Mompreneurs: Mothers Nurturing Businesses

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.

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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New Mihaylo Representatives: Riyadh al-Riyashi and Veronica Kdeiss

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

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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Like the College Itself, Mihaylo’s Orange Groves Are Thriving

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

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.

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Looking for a Job? Consider Working On Campus

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

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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New Mihaylo Professor Finds Self-Regulation Key to Defeating Smartphone Addiction

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

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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