parts of the world as English remains the world’s most widely spoken language.

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Riyadh al-Riyashi ’17 (finance and accounting) and Veronica Kdeiss ’18 (finance) were elected as the representatives for Mihaylo College on the Cal State Fullerton ASI Board of Directors. They will serve throughout the 2016-2017 academic year.

From funding extracurricular events, including concerts and guest speakers, to overseeing recreational facilities such as the Student Recreation Center, Cal State Fullerton’s Associated Students Inc. (ASI) Board of Directors play an important role in determining the student experience at Orange County’s largest public university.

In student elections last month, Mihaylo voters voted Riyadh al-Riyashi ’17 (finance and accounting) and Veronica Kdeiss ’18 (finance) as the college’s two representatives to the board, which is made up of two members from each of the university’s eight colleges. Al-Riyashi and Kdeiss share their experience, issues of concern and how students can take ownership in their college.

Riyadh al-Riyashi: From Yemen to Cal State Fullerton

Riyadh al-Riyashi ’17, who was elected to the Cal State Fullerton ASI Board of Directors in 2016, to represent Mihaylo College.

Riyadh al-Riyashi ’17 hopes his tenure will translate into a better college experience for Mihaylo’s more than 8,500 students.

“Success to me is measured by how many people I have served and impacted in a positive way,” says the finance and accounting junior. “Helping others brings joy to my heart and is the reason I decided to get involved on campus.”

Al-Riyashi hopes his tenure on the board of directors will translate into a better college experience for his fellow students. “Being on the board is an opportunity and a privilege to voice students concerns,” he says. “I am confident that together, we can exceed students’ expectations at the college and the university as a whole.”

Originally from Yemen, a nation of about 24 million people in the southwest corner of the Arabian Peninsula, al-Riyashi came to California in 2011. He earned an associate degree in social and behavioral sciences from Northern California’s Sierra College before transferring to Cal State Fullerton in January 2015 to complete his undergraduate studies.

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Two male students collecting oranges from the citrus trees outside of Steven G. Mihaylo Hall at Cal State Fullerton.

Students collect the oranges from the college’s small groves to donate to Share Our Selves, a local nonprofit serving the homeless.

Citrus farms once occupied Cal State Fullerton’s property. This heritage is memorialized with a small citrus grove next to Mihaylo College.

Cal State Fullerton may have been founded less than 60 years ago, but the property has a long history. In 1959, the State of California purchased the land, which was then occupied by acres of citrus groves, for the construction of the university. Years before, the first Valencia orchard in California, planted in 1880, stood between University Hall and the College of the Humanities.

Those days are long gone and today’s students have to travel to Riverside, some 30 miles to the east, to see working citrus farms. Yet there is a living testament to this heritage at Mihaylo College. On either side of the business school stand small citrus groves.

When the current business building was constructed in the late 2000s, the architects wanted to include the groves as a way of connecting the campus with the culture and history of the Southern California community that it serves.

Today, the groves share two purposes. Donors can sign up for the Orange Tree Sponsorship, which is $1,500 per tree, and have their name emblazoned on a plaque below a tree. Students collect the oranges each spring during Business Madness Week and donate them to Share Our Selves, a Costa Mesa-based homeless program, providing some of the county’s underprivileged residents with a source of nutritious vitamin C.

For more on the orange grove, contact Development and Alumni Relations Associate Amanda Leon’07 (public relations) at 657-278-7918 or amleon@fullerton.edu.

A diverse group of student employees at Cal State Fullerton's Titan Shops pose amidst the Titan-themed clothing on sale at the store.

Titan Shops is among the diverse employment options on campus for Cal State Fullerton students.

From business writing to Starbucks baristas, there are plenty of employment opportunities for students at Cal State Fullerton. Here are the basics on getting a job on campus.

Looking for a summer job or a position to last through next academic year? Don’t overlook working on campus – there are hundreds of paid positions open to students, providing work experience, paychecks and networking opportunities in a convenient location and a schedule that works around your classes.

Student Assistant Positions

Student assistants work directly for the university. They prepare social media campaigns, answer the phones, do clerical work and often act as the representatives of the university to incoming students and their families.

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Amr Soror, Assistant ISDS professor at Cal State Fullerton's Mihaylo College, is researching the impact of modern technologies on society.

