Two Mihaylo Students to Highlight their College Experiences as Commencement Speakers

Shannon Franklin (left) and Leah Espinoza (right) flank the Steven G. Mihaylo Statue in the Mihaylo Courtyard

Shannon Franklin (left) and Leah Espinoza (right) flank the Steven G. Mihaylo Statue in the Mihaylo Courtyard

Commencement ceremonies for the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics on May 16-17 will feature two student speakers, Leah Espinoza ’15 and Shannon Franklin ’15.

For the last two years, Leah Espinoza ’15 has introduced CSU Fullerton to prospective students. The management major served as a Titan Ambassador for the CSUF New Student and Parent Programs, conducting tours and answering inquiries about the university. She will be one of two Mihaylo students selected to deliver brief student speeches at the Mihaylo College commencement in May, highlighting their college experiences and providing inspiration for the future. Espinoza will present at the Saturday, May 16 ceremonies.

“My experiences working on campus helped me to develop personally and professionally into the leader I am today,” she says. “Although we are credited for changing prospective students’ lives in helping them to believe they have a chance to get a college degree, I truly believe they have changed mine.” Her previous university involvement included information specialist and orientation leader positions in 2012 and 2013. She has also represented the Mihaylo Finance Association at the Business Inter-Club Council.

“My CSUF experience has taught me that being passionate about what you do and feeling like you’ve made something or someone better at the end of the day is truly the definition of success,” she says.

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Center for Economic Education Equips the Next Generation with Financial Literacy

U.S. Bank Program Manager Dixcy Sulistyo shows students at Richman Elementary School in Fullerton how to write a personal check.

U.S. Bank Program Manager Dixcy Sulistyo shows students at Richman Elementary School in Fullerton how to write a personal check. This photo and others of the event are available online

April was Financial Literacy Month, designed to highlight the importance of knowledge of personal finance. Mihaylo’s Center for Economic Education reached out to local school children to equip the next generation with the skills to understand and manage their own funds.

Knowledge of personal finance is crucial in today’s economy, yet a lack of financial knowledge plagues millions of American consumers and is widely considered a major factor in the risky housing loans that led to the Great Recession in the late 2000s. Mihaylo’s Center for Economic Education is committed to ensuring that the next generation of Southern Californians is knowledgeable about financial topics and equipped to make sound financial decisions.

April is Financial Literacy Month, designated by the U.S. Congress in 2003 to highlight the importance of personal financial knowledge. This year, the center partnered with U.S. Bank to offer the after-school Financial Genius Program at Fullerton’s Richman Elementary School from February to May. On April 16, the event featured Mihaylo Economics Professor Larry Howard, center staff and student assistants, and U.S. Bank Program Manager Dixcy Sulistyo, who taught students about personal checks, credit and debit cards and ATM transactions. Students also learned how to trade stocks with a $100,000 simulated portfolio and to develop a 60-second business plan pitch.

“U.S. Bank’s Financial Genius resources paired with the leadership from Cal State Fullerton provided students with the tools to make informed financial decisions throughout their lives,” Sulistyo says. “It was exciting to see how engaged and receptive these students were to the materials and how it can impact their financial choices in the future.”

“Research consistently indicates that financial literacy knowledge that is imparted early in life serves as a catalyst for responsible financial behavior as an adult,” said Mihaylo Economics Professor Radha Bhattacharya, director of the Center for Economic Education.

Mihaylo’s Center for Economic Education offers a number of financial learning programs, partnering with U.S. Bank, including the incentive-based college savings IDA program and summer Financial Fitness Camps.

For more information, including opportunities for CSUF student involvement in the center’s programs, contact center director Radha Bhattacharya at rbhattachary@fullerton.edu or by phone at 657-278-3652.

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Mihaylo Recognized for Online Degree Programs

Mihaylo College’s online degree programs have been recognized by BestColleges.com’s review of online business degree programs and Value Colleges Top 50 Best Value Online Business Schools, demonstrating Mihaylo’s continued commitment to delivering a world-class business education through accessible technological channels.

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For thousands of students around the world, online learning options have put a college degree within reach despite full-time employment, military service or living in a remote location. Mihaylo’s fully online B.A. in business administration (BABA) combines the college’s academic standards with online flexibility. It has recently been recognized by two college review organizations for its affordability and quality.

In March 2015, BestColleges.com, a website connecting prospective students with institutions of higher learning, ranked Mihaylo’s online business administration programs in eighth place out of more than 500 online business programs based on several metrics, including acceptance rate, retention rate, graduation rate and enrollment rate.

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Value Colleges, a college advisement website providing affordability and value rankings for colleges and universities, ranked Mihaylo College in fifth place in its 2015 Top 50 Best Value Online Undergraduate Business Schools, which published earlier this month.

