CBAPP Honors Students, and Names Organization, Executive and Alumni of the Year

CBAPP Dean Joseph Wen recognizes scholarship students during the Sixth Annual CBAPP Awards Luncheon.

The College of Business Administration and Public Policy (CBAPP) Advisory Board at California State University, Dominguez Hills awarded scholarships to 25 outstanding business students, hosted approximately 350 guests, and raised $45,000 for new scholarships at the Sixth Annual CBAPP Awards Luncheon on Nov. 1 in the Loker Student Union Ballroom.

“Today we are here to honor students, businesses, business leaders and CBAPP alumni,” said CBAPP Dean Joseph Wen, adding that the scholarship students are an example of the support the university receives, which helps the next generation of students have the resources to complete their dream of higher education.

Department Scholar Kristen Cooper, who is majoring in business administration with a concentration in management and human resources, said the distinction she has been honored with indicates she is part of an association of students and alumni dedicated to advancing learning and staying connected to the university.

“The faculty, students, advisory board and alumni all want to better learning methods, [ensure students] utilize the knowledge and skills obtained in school and apply it to a successful career, build more programs that will take Dominguez Hills to a higher level, and give back to the university that has given so much to us,” Cooper outlined. “Once I finish my college career here I will have the networking skills, the professional experience and business skills already instilled in me.”

In concert with Wen’s goal of engaging area businesses—and continuing a tradition since 2007, presentations of the 2012 Dean’s Medallion Award were also made during the luncheon.

CSU Dominguez Hills Interim President Willie Hagan with CBAPP Alumnus of the Year, Honorable Jerome Horton; Executive of the Year, Pilar M. Hoyos; and Justin Skarb accepting the award for Organization of the Year.

The California Water Service was named as Organization of the Year; Pilar M. Hoyos, vice president of public affairs at the Watson Land Company as Executive of the Year; and alumnus Honorable Jerome Horton (Class of ’79, B.S., business administration), chairman for the California Board of Equalization, as Alumnus of the Year.

University Interim President Willie Hagan also addressed the value of a reciprocal relationship between the university and community businesses.

“I was very pleased to hear the number of people in this room that recognize the importance of the university and are eager to engage in more partnerships,” said Hagan. “We have a tremendous amount of very large and important businesses in this area. And we should be making sure that we hire faculty who can help in research areas and who can provide internships.”

CBAPP alumni such as those gathered in support of their alma mater were recognized as critical to ensuring the continued success of the program.

Part-time instructor at CSU Dominguez, lawyer, and alumna Claudia Rodriguez (Class of ‘98, B.S., business administration; ‘00, M.A., behavioral science, negotiation and conflict management) and her husband and alumnus José Luis Luna (Class of ‘04, B.S., Chicano/a studies, ‘07, M.P.A) attended the luncheon because CBAPP helped them develop the foundation for their legal careers.

“I chose Dominguez Hills because it’s a small campus. I was able to get in close contact with professors,” Rodriquez said. “The bachelor’s [program] got me into the critical thinking phase and the master’s helped me with the writing.”

Luna added, “The entire program is extremely well coordinated. The professors are very interested in the progress and education of their students.”

This was the second luncheon that 2011 CBAPP Business Plan Competition winner and recent alumna Bree Nguyen (Class of ‘12, B.S., business finance) had attended. She recalled how her degree helped her to develop venture capital skills and prepare her for starting her own Internet college search business.

“What was really great about the program here was that I was able to get individualized attention and get exposed to things that I might not have at a larger school,” Nguyen said. “Dr. [Tayyeb] Shabbir exposed me to all these different kind of projects; things like Student Research Day and the business plan competition. …I never thought I would do academic research. To my surprise, I loved it and got a lot out of it.”

Alumni such as Rodriguez, Luna, and Nguyen who return to their alma mater are just one element of CBAPP’s continued success.

Juan Holguin, assistant professor of marketing and faculty adviser to the student chapter of the American Marketing Association—the university’s 2012 outstanding student organization—said the event attendance has grown in large part because of three groups.

“It’s a credit to our students who continue to excel and want to enrich their lives, …It’s a credit to our administration who sees this as a wonderful opportunity to lead and network, and hopefully show the whole community what an important role Dominguez Hills plays in southern California. And perhaps most of all, it’s a credit to our supporters. In the business school we call them our stakeholders—everyone who has an interest in the development of the success of Dominguez Hills,” Holguin said.

The luncheon, considered one of CBAPP’s major fundraising events with proceeds going to support student scholarships and faculty development, has raised more than $300,000, awarded nearly 40 student scholarships, and has been attended by almost 15,000 business professionals, educators and students since 2007, according to Wade Downey, CBAPP advisory board member and chair of the award luncheon committee.

For more information on CBAPP, visit


Bill Rogers Scholarship
Monica Torres, business administration

Bob Dowling Memorial Scholarship
Martin Carbonella, business administration: marketing

C. E. Zoerner Jr. Memorial Scholarship
Lina Flores, business administration: marketing

Chiou-Hsiung Bear Chang Scholarship
Kristle Davis, public administration: criminal justice administration

Dean’s Medallion Scholarship
Thu Dang, business administration: accounting
Natalie Thuthao Nguyen, business administration: accounting
Laura Oczachowski, applied studies
Maria Anaya, public administration: criminal justice administration
Linda Kring, business administration: entrepreneurship
Melissa Mercado, business administration: general business
Jamie Nielsen, pre-major: global logistics and supply
Satoshi Fukada, business administration: marketing
Sharon Julie Stewart, public affairs
Alan Murbata, business administration: pre-major: accounting

Department Scholar
Kristen Cooper, business administration: management and human resources

Donald Jones Endowed Memorial Scholarship
Diana Guerrero, public administration: criminal justice administration

Dr. Barbara Young Scholarship
Salvador Araizagomez, public administration: health services administration

Greater Harbor Area Employer Advisory Council Scholarship
Brittney Lo Bello, business administration: management and human resources

Roger W. Berry Ph.D. Endowed Scholarship
Angie Altarmirano, business administration: entrepreneurship

Senator Joseph M. Kennick Scholarship
Jennifer Ruby Lopez, public administration: criminal justice administration

Thomas Burrows Scholarship
Geneva Austin, business administration: management and human resources
Fernando Navarrete, business administration: marketing
Erika Concepcion, business administration: accounting
Ramon Espinoza, business administration: entrepreneurship
Teela Caldwell, M.P.A. public management


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