Attendees of the 2016 Mihaylo College Midyear Economic Forecast look at a slide showing the ups and downs of the business cycle.

The economy is not expected to lapse into recession, but growth won’t be stellar either, according to the Midyear Forecast presented by Dean Anil Puri and Associate Professor of Economics Mira Farka at the Irvine Marriott on April 28, 2016.

Mihaylo’s Woods Center for Economic Analysis and Forecasting released its midyear economic forecast written by Dean Anil Puri and Associate Professor of Economics Mira Farka at the Irvine Marriott on April 28. In light of a rocky start to the year, Puri and Farka predict continued modest growth in the global and local economies.

“The start of 2016 was not for the faint of heart: gloom and doom seemed to have descended on equity market, which had the worst start of the year in more than two decades. China’s manufacturing activity ground to a halt, raising fears of an imminent recession that threatened the entire global economy. Emerging market wobbled, oil and commodity prices plunged, and market volatility shot up.”

That is how Mihaylo Dean Anil Puri and Associate Professor of Economics Mira Farka describe the tumultuous start of 2016, which prompted many business observers to talk about the possibility of recession. Yet stability has returned to the markets, altering the already uncertain outlook for the economy.

“Though things now seem less dire than in the deep of winter blues, questions remain as to whether the (nearly) seven-year recovery is nearing its end,” says the report.

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Commencement ceremonies for the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics on May 21 and 22 will feature three graduating student speakers. They share their college experiences and plans for the future.  

Commencement for Mihaylo’s students will take place over two days later this month. Accounting, business analytics, economics, ISDS, professional business students and graduate students will be honored on Saturday, May 21. Entertainment and tourism, entrepreneurship, finance, international business, MBA, management, marketing and risk management/insurance students will graduate on Sunday, May 22.

The 1,902 participating outgoing business students will hear from three fellow graduates. Hannah Chapman ’16 (management-legal studies) and Lydia Wang ’16 (ISDS) will speak to graduates on May 21, and Amanda Tran ’16 (international business-Chinese) will speak on May 22.

Hannah Chapman, a 2016 Mihaylo College grad and commencement speaker, in cap and gown.

Mihaylo management-legal studies major and BICC President Hannah Chapman.

Hannah Chapman ’16

“My secret to success has often been summed up with the adage, ‘fake it ‘til you make it,’” says Chapman. “As graduating students entering the workforce, we will be challenged with unknowns. By already displaying the confidence and skills needed to perform well, we can train and challenge ourselves to become the people employers are looking for rather quickly,” says Chapman. “Study your role models and request an informational interview to learn how they arrived in their current place. Be open to passing down advice to others who may be looking up to you.”

Chapman has served as president of the Business Inter-Club Council (BICC) since May 2015, one of several administrative, event-planning and mentoring positions she has held on campus through the BICC and the Business Honors Program. She has also participated in the Women’s Leadership Program.

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A male college student studying for final exams in his dorm room.

Reviewing books, writing papers, taking notes and doing online research: Final exams week can be a trying time, but with a few tips, you can make sure you do your personal best. Image from Pixabay

This week is final exams for most Mihaylo students. Here are some tips on how to get through this week in one piece.

Finals week a dreaded time in every student’s life–but it doesn’t have to be. Here are six tips on how to make your final exams easier.

  1. Study the material right before your final exam

Before each exam, review some notes on key course concepts and facts that are sure to appear on a multiple-choice exam. Consider typing up a short one-to-two-page paper with information you can study in the days and hours before an exam. You are sure to retain some of the material.

  1. Limit your study time on smartphones and other small devices

The tiny type size can give you eyestrain, which can make it hard to concentrate. When studying online or on your computer, zoom in to make the type easier to read. And make sure to take breaks, which will make it easier to come back to study.

