Sathya Chey '08, a Cal State Fullerton grad and advisor with Wells Fargo Advisors in Palos Verdes, California.Sathya Chey ’08 has come a long way in her personal journey since her birth in a refugee camp to parents fleeing the Cambodian genocide of the late 1970s. After earning her MBA at USC, the Cal State Fullerton finance grad is a financial advisor with The Elliot Carlsen Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors. She is also an incoming member of the Executive Council at CSUF’s Mihaylo College of Business and Economics.

Today, Sathya Chey ’08 is a financial advisor with an office in the Palos Verdes area, one of the most exclusive oceanfront suburbs in Los Angeles County. Her current life is worlds apart from her birth in a refugee camp as her parents, four siblings, aunt and uncle were fleeing the Cambodian genocide in the late 1970s.

Chey moved with her family to California, where they found safety and a better life, yet still experienced economic hardship. “We would go to Vons dumpsters and take the dented cans and expired produce to make dinners with. We really learned to live on very little,” she recalls.

The resourcefulness of her parents would ultimately set the stage for a better life for Chey – and they were role models for her own success. Her mother saved up enough to buy a sewing machine, enabling her to sew clothing for manufacturers from home. Loans from friends and savings led them to found a Cambodian supermarket in the heart of what is now Cambodia Town in Long Beach. Read More

The Cal State Fullerton campus, as seen from Panorama Nature Preserve in the Coyote Hills of Fullerton, California.

A visual guide to the Cal State Fullerton campus as seen from Panorama Nature Preserve. Photo by Daniel Coats ’15,’18

Fullerton and surrounding communities may seem like endless miles of suburban sprawl, but they also have some unique opportunities to explore the Southern California natural environment with hiking destinations.

From cool redwood groves to panoramic views of Cal State Fullerton and beyond, there’s no shortage of things to see (and take photos of) on these nearby wilderness sojourns. They are great for a peaceful afternoon or weekend trip, a date, or memorable time with friends and family.

Here are five of the most accessible destinations within a half hour drive from campus. But don’t forget – if you only have a lunch break or a few hours between classes, there’s always the diverse ecosystems of the Fullerton Arboretum waiting for you to explore. Read More

Ryan Gottfredson, Cal State Fullerton Mihaylo College management assistant professor. Ryan Gottfredson, assistant professor of management at Cal State Fullerton, received the best paper of the year award in the Journal of Organizational Behavior for his study, “Leadership behaviors and follower performance: Deductive and inductive review of theoretical rationales and underlying mechanisms,” exploring what encourages people to follow leaders.

While discussions about leadership often focus on what leaders can do to stand out and impact circumstances, Ryan Gottfredson looked specifically at the relationship between leaders and the people they lead in his 2017 study, which examines the relationship between leadership behavior and follower performance.

In order to study how leadership impacts follower performance, Gottfredson looked at four types of leadership behaviors – consideration, structure initiation, contingent award and transformational leadership – as well as how they impact or lead to the follower behaviors of task performance and organizational citizenship.

“The main takeaway is that if leaders want their behaviors and efforts to translate into higher or improved levels of follower performance, it is essential that leaders develop positive relationships with their followers,” says Gottfredson. “Stated differently, followers are only going to effectively follow their leaders if they feel like they have a good relationship with their leaders.” Read More

Michael Milligan, now Cal State Fullerton finance lecturer, plays basketball as a high school student in Long Island, New York, in the 1970s.For basketball player turned Cal State Fullerton finance lecturer Michael Milligan, a high point of his youthful sports days came in 1978, when he made a record 76 points in a single game, breaking a local record in Long Island. It was a feat made possible through the help of teammates.

Fast forward four decades, and Milligan, now co-founder and managing director of private equity research firm New Cap Groups LLC and instructor of several finance courses at CSUF’s Mihaylo College, uses the team dynamics skills he gained from basketball to assist the next generation of finance professionals in getting up and running.

