Whicker: Cal State Fullerton’s seniority vs. UC Irvine’s gaudy record in Big West final

  • Cal State Fullerton forward Josh Pitts, right, shows his excitement as guard Jamal Smith draws a foul and scored a basket during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against UC Santa Barbara at the Big West men’s tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

  • UC Santa Barbara guard Max Heidegger, left, tries to drive toward the basket as Cal State Fullerton guard Kyle Allman Jr. defends during the first half of Friday’s Big West Tournament semifinal at Honda Center. Allman came up with several big defensive plays in the final minutes of the Titans’ 64-58 victory. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

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  • UC Santa Barbara guard Ar’Mond Davis, left, goes up for a basket under as Cal State Fullerton forward Jackson Rowe defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Big West men’s tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

  • Cal State Fullerton guard Kyle Allman Jr. slams a dunk during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against UC Santa Barbara at the Big West men’s tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

  • Cal State Fullerton guard Khalil Ahmad celebrates after defeating UC Santa Barbara in an NCAA college basketball game at the Big West men’s tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

  • Cal State Fullerton head coach Dedrique Taylor gives instructions to his players during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against UC Santa Barbara at the Big West men’s tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

  • Cal State Fullerton guard Khalil Ahmad, top, shoots over UC Santa Barbara forward Jarriesse Blackmon during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Big West men’s tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

  • Cal State Fullerton guard Kyle Allman Jr., center, drives hard around UC Santa Barbara forward Jarriesse Blackmon, left, to put up a shot for the score late in the second half of the semifinal of the Big West Tournament in Anaheim on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton guard Kyle Allman Jr., right, blocks the shot by UC Santa Barbara guard JaQuori McLaughlin during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Big West men’s tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

  • Cal State Fullerton guard Jamal Smith celebrates after defeating UC Santa Barbara in an NCAA college basketball game at the Big West men’s tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

  • UC Santa Barbara guard Max Heidegger, right, runs into Cal State Fullerton guard Landon Kirkwood and loses his footing in the semifinal of the Big West Tournament in Anaheim on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton guard Landon Kirkwood, center, scores a basket around UC Santa Barbara forward Jarriesse Blackmon, right, in the semifinal of the Big West Tournament in Anaheim on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton guard Kyle Allman Jr., right, blocks a shot in the lane by UC Santa Barbara guard JaQuori McLaughlin to maintain the Titans’ lead during the final minutes of their Big West Tournament semifinal on Friday night at Honda Center. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • As UC Santa Barbara guard Ar’Mond Davis, left, reacts after the Gauchos turned over the ball to Cal State Fullerton, guard Landon Kirkwood, center, and forward Jackson Rowe, right, do a little celebrating in the semifinal of the Big West Tournament in Anaheim on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • UC Santa Barbara head coach Joe Pasternack yells instructions to his players during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Cal State Fullerton at the Big West men’s tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

  • UC Santa Barbara guard Max Heidegger, left, and Cal State Fullerton guard Kyle Allman Jr., right, wait for the ball to come down for the rebound in the semifinal of the Big West Tournament in Anaheim on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton forward Johnny Wang reaches to control the rebound against Santa Barbara in the semifinal of the Big West Tournament in Anaheim on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton forward Davon Clare, center, moves toward the basket between UC Santa Barbara forward Robinson Idehen, left, and forward Jarriesse Blackmon, right, in the semifinal of the Big West Tournament in Anaheim on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton guard Landon Kirkwood, right, scoops top a loose ball in front of UC Santa Barbara guard Sekou Toure in the semifinal of the Big West Tournament in Anaheim on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • UC Santa Barbara forward Amadou Sow hangs from the rim after a dunk, as Cal State Fullerton forward Josh Pitts, left, and forward Jackson Rowe stand nearby during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Big West men’s tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

  • UC Santa Barbara guard JaQuori McLaughlin, right, shoots over Cal State Fullerton forward Jackson Rowe during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Big West men’s tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

  • UC Santa Barbara forward Amadou Sow, left, shoots over Cal State Fullerton forward Johnny Wang during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Big West men’s tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

  • Cal State Fullerton guard Khalil Ahmad dunks with two seconds left for the final points of his team’s 64-58 victory over UC Santa Barbara in Friday’s Big West Tournament semifinal at Honda Center. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton forward Johnny Wang, left, lets out a yell after the Titans scored to extend their lead over UC Santa Barbara with minutes left in the semifinal of the Big West Tournament in Anaheim on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton guard Landon Kirkwood, left, and guard Austen Awosika, right, celebrate the Titans’ win over UC Santa Barbara in the semifinal of the Big West Tournament in Anaheim on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton guard Khalil Ahmad is being congratulated by the fans after defeating UC Santa Barbara in an NCAA college basketball game at the Big West men’s tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

  • UC Irvine guard Robert Cartwright grabs the rebound in front of Long Beach State center Temidayo Yussuf, center, as UC Irvine forward Elston Jones, left, reaches in during the semifinal of the Big West Tournament in Anaheim on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Long Beach State guard Deishuan Booker, right, goes up to the basket as UC Irvine forward Tommy Rutherford defends during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Big West men’s tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

  • Long Beach State forward Mason Riggins, left, shoots in front of UC Irvine forward Elston Jones during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Big West men’s tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

  • UC Irvine guard Evan Leonard, right, tries to block the shot by Long Beach State guard Drew Cobb during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Big West men’s tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

  • UC Irvine guard Evan Leonard, center, goes up for a dunk next to Long Beach State guard Deishuan Booker, right, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Big West men’s tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

  • UC Irvine coach Russell Turner, center, reacts after a foul was called on the team during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Long Beach State at the Big West men’s tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

  • UC Irvine forward Collin Welp, right, is fouled by Long Beach State forward KJ Byers during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Big West men’s tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

  • UC Irvine forward JC Butler, left, goes up to the basket as Long Beach State forward Mason Riggins defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Big West men’s tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

  • UC Irvine guard Robert Cartwright, center, drives through traffic to score in front of Long Beach State guard Deishuan Booker, right, during the second half of their Big West Tournament semifinal on Friday night at Honda Center. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • UC Irvine guard Robert Cartwright, right, steals the ball from Long Beach State guard Deishuan Booker during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Big West men’s tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

  • Long Beach State forward Mason Riggins, back, tries to steal the ball from UC Irvine forward Tommy Rutherford during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Big West men’s tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

  • UC Irvine guard Max Hazzard, right, shoots over Long Beach State forward Mason Riggins during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Big West men’s tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

  • Long Beach State guard Deishuan Booker, center, shoots between UC Irvine guard Robert Cartwright, left, and forward Tommy Rutherford during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Big West men’s tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

  • Long Beach State guard Drew Cobb can only watch as UC Irvine forward JC Butler controls the loose ball in the semifinal of the Big West Tournament in Anaheim on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Long Beach State guard Drew Cobb, right, and UC Irvine forward JC Butler go after a loose ball in the semifinal of the Big West Tournament in Anaheim on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • UC Irvine forward JC Butler, Long Beach State guard Drew Cobb and Long Beach State guard Deishuan Booker, from left, go after a loose ball in the semifinal of the Big West Tournament in Anaheim on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • UC Irvine forward Elston Jones, right, keeps the ball away from Long Beach State forward Mason Riggins, left, and another Long Beach State player in the semifinal of the Big West Tournament in Anaheim on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • UC Irvine forward Tommy Rutherford, center, muscles his way past Long Beach State forward KJ Byers, left, and forward Mason Riggins, right, to score a basket in the semifinal of the Big West Tournament in Anaheim on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Long Beach State center Temidayo Yussuf, right, protects a rebound from UC Irvine forward Tommy Rutherford in the semifinal of the Big West Tournament in Anaheim on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • UC Irvine forward Jonathan Galloway, center, gets to the rebound before Long Beach State forward Mason Riggins, left, and guard Deishuan Booker, right, in the semifinal of the Big West Tournament in Anaheim on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • UC Irvine forward Jonathan Galloway gestures after scoring during the second half of the team’s NCAA college basketball game against Long Beach State at the Big West men’s tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

  • UC Irvine forward Tommy Rutherford, left, tries to block a shot by Long Beach State guard Deishuan Booker in the semifinal of the Big West Tournament in Anaheim on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • UC Irvine players cheer their team on as they score another basket with seconds left in their Big West Tournament semifinal victory over rival Long Beach State on Friday night at Honda Center. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Long Beach State forward Mason Riggins, left, wipes his face with a towel as the team plays the final minutes of an NCAA college basketball game against UC Irvine at the Big West men’s tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 15, 2019. UC Irvine won 75-67. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

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ANAHEIM — As a freshman, Kyle Allman Jr. averaged 5.3 points. Khalil Ahmad averaged 14.3. Jamal Smith averaged as many calories as he could amass, as a redshirt.

