Mihaylo Alumna Vaniah De Rojas Applies Business Education to Public Administration

Vaniah De Rojas '09, '11

Vaniah De Rojas ’09, ’11

Vaniah De Rojas ’09, ’11, a Mihaylo management and MBA alumna, discusses her business education and how it has assisted her in a career in public administration and community volunteerism. She was among the recipients of the Distinguished Women of the Year Award from Assemblyman Ian Calderon for her community service as an administrative analyst for the City of La Mirada and volunteerism for Habitat for Humanity.

For Vaniah De Rojas ’09, ’11, a Mihaylo management and MBA alumna, receiving the Distinguished Women of the Year Award from Assemblyman Ian Calderon (D-Industry), came as a surprise. “Individuals who are in public service do not work for money or recognition, so to receive the award was an immense honor,” the administrative analyst for the City of La Mirada says. “It was also a humbling experience, as I heard about other women involved in such impactful work in their communities.” De Rojas was among 13 women who received the 2013 award.

The annual award honors outstanding women who make a positive contribution to their communities within the 57th Assembly District, including the City of Industry, La Mirada, La Habra Heights, La Puente, Norwalk, Santa Fe Springs and Whittier, part of a region commonly known as the “Gateway Cities.”

In addition to her position at the City of La Mirada, De Rojas volunteers for Habitat for Humanity, a major nonprofit committed to providing housing for low-income residents. “Habitat for Humanity provides the opportunity to learn about construction and home building,” she says. “I also have had the chance to develop friendships with fellow volunteers and families seeking to achieve the American dream of homeownership. I would encourage everyone to donate their time to help others; it is a great feeling knowing you are making a positive impact in the lives of others.”

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The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of America’s Rust Belt Economies

Detroit's Renaissance Center, headquarters of General Motors, one of the region's main employers. Detroit and other cities in the Great Lakes region are part of the "Rust Belt," where America's shift from manufacturing to service industries has negatively impacted communities.

Detroit’s Renaissance Center, headquarters of General Motors, one of the region’s main employers. Detroit and other cities in the Great Lakes region are part of the “Rust Belt,” where America’s shift from manufacturing to service industries has negatively impacted communities.

Parts of the Great Lakes and Northeast U.S. are known as the “Rust Belt,” a region in which the loss of manufacturing jobs has devastated local economies as America transitions to a service economy. Many cities in this region are attempting a renaissance through economic diversification. Mihaylo Professor Aaron Popp discusses the impact of the loss of manufacturing jobs and the outlook for affected communities.

Manufacturing-based economies in the Northeast and Great Lakes regions of the United States, such as Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Buffalo, were magnets for job creation and economic expansion during much of the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries. For decades, American factories produced products, including automobiles and appliances, which were used by people around the world. But during the second half of the 20th Century, globalization and the shift from a manufacturing to service economy – part of the evolution of modern economies now being witnessed in East Asia and other parts of the world – negatively impacted these communities. Factories closed, costing thousands of jobs and leading to population declines in many communities.

Mihaylo Economics Professor Aaron Popp notes that economists refer to the relationship between job openings and unemployment as the “Beveridge curve,” named after the British economist William Henry Beveridge. “Economists become concerned if the Beveridge curve relationship changes, which can occur if unemployment rises while job openings stay constant or rise,” Popp says. “One potential cause of a shift in the curve is a ‘regional mismatch,’ which occurs when there are persistent layoffs in one part of the country. People are reluctant or unable to move to where there are more jobs, which causes persistent unemployment in some regions of the country.” This has been the situation in parts of the Midwest for the past 40 years, contributing to urban decline. Popp notes the economic malaise in the Rust Belt reached epic proportions about 30 years ago. “The early 1980s shift in the Beveridge curve showed significant signs of regional mismatch. Considering the amount of hiring due to the size of each state, unemployment increased by three to four times more in Rust Belt states compared to the increase in unemployment in the average state at the time,” he notes. Many communities in the region have never recovered and continue their slow but steady decline.


Perhaps no other major city was as negatively impacted by the decline in manufacturing as Detroit, which peaked in population in the 1950 census with 1.8 million residents. By 2010, the city had only 700,000 inhabitants, a loss of more than 60% of the population.

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CSUF Chapter of Phi Beta Lambda Receives National Recognition


The CSUF chapter of Phi Beta Lambda was recognized in the organization’s Step Up to the Challenge Super Sweeps competition. Monique Capati ’17, the chapter’s president, discusses the recognition and the chapter’s mission and activities.