Mihaylo Assistant ISDS Professor Amr Soror is attempting to understand how self-regulation impacts IT, such as addictive smartphone usage.

Joining the Mihaylo ISDS faculty in fall 2015, Assistant ISDS Professor Amr Soror is lead author of the study, “Good Habits Gone Bad: Explaining Negative Consequences Associated with the Use of Mobile Phones from a Dual-Systems Perspective,” examining mobile phone addiction.

Smartphones have become a staple of modern life. As of November 2015, 68% of Americans owned one or more Web-based mobile phones, up from only 35% four years ago. Mobile web browsing is rapidly replacing personal computers and laptops as the primary internet-enabled device.

Along with the benefits of increased communication in real-time, the ever-present smartphone carries the risk of misuse. Cellphone use is a factor in a fourth of car crashes in the U.S. and millions of students and employees have difficulty putting their phones away for academic or professional tasks.

Mihaylo Assistant ISDS Professor Amr Soror examined the behaviors behind the addictive and negative use of mobile phone technology in his 2015 co-authored study, “Good Habits Gone Bad: Explaining Negative Consequences Associated with the Use of Mobile Phones from a Dual-Systems Perspective,” which appeared in the Information Systems Journal, one of the top six information systems publications.

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An icebreaker and a sailing ship traverse the icy waters of the Arctic Ocean.

An icebreaker traverses the Arctic Ocean, which is becoming a major shipping route due to increasing ice melt. Image from Pixabay.

As Southern California bakes under the relentless ridges of high pressure responsible for the state’s crippling five-year drought, the chilly Arctic feels like worlds away. Yet what was once considered wasteland of the Far North shows potential to become one of the world’s richest emerging economies if the natural resources in the region are developed.

For hundreds of years, explorers searched in vain for the Northwest Passage – the fabled waterway that would traverse North America, connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans at northern latitudes. With the advent of modern technology, adventure-seekers abandoned their search for the apparently non-existent passage by the dawn of the 20th century. Yet much more recently, the Northwest Passage has begun to open up in the Arctic Ocean, due to the melting of the polar ice cap. It’s just one of the wonders of one of the world’s last untapped economic miracles – the vast but increasingly accessible Far North.

Melting Ice and Emerging Treasures

Underneath the ice sheets that have historically hidden the Arctic Ocean lie vast underground troves of oil and natural gas. Vocativ, a technology company that mines the deep Web to reveal content unavailable through a simple Google search, reported in 2014 that these resources are worth an estimated $17.2 trillion, which is larger than the GDP of the United States.

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The exterior of a Panda Express location, one of thousands around the world.

In addition to hundreds of U.S. locations, including one on campus at the Titan Student Union, Panda Express currently has locations in Mexico, Puerto Rico, Canada, Guam, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. There are plans to expand further into these markets and open in India and Guatemala later this year.

With close to 1,900 restaurants domestically and globally, the Panda Restaurant Group, parent company of Panda Express, is seeking to expand globally while maintaining its commitment to charitable giving and empowering its associates. Executive Director of Panda Express International Douglas Stalgren and Senior Finance Manager Rachel Bai ’03 (MBA) talked Panda culture and company expansion at Mihaylo College on April 8.

When Andrew Cherng and his father Ming-Tsai founded the first Panda Inn Restaurant in Pasadena, Calif., in 1973, they would have never imagined the global growth of their restaurant brand. Andrew’s wife, Dr. Peggy Cherng, joined the company in 1983 to help systematize operations and overall business strategy. She and Andrew are currently co-chairs and co-CEOS of the company.

“For the first two and a half years, this company was not profitable,” said Rachel Bai ’03 (MBA), senior finance manager for Panda Restaurant Group, the largest Asian restaurant chain in the U.S. “By the end of this year, we’ll have more than 1,900 stores worldwide.”

Bai and Douglas Stalgren, executive director of Panda Express International, which spearheads the company’s global expansion, provided Mihaylo students with an inside look at their corporate culture and plans during an on-campus presentation on April 8.

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Poster for Centerchella, which connects Mihaylo College students with opportunities through the Centers of Excellence.

It’s all the rage – Centerchella is coming to campus on April 20. The event, which takes place in the Mihaylo Courtyard, will inform students of the opportunities offered by Mihaylo College’s Centers of Excellence.