Dedrique Taylor, Cal State Fullerton’s coach, was in his third year, but it seemed like every minute was a do-over, a disheartening trip back to the starting blocks. He won 10 games in that 2015-16 season, giving him a total of 30 and an average of 10.

On Friday night at Honda Center, the Titans put together a 24-10 run, caught and passed UC Santa Barbara, and won their fifth consecutive Big West Tournament game 64-58.

On Saturday night they play UC Irvine, the top seed, in hopes of a second consecutive title.

“I looked out there and I saw guys that looked nothing they did back then,” Taylor said. “Back then they didn’t have facial hair, they were uglier than ever. Now they’re muscular, they’re physically mature, and you have to credit their experience, their belief. I think tonight we managed to impose our will.”

The third-seeded Titans squared their record at 16-16 thanks to smothering defense at the end. Second-seeded UCSB missed its final 10 field-goal attempts and didn’t have a basket in the last 7:07.

Allman blocked his 11th and 12th shots of the season, Jackson Rowe added another rejection, and Smith was the point of the spear, taking charges, making steals and influencing a game while only taking (and making) one shot.

The Titans are embracing seniors like Allman, Smith and Ahmad because they’ll have to let go of them, whenever this team loses.

“They’ve changed the face of this basketball program,” Taylor said.

“We talked last night about how we know we’ve only got a couple of games left together,” Ahmad said, “and we don’t want it to end soon.”

Ahmad has 60 points in these two tournament games and 1,714 overall. Allman, the all-time CSF leader in games played, has 1,617 points.

And Taylor shook his head when someone cited the accumulated minutes. Ahmad played 39 Friday, 43 in Thursday’s overtime win over UC Davis. Allman played 40 Friday, 43 Saturday.

“If I was out there playing, I might be concerned about minutes,” Taylor said. “These guys are 21, 22 years old. It’s go time.”

UCI beat Fullerton by seven at home and by 17 on the road this season, but in last year’s final the Titans dominated 71-55.

This UCI team (29-5) is plus-7.5 in rebounds-per-game, which might be the main reason it has a 15-game winning streak and is on the cusp of becoming the first 30-game winner in the Big West since UNLV’s 34-1 NCAA semifinal loser in 1991.

It was the proximate cause of its 75-67 semifinal win over a Long Beach State team that came in with six consecutive victories and the only Big West win over the Anteaters all season.

UCI won the boards 21-11 in the second half, which led to a 16-4 edge, overall, in second-chance points. Once the Anteaters decided to drive the ball on a night when they went 2 for 12 from deep, the formula kicked in.

But it is really hatched on the Bren Center floor, every other day in practice, when Coach Russell Turner calls for the 2-on-2 rebounding drill.

“Two big guys, two little guys, all of them blocking each other out,” Turner said. “No out of bounds, no fouls.”

“Love that drill,” guard Robert Cartwright said, rolling his eyes.

“And we got a lot of big guys,” guard Evan Leonard said, smiling wearily.

“A lot of Hall of Fame coaches have used it, it’s been around a long time,” Turner said. “I love it. It’s a chance for us to embrace our physicality.”

Jonathan Galloway, Tommy Rutherford and Elston Jones swallowed up 19 of those rebounds, and the Anteaters physicaled their way to a 48-34 second half. They also managed to get through the 49ers’ press, replacing their turnovers with 2-on-1 breaks and dunks. But it was a nervous night for the Anteaters, who trailed by seven early in the second half and, at times, were exhibiting the thousand-yard-stare of a favorite on the defensive.

Cartwright’s career-high 17-point night, built mostly on drives, solved much of that. But the Anteaters could have used the quickness and playmaking of Eyassu Worku, who missed the game with a leg injury.

“He’s playing tomorrow night,” Turner said. “We didn’t want him to play back to back. And I wanted to make sure he played in the final. So it was a gamble that could have easily not paid off, not playing him tonight.

“His speed and decision-making ability are critical. He gives us another speed handler. And not having him also takes away an opportunity to give our guys some rest. We played Rob (Cartwright) 35 minutes. He’s got great natural energy, and he wasn’t just settling for jump shots tonight. I’m of the opinion he can handle those minutes, plus whatever we can get out of it tomorrow.”

He was referring to Saturday, the first time that one of these days won’t have a tomorrow.

—- BIG WEST TOURNAMENT —-

No. 1 seed UC IRVINE (29-5) vs. No. 3 Cal State Fullerton (16-16)

Championship game

When: Saturday, 9 p.m.

Where: Honda Center

TV: ESPN2

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Cal State Fullerton rallies to beat UCSB, sets up Big West title game against UC Irvine

  • Cal State Fullerton guard Kyle Allman Jr., right, blocks a shot by UC Santa Barbara guard JaQuori McLaughlin to maintain the Titans’ lead with minutes left in the semifinal of the Big West Tournament in Anaheim on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton forward Davon Clare, center, moves toward the basket between UC Santa Barbara forward Robinson Idehen, left, and forward Jarriesse Blackmon, right, in the semifinal of the Big West Tournament in Anaheim on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

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  • UC Santa Barbara guard Ar’Mond Davis, left, goes up for a basket under as Cal State Fullerton forward Jackson Rowe defends during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Big West men’s tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

  • Cal State Fullerton guard Landon Kirkwood, right, scoops top a loose ball in front of UC Santa Barbara guard Sekou Toure in the semifinal of the Big West Tournament in Anaheim on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • UC Santa Barbara forward Amadou Sow, left, shoots over Cal State Fullerton forward Johnny Wang during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Big West men’s tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

  • UC Santa Barbara guard JaQuori McLaughlin, right, shoots over Cal State Fullerton forward Jackson Rowe during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Big West men’s tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

  • UC Santa Barbara forward Amadou Sow hangs from the rim after a dunk, as Cal State Fullerton forward Josh Pitts, left, and forward Jackson Rowe stand nearby during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Big West men’s tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

  • Cal State Fullerton forward Johnny Wang reaches to control the rebound against Santa Barbara in the semifinal of the Big West Tournament in Anaheim on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • UC Santa Barbara guard Max Heidegger, left, and Cal State Fullerton guard Kyle Allman Jr., right, wait for the ball to come down for the rebound in the semifinal of the Big West Tournament in Anaheim on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • UC Santa Barbara guard Max Heidegger, left, tries to drive toward the basket as Cal State Fullerton guard Kyle Allman Jr. defends during the first half of Friday’s Big West Tournament semifinal at Honda Center. Allman came up with several big defensive plays in the final minutes of the Titans’ 64-58 victory. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