  1. Exercise or get a quick walk in

There’s nothing like getting refreshed outdoors – which is all the more beautiful considering that we’re in Southern California and even in December it’s 70 degrees out! Especially if you have a morning exam, taking a walk or jog is a great way to get invigorated.

  1. Eat balanced meals

Make sure you are eating plenty of protein before final exams to give you the energy and stamina you need. But don’t neglect fruits and vegetables to keep your immune system strong, since many students come down with a cold after exams. Also, don’t overdo it with caffeine, as it can make you too jumpy and actually hurt your concentration.

5. Get good sleep

A research study involving 621 first-year university students in Belgium found that students who slept at least seven hours each night during the exam period scored nearly 10% higher than their peers who got less sleep. So make sure you allow for plenty of time to rest. Get a good night’s sleep so you don’t get caught by CSUF Naps when you cat nap in Mihaylo Hall!

6. Plan something fun when your exams are done

Having something to look forward to always helps – and you should celebrate the completion of your school year. Consider going to the beach, Disneyland or skiing or snowboarding (we have some great mountain destinations close by). After all your hard work, you deserve it!


Mihaylo College Dean Anil Puri is presented a framed copy of a Cal State Fullerton Associated Students Inc. honorary resolution.

BICC officers, Mihaylo’s representatives on the ASI Board of Directors and Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Emeline Yong honor Mihaylo Dean Anil Puri (third from left) with the honorary resolution from the ASI Board of Directors on May 5.

Cal State Fullerton’s student government has honored Mihaylo Dean Anil Puri with a resolution recognizing him for his dedication to Mihaylo students and the mission of higher education.

Mihaylo Dean Anil Puri joined the college faculty in 1977 as an economics professor. After serving for years as the chair of the Department of Economics, Puri was appointed dean in 1998. Under his 18-year tenure, the college has grown to become the largest accredited business college on the West Coast and moved into a newly-built state-of-the-art facility. The alumni and business network has grown to more than 50,000 people and the college has developed strong bonds with the local community through its 15 centers of excellence. Student development, career training and innovative teaching have flourished.

“I took on this initiative to honor Dean Puri because I believe it is within the realm of the ASI board’s responsibilities to acknowledge the outstanding accomplishments, innovative efforts and dedication from an individual who has done exceptional work for the advancement of the student body’s campus life and experiences in both academic and professional settings,” says Joseph Nguyen ’16 (finance and economics), one of Mihaylo’s two representatives on the ASI Board of Directors.

“Thank you for your work as the Dean of the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics,” wrote Vickie Chew ’19 (accounting and finance), one of several students who recommended Puri to the ASI board. “It is always encouraging to have faculty and staff be very supportive of students. For example, helping the Business Inter-Club Council host the Meet the Dean event and having the Dean’s Honor List ceremony. As a student of Mihaylo, I’ve seen both the direct and indirect effects and benefits of the work you do.”

The full text of the resolution is available online.

Stuart Atkins, Mihaylo College marketing lecturer, marketing lecturer and author.

Stuart Atkins, Mihaylo marketing lecturer and founder of Atkins Marketing Solutions, believes that while social media are important, an enterprise’s website is still the key to digital marketing.

America’s 28 million small businesses face the challenges and opportunities of communicating their message in today’s digital environment. Mihaylo Marketing Lecturer Stuart Atkins, founder of Orange-based Atkins Marketing Solutions, shares his tips to help small enterprises not only survive, but thrive.

“Effective marketing tells a story,” says Mihaylo Marketing Lecturer Stuart Atkins. “Every business has a story, which starts with its founder and a need that this individual is passionate about.”