“We do a lot of team exercises… I tell them, ‘When you graduate, you’re going to have to work with teams so you might as well learn to be effective,’” he says. “As in sports, you have to take risks but they should be calculated ones. You work with your team, you develop your skills, and by learning from one another, you become stronger.”

Read more about Milligan’s philosophy and the continuing impact of his sports days in this CSUF News article.

Jasmine Garcia, a Cal State Fullerton marketing student, is one of only 10 recipients of the 2019 Frederick Douglass Global Fellows scholarship.Jasmine Garcia ’21 (marketing), a member of the Business Honors Program and Women’s Leadership Program at Cal State Fullerton’s Mihaylo College of Business and Economics, will study abroad in London for four weeks this summer thanks to a highly competitive scholarship.

The first-generation student’s travels will be possible through the 2019 Frederick Douglass Global Fellows scholarship, bestowed on only 10 students globally. Garcia is the first Cal State Fullerton student to receive this recognition, which seeks to make international study experiences possible for students from underprivileged demographics.

Garcia, who is also a President’s Scholar at Cal State Fullerton, will focus on intercultural communication and leadership during her fully-funded studies in the British capital.

“Business comes down to interactions with people. In the increasingly global marketplace, this opportunity to with intercultural communication and leadership will give Jasmine new perspectives,” says Lorenzo Bizzi, faculty advisor for the Business Honors Program and associate professor of management. “And knowing how thoughtful and creative she is, she will find ways to share those and inspire others at CSUF.”

Discover more about Garcia’s opportunity in this CSUF News article.

Eric Tanaka, vice president of Fukui Mortuary and Cal State Fullerton marketing grad.

Eric Tanaka ’03, vice president of Fukui Mortuary and the fifth generation of leadership for the Little Tokyo funeral provider.

Since its founding in 1918, Little Tokyo-based Fukui Mortuary has provided traditional funerals to generations of Southern California residents of Japanese descent. The mortuary’s vice president, Eric Tanaka ’03, a Cal State Fullerton marketing grad, is poised to take the leadership reins of the fifth-generation enterprise in coming years.

Occupying an unassuming professional building on East Temple Street in the Downtown Los Angeles Little Tokyo district, Fukui Mortuary has been an exceptional family-owned firm, serving an ethnic enclave in Southern California since the end of World War I.

The Fukui story began in 1888, when 22-year-old Soji Fukui emigrated from Hiroshima, Japan, to work in sugarcane fields in Kona, Hawaii. “Like most Japanese immigrants to Hawaii, Soji was lured with a better life, greater opportunity and increased wages by working in what was then the Hawaiian Territory,” says Eric Tanaka ’03, Soji Fukui’s great-great grandson.

Following 18 years as an overseer on the sugarcane plantation, Fukui and his family moved to Seattle, Washington, in search of a new and better career path. After dabbling in the import/export business, hat-making, chicken-raising and the restaurant industry, Fukui relocated to Los Angeles, where he became very involved with the Hompa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple. Eventually receiving a Buddhist religious title normally reserved for ministers, Fukui became the liaison between families of temple members who passed away and the local mortuary. Read More

Cal State Fullerton management lecturer Amani Roberts and House of Blues senior sales manager Vanessa Burroughs pose at a McCarthy Hall classroom at Cal State Fullerton on March 19, 2019.

Amani Roberts, Mihaylo College management lecturer (left) poses with Vanessa Burroughs, senior sales manager at the Anaheim House of Blues.

Vanessa Burroughs has turned a lifelong desire to plan events into a sales career with House of Blues in Anaheim, one of the premier event venues in Orange County. Burroughs visited Cal State Fullerton on March 19 and shared her path in the industry along with providing tips on success in the entertainment business for Mihaylo College entertainment and hospitality undergrads.