  • Cal State Fullerton guard Khalil Ahmad dunks with two seconds left for the final points of his team’s 64-58 victory over UC Santa Barbara in Friday’s Big West Tournament semifinal at Honda Center. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton guard Landon Kirkwood, left, and guard Austen Awosika, right, celebrate the Titans’ win over UC Santa Barbara in the semifinal of the Big West Tournament in Anaheim on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • As UC Santa Barbara guard Ar’Mond Davis, left, reacts after the Gauchos turned over the ball to Cal State Fullerton, guard Landon Kirkwood, center, and forward Jackson Rowe, right, do a little celebrating in the semifinal of the Big West Tournament in Anaheim on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton guard Kyle Allman Jr., center, drives hard around UC Santa Barbara forward Jarriesse Blackmon, left, to put up a shot for the score late in the second half of the semifinal of the Big West Tournament in Anaheim on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton guard Landon Kirkwood, center, scores a basket around UC Santa Barbara forward Jarriesse Blackmon, right, in the semifinal of the Big West Tournament in Anaheim on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • UC Santa Barbara guard Max Heidegger, right, runs into Cal State Fullerton guard Landon Kirkwood and loses his footing in the semifinal of the Big West Tournament in Anaheim on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • UC Santa Barbara head coach Joe Pasternack yells instructions to his players during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Cal State Fullerton at the Big West men’s tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

  • Cal State Fullerton guard Kyle Allman Jr., right, blocks the shot by UC Santa Barbara guard JaQuori McLaughlin during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Big West men’s tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

  • Cal State Fullerton guard Jamal Smith celebrates after defeating UC Santa Barbara in an NCAA college basketball game at the Big West men’s tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

  • Cal State Fullerton forward Johnny Wang, left, lets out a yell after the Titans scored to extend their lead over UC Santa Barbara with minutes left in the semifinal of the Big West Tournament in Anaheim on Friday, March 15, 2019. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton guard Khalil Ahmad, top, shoots over UC Santa Barbara forward Jarriesse Blackmon during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game at the Big West men’s tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

  • Cal State Fullerton head coach Dedrique Taylor gives instructions to his players during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against UC Santa Barbara at the Big West men’s tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

  • Cal State Fullerton guard Khalil Ahmad celebrates after defeating UC Santa Barbara in an NCAA college basketball game at the Big West men’s tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

  • Cal State Fullerton guard Kyle Allman Jr. slams a dunk during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against UC Santa Barbara at the Big West men’s tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

  • Cal State Fullerton forward Josh Pitts, right, shows his excitement as guard Jamal Smith draws a foul and scored a basket during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against UC Santa Barbara at the Big West men’s tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

  • Cal State Fullerton guard Khalil Ahmad is being congratulated by the fans after defeating UC Santa Barbara in an NCAA college basketball game at the Big West men’s tournament in Anaheim, Calif., Friday, March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)

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ANAHEIM — The all-Orange County rematch is on.

Third-seeded Cal State Fullerton came through with clutch defense to hold second-seeded UC Santa Barbara without a field goal in the final seven minutes of a 64-58 win in the Big West Tournament semifinals on Friday night.

The Titans’ win sets up a rematch of last year’s championship game against top-seeded UC Irvine, which defeated Long Beach State in Friday’s first semifinal. Fullerton won last year’s title game 71-55.

The Titans (16-16) trailed for much of the second half on Friday, but they went on a 7-0 run, capped by a Davon Clare floater, to tie the score with three minutes left.

Then Kyle Allman Jr. delivered one of the defensive plays of the game, blocking a Jay Nagle 3-point attempt. On the ensuing offensive possession, Khalil Ahmad, who finished with a game-high 28 points, drove to the rim and drew a goaltending call, giving Fullerton a two-point lead with 1:11 left.

UCSB (22-10) called a timeout and seemed to get a good look at the basket, but Allman again arrived in the nick of time for the Titans. He swatted Jaquori McLaughlin’s driving layup attempt out of bounds. McLaughlin got another try, but Jackson Rowe appeared for a violent block off the backboard.

“I think this group of guys, they believe,” Fullerton head coach Dedrique Taylor said. “They know what they’re capable of and down the stretch, they started to galvanize each other. We just swarmed them. We had some really crucial blocks at the front of the rim there. But our group of guys, we didn’t want to go home.”

Fullerton had to play the free-throw game after that. The Titans made enough of them and the defense was stout enough to hold on until Ahmad’s breakaway dunk clinched the win with two seconds left.

The two teams were evenly matched in the first half, fitting considering they finished tied for second in the Big West during the regular season. Both shot the ball around 45 percent from the floor and struggled from 3-point range. UCSB had a one-rebound advantage, and neither team allowed the other to get into the bonus.

The lone differences were that UCSB made three free throws and Fullerton never got to the line, and the Titans turned the ball over eight times to the Gauchos’ five. The result was a three-point UCSB lead at halftime.

But then UCSB’s cold shooting changed in the second half. The Gauchos made four of their next five attempts from 3-point range to open a 10-point lead.

But in the end, Fullerton’s defense responded when it needed to put the Titans a win away from a return trip to the NCAA Tournament.

But standing in the way is their in-county rival. UCI beat Fullerton twice in the regular season, the first time by 17 points and the second by seven.

“Cannot wait,” Ahmad said. “Cannot wait.”

“We know what happened in the regular season,” added Jamal Smith, whom Taylor lauded for stabilizing the team with his play in the second half. “That definitely didn’t slip our mind and we’re coming full-force. We’re more connected than ever.”

.@CSFCoachTaylor on tonight’s win. #TusksUp pic.twitter.com/Eq2TMJiuxD

— Titans Men’s Basketball (@FullertonMBB) March 16, 2019

Not done yet. @oh_snaap25 #TusksUp pic.twitter.com/PcxTOgnxzp

— Titans Men’s Basketball (@FullertonMBB) March 16, 2019

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Animation and glass fuse in vivid mind of Cal State Fullerton artist

By Tien Do

Ever since I was young, I knew I wanted to express myself in an artistic way. Then when it came to my adolescent years, I was exposed to the possibilities of acting and 3-D animation.


CSUF art major Tien Do looks up at one of the glass orbs in David Guiterrez’s spring exhibition “Celestial Interval.” Photo courtesy Tien Do.

With this exposure, I thought for sure that these two subjects were the careers that I wanted to pursue. This all changed during my third year of study Cal State Fullerton. During that time, I was waitlisted for an introductory class on a new 3-D modeling program called Maya. I was waitlisted as No. 1, but, unfortunately, I was unable to enroll in the class. Panicking, I entered an open class, not thinking that it would drastically affect my medium or emphasis in art. The course was an introduction to glassblowing.

My first steps into that class led me to a new perspective in art making. I never left. For the past three years, not only have I been enrolled in the animation program, but I’ve been active in the glass program, as well.

The journey and experience toward the medium of glass was so surreal. It felt like I was sculpting and shaping a medium that was stubborn, erratic and filled with life. Compared to the practice I had with animation, it was the polar opposite.

With animation, I was creating a static object into something that resembles a being of life. Whereas with glass, I was creating something alive into something static. Even though these practices seem different, they hold similar qualities in terms of shaping and sculpting an object.

Like everything that includes heavy devotion, it took time to understand the medium I was using. With a determination to be more involved, I invested myself heavily into this medium of glass. I believe that during the first two semesters, I devoted 40-60 hours a week to working with glass, in order to understand the material and to better use it in my creative projects.

I would practice heavily to understand the molten properties of glass, as well as participate in helping others, including the faculty member who taught the course, Hiromi Takizawa, assistant professor of art.

That devotion didn’t go unnoticed. Surprisingly, Hiromi nominated me and helped me acquire scholarships to represent Cal State Fullerton at a prestigious glass school called Pilchuck. This facility is located in Stanwood, Wash., where artists have the opportunity to work with a master artist to develop their skills and creative thinking. This opportunity to go to Pilchuck has solidified my interest in glass into being an artist of glass. I have gone there for the past two summers — the first as a student and the second as a teacher’s assistant. Now, I will be returning for my third year, as a student for Master Artist Martin Janecky.

At the Pilchuck Glass School, you are exposed not only to the artist/session you applied for, but also to the community that expands internationally and around the world. Everyone I have met had a different way or a new way of how to create objects in glass. But that wasn’t the importance of Pilchuck; instead, it was creating a bigger family within our glass world. Since the community is quite small, I believe it is necessary and a treasure to meet various artists that come along our journey.