The online BABA program debuted in fall 2012. The first cohort of students will graduate from the program in summer 2015.

The online program is equivalent to the in-person programs, as group-based cohort studies provide a sense of community and business advising is available to ensure the student attains his or her academic goal. A combination of asynchronous and synchronous tools for class discussion and assignment, together with video lectures and proctored examinations, complete the learning experience.

Academic advisement is available throughout the program and technical support is available at all times. Financial aid options, including Stafford Loans, Pell Grants and Cal Grants, may cover tuition costs, similar to Mihaylo’s traditional degree programs.

For more on Mihaylo’s online B.A. in business administration (BABA) degree completion program, visit the program’s webpage.

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Cautious Optimism for U.S. and Local Economies in Mihaylo’s Midyear Economic Forecast

Mihaylo Dean Anil Puri discusses consumer confidence at “The Visible Hand: Fed Policy and Outlook for Growth” event at the Irvine Marriott on April 23.

Mihaylo Dean Anil Puri discusses consumer confidence at “The Visible Hand: Fed Policy and Outlook for Growth” event at the Irvine Marriott on April 23.

Mihaylo’s Woods Center for Economic Analysis and Forecasting released its CSUF Economic Outlook and Forecasts, Midyear Update, at the Irvine Marriott on April 23, in an event headlined by Mihaylo Dean Anil Puri and Economics Professor Mira Farka. The report calls for cautious optimism as the national and local economies continue to expand more than half a decade after the Great Recession, though the California drought is a potential caveat.

“The U.S. economy has significantly outperformed advanced economies throughout the recovery and is currently the brightest spot in a troubled global environment,” Mihaylo Dean Anil Puri and Mihaylo Associate Professor of Economics Mira Farka report in their CSUF Economic Outlook and Forecasts Midyear Update. The report was released at an event at the Irvine Marriott on April 23, “The Visible Hand: Fed Policy and Outlook for Growth,” attended by local business leaders, including members of the college’s business network.

In an eight-page report, Puri and Farka noted that employment in the U.S. economy continues to expand at a pace not seen since the 1990s economic expansion; consumer confidence is rising; financial institutions are in good shape, and lower oil prices are giving consumers more spending power.

The report calls for a growth rate for the U.S. economy of 2.6% in 2015 and 2.8% in 2016, slightly higher than 2014’s real GDP growth of 2.4%. “We expect the trajectory of growth for this year to resemble last year’s: slower first quarter, followed by a more robust pace for the remainder of the year, spilling into 2016,” the authors note. By comparison, the average growth rate since the end of the Great Recession in 2009 has been 2.2%.“Our view agrees with the overall consensus outlook of an improving momentum, but we are a little more cautious and a bit less sanguine,” their report states, noting, “our optimistic but guarded outlook stems from three main considerations.” First, Puri and Farka note that interest rates, at a historical low of 0.25% since December 2008, are expected to rise for the first time in nine years as the Federal Reserve attempts to balance economic output with inflation concerns. Secondly, lower oil prices, while beneficial to consumers, are a headwind for the U.S. energy sector. Thirdly, the value of the U.S. dollar is rising rapidly in the face of an anemic global economy, which makes imports cheaper, but hurts U.S. exports.

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Actuary Leadership Forum Examines Risk and Mitigation of Natural Catastrophes

The Academic Panel at the Actuary Leadership Forum on April 13. From left to right: Lorilee Medders and Patty Born of FSU, Mihaylo Finance Professor Steve D’Arcy and University of Connecticut Assistant Professor Dr. Joyce Lin

The Academic Panel at the Actuary Leadership Forum on April 13. From left to right: Lorilee Medders and Patty Born of FSU, Mihaylo Finance Professor Steve D’Arcy and University of Connecticut Assistant Professor Dr. Joyce Lin

Professionals in the insurance and risk management industries visited Mihaylo on April 13 for the Actuary Leadership Forum, discussing global catastrophic risk management, such as earthquakes, wildfires and weather-related disasters. The event was co-hosted by Mihaylo and Florida State University (FSU).

“Insurance is a fantastic field to be in,” Anneliese Jivan, president of California FAIR Plan Property Insurance and the keynote speaker of the Actuary Leadership Forum, told an audience of mainly Mihaylo and other CSUF students.

Co-hosted by Mihaylo and Florida State University, the forum included several guest-speaker presentations and two panel discussions on the insurance and risk management industries with an emphasis on natural-disaster mitigation.

Jivan focused on one of Southern California’s prime natural hazards. “Wildfire is becoming more and more common; it is no longer a matter of if but a matter of when,” she said, noting that persistent drought and population shifts toward fire-prone areas are exacerbating the risk in the Western U.S. “One-third of the U.S. population now lives in the wildland-urban interface.”

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