Even before Vanessa Burroughs graduated with a communications degree at Cal State Chico in 2010, she wanted to facilitate memorable experiences for others through event planning. Her first internship was with a winery, shadowing staff as they put on weddings. Her second, an academically required internship that became her first paid position, was with a Chico wedding planner.

After graduating, Burroughs turned down a lucrative job offer to take a part-time, $12-per-hour role with South Coast Winery as a wedding planner.

“My aunt helped me put together a portfolio, with diagrams and photos of events I had done. I got the position and found out it was because of the portfolio,” she said at a visit to Management Lecturer Amani Roberts’ BUAD 360 – Entertainment Money Management course. “From there, I worked myself up to a full-time sales associate position.” Read More

Students celebrate a victory at the Cal State Fullerton Center for Economic Education business olympiad. Hundreds of elementary, middle and high school students from 14 schools across Orange and Los Angeles counties will demonstrate their knowledge of the economy and personal finance while competing for cash prizes at the fifth annual Olympiad for Financial Literacy, Economics and Business, hosted by the Cal State Fullerton Center for Economic Education. The April 13 event will be held in Mihaylo Hall and will feature CSUF entrepreneurship and economics graduates as judges.

The capstone of weeks of student preparation, the Olympiad includes such components as business plan pitches, financial topic video presentations, business news and financial literacy quizzes, and management of a simulated $100,000 investment portfolio.

Patterned after similar events in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, the Olympiad is the only such event focused on business and related disciplines in California.

Read more about the Olympiad and the perspectives of Cal State Fullerton student interns supporting the event in this CSUF News article. Or reach out to Radha Bhattacharya, director of the Center for Economic Education, for more information at 657-278-3652 or

Amani Roberts, Cal State Fullerton lecturer and founder of DJ company The Amani Experience, works in the mixing studio.From family and corporate events to restaurants and bars, the opportunities for disc jockeys run the gamut, particularly in the entertainment and hospitality hub of Southern California. Amani Roberts, Cal State Fullerton management lecturer and founder and president of the Amani Experience, a global DJ company, shares his story and provides an inside look at the world of a professional DJ.

In 1995, when Amani Roberts was studying hospitality management at Howard University in Washington, D.C., he was inspired to become a professional disc jockey while watching rapper and DJ Biz Markie play music at a club.

“He played a lot of TV theme songs and stringed them all together so the crowd was singing along,” says Roberts. “That’s when I decided that I personally wanted to be a DJ. But at the time, I didn’t think it was a realistic career path.”

More than a decade later, with approximately 20 rewarding years as a Marriott executive under his belt, and after relocating to the Los Angeles area, Roberts reawakened his DJ dreams. He taught himself the tools and tricks of the trade and launched his own business, Redondo Beach-based The Amani Experience, to provide DJ services at bars, clubs and private parties. Read More

Scott O'Brien '77, president of law enforcement products manufacturer The Safariland Group. Scott O’Brien ’77 (marketing), president of law enforcement products manufacturer The Safariland Group, is a recipient of the 2019 Cal State Fullerton Vision & Visionaries awards, the university’s premier recognition for alumni. He explores the impact of student internships on his business, the state of manufacturing in today’s economy, and why alumni and others should give back to CSUF’s Mihaylo College of Business and Economics.

More than half a century after a launch from the garage of a Sierra Madre, California, residence in 1964, leading law enforcement and military holster manufacturer The Safariland Group is relocating its operations to Jacksonville, Florida, to transform the business for the needs of the contemporary market.

Within this endeavor, The Safariland Group President Scott O’Brien ’77, a Cal State Fullerton marketing alumnus, has enlisted the assistance of a new generation of business students at his alma mater, who have provided internship-based advising to his company, with recommendations based on the managerial principles of such business successes as Toyota.

“We have had several interns who have provided research and analysis for us and even assisted with work instructions, which will be helpful as we transfer from Ontario, California, to Jacksonville,” says O’Brien, who recently received his alma mater’s most prestigious alumni-focused recognition, the Vision & Visionaries award. Read More