With this philosophy in mind, I was able to create bonds with such notable artists as Ethan Stern, Kelly O’Dell, Raven Skyriver and Morgan Peterson, among others. Meeting these artists gave me hope and inspiration. The time spent at Pilchuck can be pretty intense, since it is a workshop that lasts two to three weeks with at least 9-12-hour days, back to back. Its facility has all the equipment for the students and artists to use, in order to accomplish our creative vision. It is an experience unlike any other, and it is a great way for an artist to get the most out of the time provided for each session.


In the CSUF glass lab, art major Tien Do is heating a sculpture to add details in an image he titled “Dancing With Fire.” Photo courtesy Tien Do.

I am thankful for this alternative route or segue from the 3-D animation world. Without that experience, I wouldn’t have the knowledge to become a better craftsman and artist. I owe thanks to my mentor Hiromi Takizawa for showing me another form of art making.

Art major Tien Do will be returning to the Pilchuck Glass School in July. In the fall, he will begin his senior year of study at Cal State Fullerton and has his sights set on graduate school. His long-term goal is to open a studio for glass or animation. In the future, Do also hopes to be able extend to students the same mentoring opportunities he has been afforded.

 

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Cal State Fullerton coaches among Big West spring honorees

 

 

 

  • Cal State Fullerton coach John Elders celebrates his men’s team winning the 2018 Big West Conference track and field championship on May 12 at Cal State Northridge. Photo courtesy Matt Brown/Cal State Fullerton Athletics.

    Cal State Fullerton coach John Elders celebrates his men’s team winning the 2018 Big West Conference track and field championship on May 12 at Cal State Northridge. Photo courtesy Matt Brown/Cal State Fullerton Athletics.

  • Cal State Fullerton head coach Rick Vanderhook before the Titans’ 10-9 victory over Long Beach State in the regular season finale at Blair Field in Long Beach on Saturday, May 26, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Cal State Fullerton head coach Rick Vanderhook before the Titans’ 10-9 victory over Long Beach State in the regular season finale at Blair Field in Long Beach on Saturday, May 26, 2018. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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  • Cal State Fullerton head coach Kelly Ford reacts against Texas State in the fourth inning of the NCAA Division I softball regional championship at Easton Field on the campus of UCLA on Friday, May 18, 2018 in Los Angeles. Fullerton won 2-1. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

    Cal State Fullerton head coach Kelly Ford reacts against Texas State in the fourth inning of the NCAA Division I softball regional championship at Easton Field on the campus of UCLA on Friday, May 18, 2018 in Los Angeles. Fullerton won 2-1. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/SCNG)

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As the spring sports seasons concluded, coaches for three Cal State Fullerton teams were among those receiving Big West Conference honors.

Baseball

Head coach Rick Vanderhook was named Big West Coach of the Year and Colton Eastman was named the league’s Pitcher of the Year.

Three players earned All-Big West First Team honors: Eastman, Blake Workman and Hank LoForte.

Vanderhook earned his fifth Big West Conference Coach of the Year honor after guiding Cal State Fullerton to its 22nd league title with an 18-6 mark. In earning the Big West’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, the Titans qualified for postseason for the 40th time in program history. The five honors by Vanderhook ties George Horton for the most in school history.

 

Softball

Head Coach Kelly Ford earned her third consecutive Big West Coach of the Year award this season, sharing it with Long Beach State Head Coach Kim Sowder.

Ford earned the award after leading Fullerton to its third-straight Big West Championship crown. It’s also the third consecutive season with the Titans earning 16-plus Big West victories.

Players Deshea Hill, Zoe Richard, Ari Williams and Bryanna Ybarra were named to the All-Big West first team.

Track & Field

Head Coach John Elders was selected as the Big West Men’s Coach of the Year for the second straight year and sprinter Rasaun House was named Men’s Freshman of the Year.

In his 30th year, Elders is the school’s longest-tenured head coach. He again was named Men’s Coach of the Year while leading his Cal State Fullerton program to a second consecutive Big West championship.

Tennis, golf

In women’s tennis, CSUF standout Genevieve Zeidan was named Big West Freshman of the Year.  Zeidan, Karla Portalatin and Sarah Nuno were honored on the Big West First-Team Singles. Portalatin and Nuno also won an honor together with a spot on the First Team for doubles play.

In men’s golf, Derek Castillo was named to the First Team All-Big West.

–Cal State Fullerton, Big West Conference

 

 

 

 

 

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Cal State Fullerton expert finds the Monkees were a steppin’ stone to cultural change

  • Rosanne Welch, Cal State Fullerton lecturer in cinema and television arts, is the author of a book on the Monkees.

    Rosanne Welch, Cal State Fullerton lecturer in cinema and television arts, is the author of a book on the Monkees.

  • Rosanne Welch is a lecturer in cinema and television arts at Cal State Fullerton. (Photo courtesy of Rosanne Welch)

    Rosanne Welch is a lecturer in cinema and television arts at Cal State Fullerton. (Photo courtesy of Rosanne Welch)

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  • “It was the critics who didn’t take their music seriously. But their music had legs,” says  Rosanne Welch, a lecturer at Cal State Fullerton who has written a book on the 1960s band and its television show. (AP file photo)

    “It was the critics who didn’t take their music seriously. But their music had legs,” says Rosanne Welch, a lecturer at Cal State Fullerton who has written a book on the 1960s band and its television show. (AP file photo)

  • In this 1966 file photo, cast members of the television show “The Monkees,” from top left, Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith, from lower left, Micky Dolenz, and Peter Tork pose next to their Monkeemobile, a customized Pontiac GTO. (AP file photo)

    In this 1966 file photo, cast members of the television show “The Monkees,” from top left, Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith, from lower left, Micky Dolenz, and Peter Tork pose next to their Monkeemobile, a customized Pontiac GTO. (AP file photo)

  • The Monkees were huge teen idols. When Davy Jones got married, it was kept secret to avoid upsetting his fans.

    The Monkees were huge teen idols. When Davy Jones got married, it was kept secret to avoid upsetting his fans.

  • Rosanne Welch met Micky Dolenz in 1986. (Photo courtesy of Rosanne Welch)

    Rosanne Welch met Micky Dolenz in 1986. (Photo courtesy of Rosanne Welch)

  • Rosanne Welch with Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz during their 50th-anniversary tour in 2016 in St. Louis. (Photo courtesy of Rosanne Welch)

    Rosanne Welch with Peter Tork and Micky Dolenz during their 50th-anniversary tour in 2016 in St. Louis. (Photo courtesy of Rosanne Welch)

  • This June 4, 1967, photo shows the Monkees with their Emmy at the 19th annual Primetime Emmy Awards. The group members are, from left, Mike Nesmith, Davy Jones, Peter Tork, and Micky Dolenz. (AP file photo)

    This June 4, 1967, photo shows the Monkees with their Emmy at the 19th annual Primetime Emmy Awards. The group members are, from left, Mike Nesmith, Davy Jones, Peter Tork, and Micky Dolenz. (AP file photo)

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She’s a believer.

And after Rosanne Welch spoke recently to a gathering of Cal State Fullerton students and faculty, many of them were left also believing that the Monkees, the 1960s boy band, had a greater impact on television, music and pop culture than they had thought.

Illustrated with slides of the Monkees with Paul McCartney and Janis Joplin, on cereal boxes and in pop culture references long after their heyday, Welch’s talk laid out evidence that the group’s TV show made strong feminist statements and advanced such TV practices as characters addressing the audience, used today on such shows as “Modern Family” and “House of Cards.”

“They influenced so many of today’s modern-day performers and yet people keep forgetting about that,” said Welch.

Welch, a lecturer in the Department of Cinema and Television Arts, wrote the book “Why the Monkees Matter.” She spoke as part of Pollak Library’s Faculty Noon-Time Talks, a series that invited faculty members to share their research.

