A nighttime view of Disneyland in Anaheim, California

Photo from Pixabay

With more than 23,000 employees (known as cast members), Anaheim’s Disneyland Resort is the largest employer in Orange County, and that distinction does not include the tens of thousands who work in restaurants, hotels, resorts and other businesses heavily dependent on Disneyland’s presence.

To better understand their economic impact on Southern California, Disney officials turned to the Woods Center for Economic Analysis and Forecasting, a think tank and research center within Cal State Fullerton’s Mihaylo College of Business and Economics. With the help of a $75,000 grant from the resort, economists Anil Puri, Adrian Fleissig, Aaron Popp and a current Mihaylo College economics student, spent six months on the project.

Assessing direct, indirect and induced impacts on the seven-county region using an input-output model, the researchers determined that Disneyland Resort had a total economic impact of $8.5 billion in 2018, a rise of 50% since 2013, generating nearly 78,300 jobs.

The fiscal impact was also massive: It generated more than $500 million in state and local taxes during fiscal year 2018, powering local governments, especially Anaheim’s general fund.

“Findings show what an economic powerhouse Disneyland Resort is,” Puri summarizes. “It is the largest employer in Orange County, and its impact is felt beyond Anaheim. Not only does it draw tourists from around the world, it also adds to the local economy through its major construction and renovation projects. Disneyland Resort is a magnet and catalyst for additional tourism and recreational activities and enterprises in the region.”

Learn about the Mihaylo College study and its implications in this CSUF News article. Or read more of our articles on the research conducted by the college’s economists.

A police officer uses 10-8 Systems at a traffic stop.If someone near you has a heart attack, you witness a crime or see a fire break out, your instinct is likely to call 911. But will the dispatcher know the exact location to respond efficiently?

The emergency response system in the U.S. and other countries, while a lifesaver to thousands in crisis situations, is outdated, often focusing on the address, rather than the exact location – as measured in a few feet – within a campus, building or area.

Cal State Fullerton computer science student Bryan Ruef, working with Mihaylo College’s Center for Entrepreneurship, has launched 10-8 Systems, an affordable cloud-based computer-aided dispatch (CAD) system for agencies of any size, whether law enforcement, private security, search and rescue, or emergency medical assistance, which helps ensure that first responders know the exact location of those they assist, through cell phone-based GPS technology, among other capabilities.

Already, Ruef’s brainchild has helped save hundreds of lives in the aftermath of Category 5 Hurricane Dorian, which devastated the northern Bahamas.

Ruef shares his motivation for developing 10-8 Systems and where he sees his innovation in the future. Read More

Panelists at the Harnessing Psychology, Tech and Innovation to Combat Distracted Driving event at Cal State Fullerton's Mihaylo College on Sept. 12, 2019.

Panelists discuss distracted driving and related solutions at the Harnessing Psychology, Tech and Innovation to Combat Distracted Driving symposium on Sept. 12, 2019.

With backup cameras, lane control warnings, reminders to fasten your seat belts and built-in systems to prevent drunk driving, roads in the developed world should be safer than ever before. But despite safer vehicles, traffic fatalities in the U.S. are increasing at an alarming rate, recording their biggest two-year increase in the past 50 years between 2014 and 2016. In 2017, more than 37,000 Americans died in motor vehicle crashes, including 3,600 in California.

While causes vary, the culprit behind the overall increase in auto accidents is largely distracted driving, a longstanding challenge that has grown dramatically more acute in recent years with the advent of increasingly sophisticated mobile technologies.

“In our poll, 77% [of drivers] admitted to making or taking calls while driving, and 30% had a near miss because of their own distraction. While they are driving, 20% of people we’ve polled in the Los Angeles region are shopping online. And if 20% are admitting to it, think about what the actual number is,” said Joan Woodward, president of the Travelers Institute, a public policy and thought leadership think tank established by insurance giant Travelers. “We also have pedestrian fatalities, with more than 6,000 being killed, with this toxic mix of drivers driving distracted and people walking across the street with their earbuds in.” Read More

A student utilizes the iTuffy chatbot on his smartphone.

A Cal State Fullerton student using iTuffy on his smartphone.

As the largest Cal State campus by enrollment, CSUF serves a massive community of students, faculty and staff, and it is committed to using all of the technology tools at its disposal to ensure facts and information are available on demand across the campus community.

The latest manifestation is the iTuffy App, a chatbot available on both the Apple and Google Play app stores, on your student/faculty/staff portal, and accessible through Amazon Alexa assistants set up across campus. Just ask your question and high-tech Tuffy will be at your service with an answer!

