Day in the Park with the Cal Poly Accounting Club

Alumni enjoying Day in the ParkSaturday, May 14, on O’Neill Green

Calling all Cal Poly accounting alumni! Make plans to come back to campus for Cal Poly Accounting Club’s annual Day in the Park. Enjoy a casual barbecue on O’Neill Green as you reconnect with fellow accounting alumni, chat with your favorite faculty, and network with top students.

Saturday, May 14
11 a.m.– 2 p.m.
O’Neill Green
1 Grand Ave.
San Luis Obispo, Calif.

Please RSVP by May 6 via our Google doc, or call 805-756-2695.

If you have any questions, please email our Day in the Park Committee Chair Gabrielle Lasker at

CPAC Day in The Park Committee

Gabrielle Lasker, Committee Chair
Courtney Benner, Marketing Chair
Julie Park, Venue/Budget Chair
Selina Saliba, Logistics Chair
Jun Bang, Director of Social Activities

Accounting Alumni Happy Hour in San Francisco

Cal Poly Accounting Happy Hour Monday, March 21, at Sens San Francisco Embarcadero Center

Accounting AlumniJoin Cal Poly’s accounting alumni for happy hour in the Bay Area. You’ll have the chance to network with other accounting professionals and classmates as you sip drinks and enjoy appetizers.

Monday, March 21
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Sens San Francisco Embarcadero Center
4 Embarcadero Center
San Francisco, Calif.

Please RSVP by March 18 to via our Google Doc or 805-756-2695. Even if you don’t RSVP ahead of time, you are still welcome to attend.

Graduate Student Commencement 2016



Enjoy photos of the June 10 Graduate Programs Commencement via our Flickr account:

Ceremony Information

Congratulations to the graduate students completing their studies in 2016!

The Orfalea College of Business Graduate Programs will host a commencement ceremony on Friday, June 10, 2-4pm at the Alex and Faye Spanos Theatre for accounting, economics and MBA graduates.

The ceremony will include a keynote address by Tammy Kiely, global head of the Semiconductor Investment Banking Practice in the Technology, Media and Telecom Group of the Investment Banking Division at Goldman Sachs.

Graduates can invite four guests. Seats are general admission, free and must be reserved via EventBrite. Graduates can request additional tickets by contacting cobgmp@calpoly.eduDoors open at 1:30pm. 

All graduates will have their names read in a hooding ceremony. Following the ceremony, there will be light refreshments served on the Spanos Patio, which is shaded. Guests are welcome to take photos.

Orfalea graduate students should not attend the undergraduate ceremony.


Parking permits will not be required in the Grand Avenue and K1 parking lots starting at 12pm on Friday.

Enter Cal Poly at the Grand Avenue entrance and follow the signs for Orfalea Graduate Commencement to the Grand Avenue Parking Structure near the Performing Arts Center. If necessary, due to other campus events, overflow parking will be in the K1 Parking Lot.


Attire and other related commencement materials will be available April 26-28 at the Commencement Fair. If students don’t make it to the Commencement Fair, they can purchase their cap, gown, tassel, hood and honors cords after June 6 at the University Store.


If you would like to request an accommodation, such as a sign language interpreter or use of a wheelchair, please contact the Disability Resource Center at (805) 756-1395 as soon as possible. The DRC appreciates two weeks’ notice, but has a 72-hour minimum request deadline.

Updated April 11, 2016



Leading a Profession: A Q&A with alumnus George Famalett

10-Famalett2Accounting alumnus George Famalett (Business Administration, ’86) reached a rare accomplishment last fall, one no other Orfalea College of Business alumnus has held. In late November, Governor Jerry Brown appointed him to the California Board of Accountancy as one of only seven certified public accountants (CPA) to represent the industry’s professionals.

The organization, the only of its kind in the nation, sets standards for individuals, firms and educational institutions in California to ensure that only those properly qualified hold the title of CPA. This is no small task, knowing more than 100,000 professionals are licensed in the state. Famalett embraced this opportunity as a way to give back to the profession of public accounting where he has built his career.

“It’s very important that the industry is seen as regulating itself,” said Famalett, who is a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers. “Having spent my entire career in the industry, I feel like I have a vested interest in making sure that we do that effectively from the view of all key stakeholders, whether it be licensees or the public at large.”

During his tenure, Famalett and fellow board members will guide regulation on the mobility of professionals to practice in different states. The board is also surveying the implementation and impact of a 150 semester-unit requirement for the CPA exam. But Famalett says there are even larger issues facing the accounting profession.