Welch has written for the shows “Picket Fences,” “Beverly Hills 90210” and “Touched by an Angel.” She has edited “Women in American History” and written “America’s Forgotten Founding Father,” a novel based on the life of Filippo Mazzei, who is credited with the line “All men are created equal.”

But such lofty projects have a hard time competing with Welch’s favorite show when she was 7.

“The Monkees,” which ran from 1966 to 1968 on NBC, focused on the misadventures of a Beatles-like rock band, whose songs highlighted each episode. While the four band members were cast for the show, and did not play their own instruments at first, they all had some degree of musical experience and went on to play, and often write, their own music and record until 1971.

The show won two Emmys its first season — for outstanding comedy and comedy directing.

Welch got interested in the Monkees from a research standpoint when she was asked by Cal State Fullerton to present a class for high schoolers in the GEAR UP summer program, looking critically at a TV show. She chose “The Monkees,” only to discover it was far more innovative than she’d given it credit for as a child.

“In the ’60s, people in the know knew that this was something different and worth paying attention to,” she said.

She wrote a story on the show for a screenwriters magazine, tracking down seven of the original 15 writers, many of whom went on to win Emmys, including Treva Silverman, the first woman who wrote for TV without a male partner.

Then she wrote a book.

Welch set the stage for her CSUF audience by describing what the nation had been watching before “The Monkees” debuted: blander family shows such as “The Lucy Show” and “The Andy Griffith Show,” often in black and white.

Then she detailed what was innovative about “The Monkees”:

It contained social justice messages — something that got the Smothers Brothers canceled — which were overlooked by network executives who considered “The Monkees” a kids show. There were references to the Vietnam War, communism in Southeast Asia and the war on poverty.

“Timothy Leary watched and said it was far deeper than anyone else had given it credit for,” Welch said. The LSD guru wrote: “And woven into the fast-moving psychedelic stream of action were the prophetic, holy, challenging words.”

The song “Randy Scouse Git,” written by Micky Dolenz, included the lyrics “Why don’t you hate who I hate/ Kill who I kill to be free?”

“If that’s not a Vietnam War protest song, I don’t know what is,” Welch said. “They got away with singing that on broadcast television, in their hippy-dippy clothes.”

It took a progressive feminist approach. Sure, many episodes were about the four boys meeting girls. But every single girl who dated the boys had a job, Welch said. And in each case, we met her through her job first.

“They weren’t bubbleheads,” she said. “They weren’t waiting around to get married. I think that was an interesting message in 1966.” Never did the boys want a girl only because she was pretty; it was about getting a smart girl, she said.

In one episode, a girl turns down Davy Jones to do her job. Later in that episode, the boys get kidnapped and a girl rescues them, flipping the usual trope. In another episode, the actress Julie Newmar (Catwoman on “Batman”) guest-starred as the owner of a laundromat earning her doctorate (in laundry).

“If you were a girl watching in 1966, you learned that to get a Monkee you didn’t want to be a cheerleader; you wanted to be a woman of value because that’s who they would look at,” Welch said.

It furthered metatextuality, in which there’s a second level of commentary that makes observations on what’s going on.

In particular, the show routinely broke the fourth wall with the audience. George Burns and Jack Benny had done that when they talked to the screen, Welch said, but no show was doing it in the 1960s.

The series would joke about the action, such as superimposing writing on the screen to identify one actor as a friend of the producer. In one episode the quartet shows up at NBC’s offices.

“They’re letting you in on the joke,” Welch said. The younger, hipper audience could think “We’re part of this thing.”

She also pointed out the impact of the band and its TV show on popular culture at the time and since.

“There’s this idea that they weren’t very important and then disappeared,” she said. But a little digging shows they were culturally relevant then and still are.

  • They were friends with the Beatles, she noted. John Lennon would go to Dolenz’s house and jam.
  • Peter Tork was at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, where he was asked to go onstage during the Grateful Dead’s set and quiet the crowd. And the crowd listened to him. (Tork had played with Stephen Stills in Greenwich Village before Stills auditioned for “The Monkees,” was rejected and recommended Tork.)
  • Shows including “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men” have used Monkees songs, introducing them to a new generation, as have covers of Monkees songs, including Smash Mouth’s version of “I’m a Believer” on the “Shrek” soundtrack.
  • Rachel Maddow interviewed Tork in 2012, after the death of Davy Jones, and gushed over how much she loved “The Monkees” and learned about the 1960s from watching its reruns on MTV.
  • The Monkees’ 12th album, “Good Times!”, released for the group’s 50th anniversary in 2016 was ranked by Rolling Stone magazine among its top 50 albums of the year.

“Suddenly it’s cool to like the Monkees now,” Welch said.

Welch met Dolenz in 1986 after a concert in Cleveland. She still has his phone number from an earlier phone interview, though it no longer works. Dolenz was her favorite Monkee, she said.

“My theory was there’s more girls in line for Davy, so I’d have better luck with the guy with the shorter line.”

Editor’s note: In the interest of journalistic transparency, this reporter acknowledges having constructed, in 1967, a Monkees fort in her closet, where she could daydream about Davy Jones.

 

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Cal State Fullerton graduate channels her career success into volunteering

By Nicole Saba

I grew up in Anaheim, and my childhood memories consist of visits to Disneyland and the lifelong friends I made. The friends I grew up with in my diverse community, walking together to and from the same elementary school, middle school and high school, are memories I will always cherish. It built a sense of community and strengthened ties to each other’s families.

Nicole Saba. Photo courtesy of the writer.
Nicole Saba. Photo courtesy of the writer.

I also knew from a very young age that I was going to attend Cal State Fullerton. Not only is it the anchor of Orange County, having garnered numerous state and national accolades, it’s the university where my father studied, and my younger sister, as well.

At CSUF, I studied communications and later switched my major, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing. I am very lucky to have been surrounded by solid educators and remarkable leaders who helped set the foundation for my career success and leadership skills.

I enjoyed being a student at CSUF. As a member of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority, I recall attending Titan baseball games under the coaching leadership of Augie Garrido and later George Horton, as well as watching local bands perform at Becker Amphitheater during lunch time, just to name a few out-of-class diversions.

Upon graduation, I moved to Los Angeles, where my education from the Anaheim Union High School District and Cal State Fullerton prepared me for working in various areas of marketing, public relations, promotions and advertising. Later on, came a shift to the client side and stints as marketing manager for Princess Cruises and Cunard Line. After the birth of my first child, I started a marketing consulting business, which gives me the freedom to also volunteer.

Having young children, it was very important to me to support public education. My husband and I chose to send our children to a neighborhood school so that they could walk there and enjoy after-school activities with their friends, rather than spend endless hours in the car. We also wanted to support our neighborhood public educators.

Becoming a parent naturally led to volunteering, then to championing the ideal of public schools, where all kids have access to high-level instruction and resources, regardless of socioeconomic status.

With technology being a 21st-century reality, I developed a technology vision for our neighborhood school and, with the support of the principal, it has resulted in the consistent use of iPads and Chromebooks by students throughout all grade levels. As a classroom volunteer, I help teach computer programming, keyboarding, English language arts, the use of Google apps and math lessons using technology.

Our school’s nonprofit booster organization was founded 10 years ago by dedicated parents, and I serve as its president. We organize and assist in schoolwide fundraisers, in addition to applying for grant funding to help raise additional revenue to pay for programs where education dollars fall short.

Participating in community outreach efforts, I seek to ensure that our local businesses play an integral role in supporting our school. As president of the School Site Council, the school governance board, I also work with various leaders serving on several committees in the Los Angeles Unified School District to offer a parent’s perspective and feedback regarding decisions made at the district level.

My background in marketing comes in handy for writing press releases and supporting our social media sites with up-to-date information to keep parents and the community connected.