New to campus and need to know where a building is? Ask iTuffy, which will generate a map and audio information.

What time does the Student Recreation Center close on a Friday evening? iTuffy is up to the task.

Forgot your CWID, the number you need to exist in the system in Titan country? iTuffy will give it to you – but without announcing it by audio, to ensure your privacy.

Even the campus directory, upcoming events, and your personalized class and finals schedule aren’t beyond iTuffy’s IQ!

Future generations of Titans might turn to an omniscient iTuffy for everything. In fact, maybe iTuffy will be your kids’ professor if they go to CSUF! OK, we are getting ahead of ourselves here.

But for now, there are some things that are just beyond iTuffy’s abilities. Such as:

  • The answers to your test questions – iTuffy won’t help you cheat!
  • Where your friends are on campus at a given time – Tuffy is too committed to protecting your privacy to divulge that info!
  • Attending mandatory class sessions for you. iTuffy is an app, silly! It’s not a physical entity. You’re going to have to go to class yourself.
  • And iTuffy isn’t multilingual. We might need to wait some years before Mandarin iTuffy debuts. Rumor has it that Spanish will be the first second language iTuffy learns!

And if you need campus police, call 911, don’t ask iTuffy. Remember, elephants don’t move fast enough!

For more information on iTuffy, check out the video and resource page maintained by the Division of Information Technology.

A sculpture with twin towers and the CSUF logo in between at Cal State Fullerton near the corner of State College and Nutwood.Recognizing the significance of data analytics in the business and accounting fields of the future, Cal State Fullerton’s Department of Accounting is incorporating a platform developed by Irvine-based software company Alteryx into its curriculum.

The program will provide free software licenses to Cal State Fullerton, enabling instructors to engage students in predictive, statistical and spatial analytics using Alteryx software. The data analysis skills taught in this program will prepare business students to solve real-world business problems and give them a competitive edge when they enter the workforce.

“Our accounting curriculum has evolved into a world-class, tech-forward, real-world, experience-based model,” says April Morris, accounting lecturer, associate director of the Center for Corporate Reporting and Governance (CCRG), and instructor of the ACCT 503 – Analytics in Accounting class. “Alteryx is a great platform for students to learn – intuitive, responsive and powerful.”

By spring 2020, the platform will be fully integrated into the department’s accounting curriculum. The new initiative builds on a spring 2019 section of ACCT 503, a graduate-level “toolbox” course for data analytics and robotics process automation (RPA), which featured presentations and demonstrations of Alteryx products by industry users. In that course, students used the platform to clean and combine data for a final project.

“We are delighted to be the first accounting program in the CSU system to work directly with Alteryx in leveraging an educational platform that embraces the resources of Alteryx, including its ‘community’ feature combined with real-world data supplied through CSUF, to create a challenging and realistic educational experience,” says Vivek Mande, accounting professor and director of the Department of Accounting. “We are also very excited about the reception our programs have had with employers of all sizes and look forward to seeing what the future holds.”

For More on Mihaylo College Accounting

For more on Mihaylo College Accounting, which is one of a select group of such programs to be dually accredited by the AACSB, visit them online.

Or read more of our articles on Mihaylo College Accounting

Jesus Ornelas, director in the Financial Institution Governance and Regulation group with FTI Consulting.

Jesus Ornelas

For Jesus Ornelas, a 2011 management graduate from Cal State Fullerton’s Mihaylo College of Business and Economics, a financial industry career has brought him to the heart of financial power in New York City’s Central Manhattan, where he is a director in the Financial Institution Governance and Regulation group with FTI Consulting, a global business advisory firm.

“FTI Consulting is an independent global business advisory firm, dedicated to helping organizations manage change, mitigate risk and resolve disputes, whether financial, legal, operational, political, regulatory, reputational or transactional,” says Ornelas. “Individually, each practice is a leader in its specific field, staffed with experts recognized for the depth of their knowledge and a track record of making an impact. Collectively, FTI Consulting offers a comprehensive suite of services designed to assist clients across the business cycle – from proactive risk management to rapid response to unexpected events and dynamic environments.”

Working with corporate clients across many industries, Ornelas is on the front line helping the business community anticipate and respond to potential challenges. Read More

Stephanie Smith poses with an attendee of the Cal State Fullerton G3X nonprofit conference in August 2019.