Atkins, founder of Orange-based Atkins Marketing Solutions, which assists small-and medium-sized enterprises in developing versatile marketing strategies, is the author of two books for entrepreneurs, both of which are available on

Small Business Marketing: A Guide for Survival, Growth, and Success discusses targeted marketing, attracting and retaining customers, internet and social media strategies, using SWOT analysis, green marketing and email campaigns. His second and most recent book, Winning the Battle for Attention: Internet Marketing For Small Business, examines web marketing based on his work with more than 200 small businesses. Recognizing that static websites are not sufficient in today’s world of Facebook and Twitter, Atkins examines search engine optimization (SEO), strategies to rapidly attract online visitors and the basics of analytics research, which can help every entrepreneur know the vital signs of their web presence.

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Currants drying in a vineyard.

What is the best strategy for Coachella Valley-based Mojave Gold to export their nutrient-rich raising crop to China? A group of Mihaylo MBA students provided a blueprint for the company in their marketing course. MBA student Mandy Yan Zhu discusses her experience.

“The eyes of the world are on the Chinese consumer,” says Mihaylo MBA student Mandy Yan Zhu ’17. “Compared with other cultures around the world, the Chinese are very health conscious. They value happiness, good health and having enough energy for an active lifestyle.” According to Euromonitor, the Chinese health and wellness market is expected to be worth $70 billion by 2020, providing opportunities for businesses around the world.

Mandy Yan Zhu, a Mihaylo College MBA student, led a student team in bringing California-based Mojave Gold raisins to China.

Equipped with native knowledge of Chinese markets, Mihaylo MBA student Mandy Yan Zhu led a student team in opening two urban markets in China for California-based Mojave Gold LLC.

Zhu was part of a student consulting class project for Mojave Gold LLC, a California on-the-vine raisin company based in the Coachella Valley town of Thermal seeking to expand into the burgeoning Chinese market. Working as a team, Zhu led the students in analyzing market trends to develop a comprehensive report with recommendations on expansion to China.

Zhu completed her undergraduate degree in her native Shanghai, so she had experience with Chinese business, yet this was the first time she participated in exporting to the world’s second-largest economy. Using her knowledge of China, she was able to connect the raisin company with health food enterprises in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Mojave Gold began selling their product in Shanghai earlier this year.

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Cal State Fullerton Phi Beta Lambda students celebrate in the hallway at the spring 2016 conference in Union City, California.

Students celebrate their wins at the SBLC in Union City, Calif. The Cal State Fullerton chapter exceeded last year’s figure by more than 75%, winning nearly a third of the total awards given.

The Cal State Fullerton chapter of the business student club, Phi Beta Lambda (PBL), set a new record for 94 awards at the organization’s annual State Business Leadership Conference (SBLC). The chapter’s president discusses the awards and the organization.

Cal State Fullerton’s PBL chapter keeps reaching higher. Last year, they earned six awards at the organization’s annual fall conference and 51 medals and awards at the SBLC. This year, they smashed their previous record with 94 awards, nearly a third of the total 306 medals awarded at the event representing 12 campuses.

“I’m most proud of our first-place Sweepstakes Chapter award,” says chapter president Juan Juy ’16 (marketing). “This award is given to the chapter that took home both the most medals overall and the highest quality of medals.”

The competitions consist of individual and team events covering 48 business and career subjects, including business ethics, marketing concepts and financial strategies. Participation not only rewards students for their academic performance but also serves as a career-building tool.

“By receiving feedback from a panel of judges, members can identify areas for improvement, developing them for the business world,” says Juy. “By placing in the top five of those competitions, members not only get a shiny medal and a résumé booster, but they also get a sense of accomplishment and assurance that they are on the right path to becoming a future business leader.”

While popular among business majors, membership in PBL is open to all students. Among participants at the SBLC were advertising, psychology, physics and human communications majors.

PBL has chapters at colleges and universities throughout the nation, with additional chapters at high schools nationwide through Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). In addition to weekly meetings, the chapter hosts regular workshops, competitions and leadership opportunities. More information is available online.

PBL is just one of the student clubs in the Business Inter-Club Council, all of which help prepare Mihaylo students for successful careers by providing networking, team projects and campus activities. For more information, visit the college’s club directory.

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