U.S. Rep Adam Schiff honored Nicole Saba, CSUF Class of '98, this spring as the 28th Congressional District Woman of the Year for 2018. Photo courtesy Nicole Saba.
U.S. Rep Adam Schiff honored Nicole Saba, CSUF Class of ’98, this spring as the 28th Congressional District Woman of the Year for 2018. Photo courtesy Nicole Saba.

A nomination by my sons’ school principal recently led to receiving an award from our local congressman. It was humbling surprise to say the least, but a motivating factor to continue to do more.

Nicole Saba, a Class of 1998 Titan and mother of two, was named the 28th Congressional District Woman of the Year for 2018 by Rep. Adam Schiff, in recognition of her volunteer efforts.

 

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New Cal State Fullerton student body president wants to spend his life on a college campus

  • Josh Borjas wants to boost student pride in  athletics, the performing arts and the debate team at Cal State Fullerton, where he is the new student body president. Photographed on campus May 25.  (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Josh Borjas wants to boost student pride in athletics, the performing arts and the debate team at Cal State Fullerton, where he is the new student body president. Photographed on campus May 25. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Josh Borjas plans to focus on collaboration, engagement and involvement as the new student body president at Cal State Fullerton. Photographed on campus May 25. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Josh Borjas plans to focus on collaboration, engagement and involvement as the new student body president at Cal State Fullerton. Photographed on campus May 25. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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  • Josh Borjas, the new student body president at Cal State Fullerton, has worked as a tour guide and orientation leader on campus. Photographed on campus May 25. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Josh Borjas, the new student body president at Cal State Fullerton, has worked as a tour guide and orientation leader on campus. Photographed on campus May 25. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • “At the end of the day we just want students to be happy,” says Josh Borjas, the new student body president at Cal State Fullerton. Photographed on campus May 25.  (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    “At the end of the day we just want students to be happy,” says Josh Borjas, the new student body president at Cal State Fullerton. Photographed on campus May 25. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Josh Borjas is the new student body president at Cal State Fullerton, where he has been serving on the Associated Students Inc. board. Photographed on campus May 25. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Josh Borjas is the new student body president at Cal State Fullerton, where he has been serving on the Associated Students Inc. board. Photographed on campus May 25. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Josh Borjas is the newly elected student body president at Cal State Fullerton. Photographed on campus May 25. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Josh Borjas is the newly elected student body president at Cal State Fullerton. Photographed on campus May 25. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • “I love learning. I’m kind of a nerd in that way,” says Josh Borjas, the new student body president at Cal State Fullerton. Photographed on campus May 25.  (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    “I love learning. I’m kind of a nerd in that way,” says Josh Borjas, the new student body president at Cal State Fullerton. Photographed on campus May 25. (Photo by Kevin Sullivan, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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Watch out, President Virjee. Someone’s gunning for your job.

Not right away, though. First, Josh Borjas needs to serve his term as Cal State Fullerton student body president for the 2018-19 academic year. He was elected this spring in an eventful Associated Students Inc. election to lead the campus of 40,000-plus students.

But eventually, Borjas would like to become a university president.

“Since I’ve been involved, I’ve really experienced the impact the university has on individuals,” said Borjas as the school year was wrapping up. “I love learning. I’m kind of a nerd in that way. I also love helping students get excited for school, or for that next class, or to do that one event. I want to continue that.”

He actually hopes to live at a university his entire life.

Borjas and his vice president, Ana Aldazabal, plan to focus on three things: collaboration, engagement and involvement across campus.

Campus involvement is a perennial problem for the largely commuter campus and one that Borjas’ predecessor, Laila Dadabhoy, also adopted as a priority.

Other areas Borjas wants to address are building students’ soft skills applicable to the outside world; being more creative in ASI’s communications with students; and boosting student pride in such successful activities as athletics, the performing arts and forensics.

“Why aren’t we celebrating?” asked Borjas, who is from Corona.

One area of particular interest is financial aid — making the federally run process more accessible and easier to navigate online for the roughly half of CSUF students who receive it while improving customer service on the campus end.

“Students didn’t know what they needed until they got that email with the list of what documents they needed,” said Borjas. He said the ASI had a financial literacy initiative that went dormant but has been revived.

“I’m excited I will have a new position that will allow me to work with that,” he said.

Borjas sat on the ASI board of directors this past year, representing the College of Communications. He is majoring in communication studies with an emphasis in organizational communication, which encompasses individual to mass communication in a business environment.

He wants to be a student affairs professional and is a fellow in the Undergraduate Fellows Program run by NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, which prepares undergrads for graduate school in student affairs. He plans to earn a doctorate in education, fulfilling his mother’s dream that he become a doctor — just a different kind of doctor.

It was Borjas’ side gig as a CSUF tour guide that inspired him to run for the ASI board. He liked the university leadership’s goal of being a top-level institution but, interacting with those in the trenches, realized that the actions to get there didn’t necessarily speak to the school’s culture and what makes it unique. He offered feedback on how to better move forward, but felt he wasn’t taken seriously.

“I wanted to have a seat at the table or a title just so I can get someone to take me in a more representative light,” he said. “And so that’s why I ran.”

Then friends and staff members asked what his next step would be. He didn’t know. They asked whether he’d thought about being ASI president. He said no.

But it occurred to him that his experience on the ASI board gave him understanding of the organization and the legislative process, his work as a tour guide and orientation leader gave him familiarity with the campus, and his job as a resident adviser in student housing gave him chops in crisis management.

“My residents who live with me — I’m up with them at 4 a.m., sometimes crying about some stuff that’s happened, unfortunate things.”

He ran, choosing Aldazabal as his running mate due to her expertise in areas different from his own – especially with the campus’s diversity initiatives and resource centers. He noted the ASI officers have a lot of power but less accountability and so wanted someone with strong moral character.

The two were brought together by mutual friends who thought they’d be a good fit.

“It’s kind of like an awkward first date,” Borjas said. “But when you have a commonality of passion and vision, it starts to warm up real fast. We were there for each other when things got hard. We have that rapport already.”

Those hard times happened before the two even took office, which happened June 1.

“No one predicted this last year would be so difficult,” Borjas said.

During the election, another candidate team was disqualified after sending out a mass email to students, a violation of ASI bylaws. Then the ASI Elections Judicial Council held three closed meetings to air student complaints against those candidates without posting agendas, violating a state law.

“We thought we were in compliance,” Borjas said. “We were blindsided by it.”

Then ASI was blindsided by the last-second cancellation of headliner Kehlani, who showed up for Spring Concert but didn’t have the voice to perform. She announced her cancellation via social media before ASI was able to inform the audience. ASI quickly apologized and offered complete refunds to ticketholders.

“At the end of the day we just want students to be happy,” Borjas said. “That’s why we gave the refund, even though it was out of our control. Our purpose is to help serve students.”

Going forward, Borjas wants to borrow ideas from other CSU campuses, and from other colleges whose leaders he has met at conferences through his NASPA fellowship. He likes to ask students what their thoughts are and what they’re passionate about.

“If it’s something completely different than me, that’s totally fine,” he said. “But I’m glad this campus has brought us together for that one moment.”

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Cal State Fullerton Grand Central Art Center’s made-for-TV opera is up for two Emmys

“Vireo,” a made-for-TV opera composed by CSUF Grand Central Art Center 2017 artist-in-residence Lisa Bielawa, has received two nominations for the 70th Los Angeles Area Emmys /Television Academy Awards.


Soprano Laurie Rubin in episode 8 of “Vireo,” which has been nominated for two Emmy awards. (Photo courtesy of Mike O’Toole)

Bielawa was nominated for creative technical crafts – composer; Charlie Otte was nominated for outstanding director – programming.

The episodic production features the work of more than 350 musicians, including CSUF alum Deborah Voigt, and was shot in locations including New York’s Hudson River Valley, California’s redwoods and San Francisco’s Alcatraz.

The awards will be presented July 28 in North Hollywood.

“Vireo: The Spiritual Biography of a Witch’s Accuser” aired in June 2017 on KCET and is available for free streaming at KCET.org/Vireo.