It’s a riff off the miniature version of the annual music and arts festival at Indio’s Empire Polo Club, but with an academic twist. Students will enjoy free pizza, refreshments and music while exploring internship, career development and networking opportunities offered by seven of Mihaylo College’s student-based centers of excellence.

The free April 20 event, open to all Cal State Fullerton students, will be held at the Mihaylo Courtyard from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Centers represented include the Entertainment & Tourism Management Center, Center for Entrepreneurship, Center for Insurance Studies, Center for International Business, Center for Leadership, Sales Leadership Center and the Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

“CSUF students are intelligent and innovative people who are eager to create the next great business or movement, and all of our activities are aligned to help make that happen,” says Travis Lindsay, coordinator for Mihaylo’s Center for Entrepreneurship. “We look forward to starting CSUF students on their entrepreneurial journeys at the upcoming Centerchella event.”

The weather is not forecast to be as hot as it is out in the Coachella Valley, but it should still be warm – expect daytime temperatures in the mid-80s under sunny skies.

Mihaylo College grad Michael Willis and other volunteers at a home renovation project in La Habra, California.

Serve the Way (Sway) members volunteer with Habitat for Humanity Orange County in La Habra. Founded by entertainment and tourism management alumnus Michael Willis ’15 (third from left), the organization connects volunteers with charitable organizations.

From fishing rod business to mail-sorting company, Mihaylo alumni are busy developing innovative business concepts throughout Southern California and beyond.

Imagine a company that enables individual and corporate customers to manage their snail mail from their computers. Or a nonprofit that connects volunteers with opportunities to do good in the community. These are just some of the business models developed by Mihaylo alumni.

Following are 10 alumni-owned enterprises making an impact in Southern California and beyond.

Alpha Greek Apparel

With fraternities and sororities at colleges and universities nationwide requiring specialized apparel, management and entrepreneurship alumnus Jason Liu ’13 recognized a business opportunity. His company, Alpha Greek Apparel, founded in 2013, now provides custom Greek-themed clothing at locations in Fountain Valley and Irvine. “Do something that you are passionate about and love doing,” he says. “During peak season, I sometimes spend 10 to 12 hours per day at the shop and work through Saturdays and Sundays. But I do not even feel like I am at work. I feel at home when I am at the shop, because I truly enjoy what I am doing.” Read more in our blog post.

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A diverse group of Cal State Fullerton students walking across campus on a sunny day.

With more than 8,500 students, Mihaylo College is one of the largest and most diverse business schools in the nation. Faculty and staff hope to better understand the needs and concerns of students through the new advisory board.

Mihaylo College’s new Student Advisory Board will give business students the opportunity to influence college policy and obtain leadership experience.

Would you like to help create a college that better serves its students? Student Advisory Board members will collaborate with staff and business leaders to support a college experience that prepares today’s business students for the contemporary economy

Megan Martinez, Mihaylo Career Development Advisor, hopes that the Student Advisory Board at Cal State Fullerton's Mihaylo College will help the college better serve its students.

Mihaylo Career Development Advisor Megan Martinez hopes the Student Advisory Board will help administrators better understand student perspectives when making decisions for the college.

“It is difficult to get students’ opinions on the decisions that we as administrators make every day,” says Mihaylo Career Development Advisor Megan Martinez ’13 (sociology). “We want the advisory board to be a diverse cross-section of the college, serving as a sounding board for decisions we have to make.”

Debuting next academic year, the board will consist of 12 to 15 business students, who are eligible to participate regardless of class level or units enrolled. Members will serve for one academic year and will be able to apply for subsequent terms.

Student board members will attend three meetings per semester and provide honest opinions on a variety of issues selected to better inform the college’s administration on student perspectives. Topics for discussion may include college operating hours, academic and vocational support programs and diversity issues.

Board members will have the opportunity to meet Dean Anil Puri and obtain a certificate of recognition from the college.

“This is one of the easiest ways to get involved, even if you have limited time,” says Martinez. “Not only will students have the chance to speak with high-level administrators, but they will also have opportunities to gain leadership skills, improve their résumés and make a difference in their college.”

To obtain an application, email mihaylosab@fullerton.edu. Students are encouraged to apply early as they will get first priority for interviews before the end of the semester. Applicants will complete an in-person interview with a member of the Student Success Team, which includes representatives of the various student programs.