“Involvement in Phi Beta Lambda benefits Mihaylo students by providing them with quality experiences that equip them to become well-rounded individuals,” says Monique Capati ’17, a management major and president of the CSUF chapter of the national business student organization. Founded in 1937, the organization has 215,000 members on the high school level, where it is known as Future Business Leaders of America, and 11,000 college members in Phi Beta Lambda. The organization hosts guest speakers, workshops and social events to develop students as future business leaders.

The CSUF chapter was the only chapter in California to participate in the annual Step Up to the Challenge Super Sweeps event, in which chapters must complete 10 tasks related to recruitment and retention, including pitching the organization to a live class and participating in a club fair. The totals for all participating chapters create the sum of the state total. The CSUF chapter alone brought California to ninth place in the competition.

Monique Capati

Monique Capati ’17

This spring, Phi Beta Lambda is holding its annual Spring Conference, in which members compete against other California chapters in accounting analysis and decision-making, job interview skills and public speaking events. “Awards won are excellent résumé boosters and provide valuable networking opportunities,” Capati says.

While a business organization, Phi Beta Lambda is open to CSUF students of all majors. For more information, visit their website or contact Capati at moniquecapati@gmail.com. Meetings are held each Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Tuffree AB in the Titan Student Union (TSU).


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Steven Mihaylo Motivates Business Students with Tips for Success

Steven G. Mihaylo surrounded by business students at the Mihaylo Courtyard, March 20, 2015

Steven G. Mihaylo surrounded by business students at the Mihaylo Courtyard, March 20, 2015

Steven G. Mihaylo, founder of Inter-Tel Inc., CEO and chairman of Crexendo Inc., and namesake of the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics, spoke to business students at the monthly Leadership Scholars meeting on March 20. Mihaylo encouraged business students to strive for greatness, drawing upon his personal entrepreneurial success.

“If you expect great things, you will achieve great things,” Steven Mihaylo ’69 told business students at the March meeting of the Leadership Scholars. “All of you are leaders in this room; it is so important that if you are given a chance for leadership that you take it.”

Mihaylo, namesake of the business college and its state-of-the-art facilities due to his multimillion-dollar gifts, related his life story to the audience. Born in Los Angeles during World War II, the 71-year-old’s first job was delivering 30 newspapers per day at age nine. Through tenacity and commitment, the young Mihaylo was soon delivering nearly 400 newspapers on his route. “I feel very fortunate for my life experiences,” he said. “You can either look at the glass half empty or half full – I looked at it as half full.”

Following several years of service in the U.S. Army in the 1960s, Mihaylo worked for the Bell System, the forerunner of today’s AT&T, a telephone conglomerate often called “Ma Bell” that at the time dominated the American telecommunications industry. He also applied himself to his higher education, graduating at CSU Fullerton with a bachelor’s in accounting and finance in 1969, completing the four-year program in two years.

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Will Smartwatches Make Wearable Technology Mainstream?

A Sony smartwatch. IMAGE FROM Wikimedia Commons

A Sony smartwatch. IMAGE FROM Wikimedia Commons

On March 9, Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled the Apple Watch, the latest in a series of smartwatches that some technology experts believe marks the start of a transformation with wearable technology. Others question whether consumers will see a need to purchase such technology, foreseeing privacy, security and addiction concerns. Mihaylo ISDS Professor Ester Gonzalez discusses the future and implications of these devices.

Apple Inc. has transformed global society over the past decade with its innovative products, including the iPod, iPhone and iPad. So when the Cupertino, Calif.-based company announced that it would produce a wristwatch with many of the services offered on its smartphones, the technology world took notice. On March 9, the company’s CEO Tim Cook unveiled the Apple Watch, which will be available to consumers in the U.S., the United Kingdom and several other countries next month.

The Apple Watch is the latest smartwatch to enter the market. Google debuted a watch utilizing the Android operating system, and Samsung has released several models under the Gear brand, including some specifically tailored to fitness- and -health conscious users. The Apple Watch includes Apple Pay, a digital wallet feature in which consumers can pay for products and services from the device. Fitness features will keep track of calories burned, steps or miles walked and can track users’ vital statistics, such as heart rate and blood pressure. Numerous iPhone apps will be available through the watch, and voice dictation will permit hands-free usage.

While many Apple Watch features require an iPhone, it appears likely that future smartwatches will be independent devices, the smallest devices conceived to connect consumers to the digital world.

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