Former Muck CEO heads Mihaylo’s nonprofits center

Zoot Velasco, former CEO of Fullerton’s Muckenthaler Cultural Center, is the new director of Mihaylo College’s Gianneschi Center.

Zoot Velasco, former CEO of Fullerton's Muckenthaler Cultural Center, is the new director of Mihaylo College's Gianneschi Center. (Photo courtesy of Cal State Fullerton)
Zoot Velasco, former CEO of Fullerton’s Muckenthaler Cultural Center, is the new director of Mihaylo College’s Gianneschi Center. (Photo courtesy of Cal State Fullerton)

Velasco plans to expand the college’s impact on local organizations and provide an on-campus hub for innovation for Southern California public good and social enterprise entities.

The alum of St. Mary’s College of California and Hope International University brings nearly two decades of leadership in the nonprofit and social enterprise sector.

He got his start in the field while touring the world in the film and television industries in the 1980s and 1990s as a break-dancing college dropout.

“I found my day job, working as a professional artist who taught in prisons, juvenile halls and housing projects, to be more fulfilling than the film business,” he said. “I found mentors so that I could advance in working for community organizations.”

Beginning in the fall, Velasco will teach undergraduate coursework in marketing and business etiquette at Mihaylo College.

Monkeys and STEM among eclectic faculty research

Research by faculty in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences appeared recently on a variety of platforms:

Anthropologists Peter Fashing and Nga Nguyen co-authored an article titled “Multilevel Social Structure and Diet Shape the Gut Microbiota of the Gelada Monkey, the Only Grazing Primate” for the scientific journal Microbiome.

The Guassa Gelada Research Project, a long-term study of a wild population of gelada monkeys, is co-directed by CSUF faculty members Peter Fashing and Nga Nguyen. (iStock photo)
The Guassa Gelada Research Project, a long-term study of a wild population of gelada monkeys, is co-directed by CSUF faculty members Peter Fashing and Nga Nguyen. (iStock photo)

Fashing also co-authored three articles on Ethiopian monkeys for the American Journal of Primatology, BMC Ecology and Primates, as well as one on African and Ethiopian wolves for Royal Society Open Access.

Lucía Alcalá, assistant professor of psychology, was a co-presenter of “Learning by Helping,” a video in the National Science Foundation’s 2018 STEM for All Video Showcase of more than 200 videos aimed at improving STEM learning and teaching. The video shows how helping others may be a powerful motivator for children to engage in science, especially for children from underrepresented backgrounds.

Natalie Fousekis, professor of history and director of the Lawrence de Graaf Center for Oral and Public History, presented “Interviewing Political Women in the Age of Clinton and Trump” at the League of Women Voters of Orange County annual meeting in Irvine.

Thomas Fujita-Rony, associate professor of Asian American studies, was a panelist on “Achieving Ethnic Studies” at Chapman University’s Education and Ethnic Studies Summit.

Rec Center named among best in nation

College Consensus, a new college ratings website that aggregates publisher rankings and student reviews, included Cal State Fullerton on a list of the 50 best campus recreation centers.

Students climb an indoor rock wall that overlooks the entrance to the Student Recreation Center. The 95,000-square-foot facility is funded by student fees. (Photo courtesy of Cal State Fullerton)
Students climb an indoor rock wall that overlooks the entrance to the Student Recreation Center. The 95,000-square-foot facility is funded by student fees. (Photo courtesy of Cal State Fullerton)

 

“For many colleges, campus recreation is central to the mission and branding of the institution,” said Carrie Sealey-Morris, the site’s managing editor. “At some schools, you’d be hard-pressed to guess whether you were at a university or a luxury resort.”

But such luxury serves a purpose in mitigating the negative health effects of the stress of college life, she added.

The top 50 weren’t ranked within the list. The university’s Student Recreation Center, built in 2009 and boasting a martial arts studio and an indoor rock wall, was named 25th on a 2016 list of the 35 most luxurious student rec centers in the country by Collegerank.net.

The other California colleges on the new list were UCLA, UC San Diego, Cal State Long Beach, Pepperdine and Saint Mary’s College of California.

 

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With Cal State Fullerton’s help, Girl Scout stages house of horrors for college-bound students

  • Girl Scout Colette Grob introduces her “Four out of Five” Gold Award project, which refers to statistics that 4 in 5 college students drink and half that number binge drink. Students from Canyon High School reenacted scenarios that often take place at college parties, such as hazing, drug and alcohol abuse, binge drinking and sexual assault in Anaheim Hills on April  21. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Girl Scout Colette Grob introduces her “Four out of Five” Gold Award project, which refers to statistics that 4 in 5 college students drink and half that number binge drink. Students from Canyon High School reenacted scenarios that often take place at college parties, such as hazing, drug and alcohol abuse, binge drinking and sexual assault in Anaheim Hills on April 21. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Drama students from Canyon High School act out a potential college hazing situation as part of Colette Grob’s Girl Scout Gold Award project in Anaheim Hills on April  21. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Drama students from Canyon High School act out a potential college hazing situation as part of Colette Grob’s Girl Scout Gold Award project in Anaheim Hills on April 21. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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  • Drama students from Canyon High School act out a potential college hazing situation as part of Colette Grob’s Girl Scout Gold Award project in Anaheim Hills on April  21. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Drama students from Canyon High School act out a potential college hazing situation as part of Colette Grob’s Girl Scout Gold Award project in Anaheim Hills on April 21. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Kendall Dodd, 15, a Canyon High School drama student, plays the role of a college sexual assault victim as part of Colette Grob’s Girl Scout Gold Award project, “Four Out of Five,” in Anaheim Hills on April  21. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Kendall Dodd, 15, a Canyon High School drama student, plays the role of a college sexual assault victim as part of Colette Grob’s Girl Scout Gold Award project, “Four Out of Five,” in Anaheim Hills on April 21. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Students watch reenactments of scenarios that often take place at college parties, such as hazing, drug and alcohol abuse, binge drinking and sexual assault in Anaheim Hills on April  21. The presentation was part of Colette Grob’s “Four out of Five” Girl Scout Gold Award project. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Students watch reenactments of scenarios that often take place at college parties, such as hazing, drug and alcohol abuse, binge drinking and sexual assault in Anaheim Hills on April 21. The presentation was part of Colette Grob’s “Four out of Five” Girl Scout Gold Award project. (Photo by Mindy Schauer, Orange County Register/SCNG)

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After seeing news stories about hazing deaths of fraternity pledges, Colette Grob knew what she wanted to do for her Girl Scout Gold Award project.

In collaboration with Cal State Fullerton’s Title IX office, the Canyon High School student created a live walk-through depicting reenactments of scenarios that often take place at college parties, such as hazing, drug and alcohol abuse, binge drinking and sexual assault.

More than 100 high school juniors and their parents walked through the free event staged in an Anaheim Hills home in April.

At the end of the walk-through, students met with a panel of experts that shared advice and personal stories to help students learn how to stay safe in such situations and, better yet, avoid them. Panelists included representatives from San Diego State University Delta Upsilon fraternity and Kim Girard, a college transition coach from Redondo Beach.

Grob, a member of Anaheim’s Troop 1171, called her project “Four out of Five” after a 2015 National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence statistic that four out of five college students drink and that half of those are binge drinking.

“She wanted to create a program that would be impactful for her friends, and she definitely accomplished that,” said Mary Becerra, Title IX coordinator in CSUF’s Title IX and Gender Equity office.

Grob reached out to CSUF as her local CSU campus, and Becerra said she was happy to work with her. “She is a confident, smart and caring girl.”

Grob asked Becerra about sexual misconduct among college students, and Becerra provided her with statistics, bystander intervention techniques and prevention strategies.  Grob developed a program that was accurate, realistic and addressed the major issues, Becerra said.

Grob has been a Girl Scout for 12 years. She is an aspiring film student hoping to become a Foley artist, who creates sound effects for film.