Stephanie L. Smith (left) mixes with attendees of the G3X Conference. Photo by Daniel Coats ’15, ’18

With more than 30 million followers across the social media universe, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the robotic spacecraft and Deep Space Network research and development center in Pasadena, California, engages the world with its stunning photos of the solar system and beyond. Stephanie L. Smith, digital and social media supervisor for JPL, discussed the space agency’s social media outreach and tips for professionals to maximize their digital footprint – in any organization – in a presentation at the G3X Conference for nonprofit professionals at Cal State Fullerton’s Mihaylo College on Aug. 13, 2019.

While few doubt that social media has changed the world, with NASA’s robust use of the latest platforms, social networks have truly changed the universe, giving billions opportunities to see such marvels as the moons and rings of distant, gas giant planets, asteroids that pose a real – if remote – threat to Earth, and the distant reaches of interstellar space.

For Stephanie L. Smith, who has been an integral part of social media at Pasadena’s JPL since 2010 and now leads the team, social media has provided the means to achieve what the U.S. space program has promised from its conception – sharing its discoveries with as many people as possible.

“What good is it to make a discovery if you can’t communicate it with other people?” Smith told attendees at Cal State Fullerton’s G3X nonprofit conference on Aug. 13. “It all goes back to the Space Act of 1958 that founded NASA, which ‘requires the dissemination of information concerning our activities and the results thereof.’ That language is my job’s raison d’etre. It is as much a part of our DNA as an organization to make and fly space missions and send explorers – whether they are robots or astronauts – to different places as it is to people about it.” Read More

The trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange

Photo from Pixabay

With more than half of U.S. adults owning stocks and an increasingly globalized investment world, the opportunities for lucrative, rewarding and impactful careers in stock market-related fields have never been more numerous or varied.

From trading or compliance to marketing or sales, Wall Street and the firms that make the market a reality have positions that dovetail with many academic majors. And the jobs aren’t all in New York City’s Lower Manhattan, with employment available in most major urban areas around the world.

Kelly Ko, a Cal State Fullerton Mihaylo College finance lecturer and 31-year investment management veteran, takes a look at the options available for stock market careers and what it takes to get started. Read More

Meymuna Hussein-Cattan, founder of Tiyya and Flavors from Afar, which supports refugees living in Southern California.

Meymuna Hussein-Cattan

Meymuna Hussein-Cattan has been committed to providing opportunities for refugees since her childhood, inspired by her birth in a refugee camp in Somalia to a family fleeing unrest in her native Ethiopia. Today, Hussein leads Tiyya, an Orange County nonprofit that provides paths to opportunities for refugees from around the world. The organization has launched Flavors from Afar, a new initiative in which former refugees enlighten the Southern California community with their culinary delights. Hussein presented at the G3X nonprofit conference at Cal State Fullerton’s Mihaylo College on Aug. 14.

Meymuna Hussein-Cattan leads a major philanthropic organization, and she is the first in her family to earn a graduate degree; she’s the mother of a two-year-old daughter and the wife of a UCLA development professional. Her life today is a far cry from her birth in a refugee camp in Somalia, the daughter of young parents who had fled violence in Ethiopia in the 1970s.

In 1983, Hussein-Cattan’s father moved to San Diego when he was resettled by the International Rescue Committee. Young Meymuna and her mother followed the next year, and the family eventually settled in Orange County.

Years later, during graduate school at Antioch University, Hussein-Cattan completed her thesis on her brainchild, Tiyya, a nonprofit organization that would support refugees starting a new life in Southern California. Read More

Mara Clifford, a Cal State Fullerton accounting student, poses in front of unique architecture in Budapest, Hungary.

Mara Clifford in front of some of the unique architecture in Budapest, Hungary.

Thanks to the KPMG Leadership Edge Global Advantage Program, which provides international professional development opportunities for aspiring accountants, Cal State Fullerton Mihaylo College sophomore and KPMG intern Mara Clifford ’21 spent part of her summer in Budapest, the capital of Hungary.

“We are really thrilled that Mara was selected to this elite internship program,” says Vivek Mande, professor of accounting and chair of the Department of Accounting. “This is incredible opportunity provided by KPMG for Mara to develop her leadership skills and invest in her future.”

Clifford discusses what she learned, what it was like visiting Eastern Europe and her plans for the future.

What were the high points of your experience in the Global Advantage Program?

The high points were definitely when we went to explore the city as a group. The other participants in the program were very friendly and came from different places and backgrounds. We had a lot of time to learn about each other while we explored the beautiful city of Budapest. Whether taking Monsterroller Tour, learning to make strudel, or seeing the St. Stephen’s Basilica and the Parliament Building, we connected with each other and had a great adventure. Read More