The Gold Award is the highest achievement in Girl Scouts, recognizing girls who demonstrate extraordinary leadership through Take Action projects that have sustainable impact in their communities and beyond.

About 6 percent of Girl Scouts earn Gold Awards after a project that takes one to two years.

In Orange County, about 100 achieve the honor each year, said Elizabeth Fairchild, communications director for Girl Scouts of Orange County. Gold Award Girl Scouts stand out in the college admissions process, earn college scholarships and enter the military one rank higher than their peers, she said.

“Earning the Girl Scout Gold Award means a girl has single-handedly changed the world — forever and for better,” Fairchild said.

 

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App delivers discounts, rewards to Cal State Fullerton students for wholesome fun

  • A flyer for the Point ‘N Save app shows how to use it to qualify for discounts and rewards on entertainment, such as a local appearance by the rapper Logic. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    A flyer for the Point ‘N Save app shows how to use it to qualify for discounts and rewards on entertainment, such as a local appearance by the rapper Logic. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Point ‘N Save’s Hunter Humphrey, left, and John Barton show their app at the CSUF Startup Incubator in Placentia on April 9. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Point ‘N Save’s Hunter Humphrey, left, and John Barton show their app at the CSUF Startup Incubator in Placentia on April 9. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

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  • Point ‘N Save’s John Barton, left, and his cousin Hunter Humphrey have been mentored at the CSUF Startup Incubator in Placentia. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Point ‘N Save’s John Barton, left, and his cousin Hunter Humphrey have been mentored at the CSUF Startup Incubator in Placentia. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Point ‘N Save founder John Barton is seen at the CSUF Startup Incubator in Placentia on April 9. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Point ‘N Save founder John Barton is seen at the CSUF Startup Incubator in Placentia on April 9. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

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Cal State Fullerton students want to save money.

Cal State Fullerton campus organizations and nearby businesses want more foot traffic.

Bringing the two together is … a Chico State alum.

John Barton might not be a Titan. But with the help of the CSUF Startup Incubator, he has launched an app that rewards students for getting more involved in their campus and patronizing local businesses.

“I feel like I’m a student because I’m on this campus so much,” joked Barton, 24. “I feel like students get overlooked sometimes – the sacrifices they make, the struggles they go through. I wanted to give back to them.”

His Point ‘N Save app, available in the iPhone App Store, gives discounts at about a dozen local businesses to anyone with an .edu email. The app also offers rewards, such as gift cards, to frequent users. Students can check in by scanning a QR code at the destination.

Businesses that have signed up include Oggi’s, Pieology, Dripp Coffee, PlayLive Nation, Round Table Pizza, Legends Boardshop, Blaze Pizza, Watson’s Soda Fountain & Cafe, Pedro’s Tacos, Tea Joy, Smoqued California BBQ, Pandor, The Perfect Circle Cupcakery & Co. and Titan Shops.

Some businesses are in Old Towne Orange because Barton’s secondary target area is Chapman University. He aims to get at least 30 partners, including more on campus. The app is free to students; eventually businesses will pay to be featured.

“We wanted to create a really fun way to get students more involved on campus,” Barton said.

John B. Jackson, director of the CSUF Center for Entrepreneurship, said the CSUF Startup Incubator, which he directs, offered the coaching Barton needed and access to Cal State Fullerton. Barton has pitched the app to some Mihaylo College of Business & Economics classes.

“It made good business sense for us to support him,” Jackson said. “He has been embraced by our students.”

Jackson added that the wholesome values of Barton’s platform are consistent with those of the university.

Those values were part of what propelled Barton to launch his business.

A native of Roseville, near Sacramento, Barton went to Chico State, which is known for its party scene. But a lot of students complained there was little to do around campus that was fun, inexpensive and didn’t involve drinking – an activity he didn’t partake in.

“I wanted to have an outlet for students who didn’t want to go out every night but wanted to have some type of social interaction that didn’t involve going to bars,” he said, especially since the majority of students are under 21.

When he told friends he’d been to a go-kart track in Chico, for example, none were aware it existed.

At the same time, local businesses are trying to market to students using traditional methods, without as much success as they wanted.

“Businesses want to contact students where they are, and that’s on their phones. It’s not a place anymore,” Barton said.

He developed the app as part of a senior project before he graduated in 2016 with a bachelor’s in entrepreneurship. He knew a lot of businesses offer student discounts, but they are often advertised only on a menu, for example, or take the form of a punch card. He wanted to package all such discounts and rewards in one place.

After testing a prototype of the app, Barton moved to Orange County in August to attend the Disney College Program and work on Disneyland’s Main Street, U.S.A. He learned good leadership skills and how to get the best out of people but, when the program ended, opted to keep developing his app into a viable company of his own.

He sought out CSUF’s Center for Entrepreneurship and was introduced to Jackson and the incubator. The size of the school presented an opportunity that Chico didn’t, plus it’s close to other universities, such as Chapman and Hope International. He had looked at other area incubators, but something struck him about Fullerton’s, he said.

“I was very excited to start it here,” he said. “I knew with the incubator’s help, with all the resources they had available to me, I knew I could make it work.”

The incubator paired him with two mentors – the first to advise on marketing, the second on business plan development.

Rudy Chavarria Jr., founder and CEO of College Web Media in Diamond Bar, advised Barton to reduce the text on his promotional brochure, for example, so business owners can quickly grasp what he’s presenting. He helped Barton figure out how to monetize the concept and boost the functionality of his app.

“I have to say that I really believe the mobile app has the possibility to succeed, but it’s going to be a lot of work,” said Chavarria, including 16-hour days and a strong team behind him. “I believe John has the drive and the passion required to make this successful.”

He also advised Barton to be patient as he starts seeking capital, telling him that Starbucks founder Howard Schultz was turned down by 217 of the 242 investors he first talked to. He also warned the young entrepreneur that he will eventually need to back off and be the boss, letting others take over specific roles.

“You can’t be the CEO and be the graphic designer,” Chavarria said.

In fact, Barton brought onboard his cousin, Hunter Humphrey, 23, who moved away from family and girlfriend in Sacramento to help with the app’s sales and promotion.

“There’s something about John that’s hard to not believe in the guy,” Humphrey said. “He’s going to do well. This guy has no negative attitude. Even when he doesn’t have a job, he doesn’t have a negative attitude.”

Over the summer, the duo will come up with strategies for when students return to campus in the fall, said Humphrey, who used to sell shirts with his cousin as a side job. They have some design work to do on the app, whose tech is outsourced. And they will continue to sign businesses and campus organizations.

Cal State Fullerton Athletics is planning to work with Barton, but nothing has been agreed upon, said Derrick Fazendin, sports media director, who called Barton’s concept “awesome.”

Meanwhile, the incubator helped the pair get ready to pitch to investors who share their values and mindset. They’ve been advised to seek $250,000 in funding to get them a two- to three-year runway.

Through the incubator, a student team surveyed students to find out what they’re looking for and what they like and don’t like about the app.

Barton knows what he’s doing is a leap of faith.

“It kind of excited me knowing I was taking that step that most businesspeople talk about but they don’t want to take because it’s uncharted waters,” he said. “That’s kind of what excites me about being an entrepreneur is taking those chances and rolling the dice on something you believe in and feel passionate about.”

About the incubator

The CSUF Startup Incubator in Placentia, opened in early 2015, and a second one opened last fall at the university’s Irvine center have helped launch 36 new ventures by students, alumni and community members.

Each entrepreneur is paired with an experienced mentor and assigned a team of business or entrepreneurship students who support and collaborate with the startup founders.

The incubator charges “tuition” for six months of residency. Offices and conference space are shared by all participants. Speakers frequently share advise on subjects such as intellectual property, business plan development and legal entities.

No direct connection to the university is required for entrepreneurs to participate.

The CSUF Startup Incubator is part of the university’s Center for Entrepreneurship, housed in the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics.

For more information on the incubator program, visit business.fullerton.edu/Center/Entrepreneurship/Incubator.

 

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