“Looking forward, it’s about how either new technologies or new data sources can impact how accountants and CPAs do their job. Whether that be data analytics or other things, there are ever changing skills in information that a CPA has to deal with. We make sure that the right curriculum can keep up with those changes.”

Famalett has stayed close with Cal Poly as his work took him from international, to federal, to state and local tax. He served as a member of the Orfalea College of Business’ Accounting Advisory Board, which called upon him in 2008 to return to campus and teach several courses in the new Master of Science in Accountancy — Taxation program. He has also returned to his alma mater to recruit Cal Poly accounting graduates on behalf of PwC. He still remembers his college days fondly, recalling, “I remember Learn by Doing at Cal Poly, which, back then, meant working with a computer.”

His advice to students today? “I’d say take as many accounting and auditing-related courses that you can,” he said. “It not only helps you with the CPA exam, but it also gives you the foundation of knowledge that you can build on as you begin your career and learn the practical aspect of applying the theory you learned in school.”

Famalett is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, California Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting.

Accounting Faculty Updates

1-bordemanArea Welcomes New Faculty

The Accounting Area welcomed two outstanding new faculty, Adam Bordeman and Kim Westermann, for the 2015-16 academic year.

Dr. Adam Bordeman considers the Learn by Doing philosophy essential to the study of accounting, and enjoys teaching at all levels of the college. He brings his work experience as both an auditor and an accountant in private industry into his teaching. This approach earned him the Leeds School of Business Ph.D. Teaching Award during his doctoral studies. His research and teaching focuses on financial accounting and reporting. Specifically, he values the role that accounting plays in defining relationships between firms. Dr. Bordeman received his B.S. and M.S.A. from Marquette University and his Ph.D. from the University of Colorado.

2-westermannDr. Kim Westermann graduated from Cal Poly with a Bachelor of Science in accounting in 2000. She worked for Ernst & Young in San Jose, Calif. as an audit senior before relocating to New York City, taking a job with PricewaterhouseCoopers, ending her career in public accounting as a full time instructor in PwC’s Learning and Education division. In 2006, she entered the inaugural cohort of the Bentley University Ph.D. program and was selected as the Henry E. Rauch Doctoral Fellow recipient. After graduating in 2011, she spent four years as an assistant professor in Miami at Florida International University. Dr. Westermann is interested in a variety of qualitative methods and conducts research examining auditor perspectives within their social context. Her in-process research is rooted within sociology and organizational behavior literatures, examining both audit practitioners and clients about their perspectives on current issues in auditing.

Professor Steve Mintz Receives Accounting Exemplar Award

The American Accounting Association recently honored Cal Poly Professor Steven Mintz with the Accounting Exemplar Award in the public interest section. The award is given annually to accounting educators and practitioners who have made notable contributions to professionalism and ethics in accounting.

With this honor, Cal Poly becomes the only educational institution to have two faculty members receive the Accounting Exemplar Award.3-mintz Cal Poly accounting Professor Mary Beth Armstrong received the award in 2009. Previous award winners also include Cynthia Cooper, the whistleblower who exposed $3.8 billion in fraud at WorldCom.

“I’m thrilled that Steven’s thought-leadership has been recognized once again,” said Orfalea College of Business Dean Scott Dawson. “Having seasoned professionals like him in the classroom helps prepare career-ready graduates and affirms our accounting program’s powerful reputation.”

A veteran professor and dean in the California State University system, Mintz joined Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business in 2006. More than 40 colleges and universities have adopted his textbook, Accounting Ethics. He also writes blogs on ethics issues in business and society ( and on workplace ethics (

Professor Li Dang Ventures to China

4-dangProfessor Li Dang is on sabbatical for 2015-16 academic year as a visiting faculty member at Yanshan University in Qinhuangdao, China, a coastal city about 190 miles east of Bejing. The university is very similar to Cal Poly in that it is a comprehensive polytechnic school, but with a student population of about 38,000. Professor Dang is currently working with graduate accounting students to help them develop empirical accounting research. She also is working with a team of Chinese researchers on a handful of new projects.

Dang says she is happy to be spending a year in her home country, and that she is enjoying spending her free time at the beautiful beaches in Qinhuangdao.

MSA Tax Program Announces Rodney Mock as Director

5-mockCal Poly’s Master of Science in Accountancy with a specialization in taxation (MSA Tax) program has selected Rodney Mock as its director.

The program, a one-year intensive tax degree that prepares its graduates for a career in federal, state or local taxation, has helped bolster Cal Poly’s position as a top recruiting school for the Big Four accounting firms. “With this experience, many of my students stay in public accounting and ascend to top management-level positions very quickly,” says Mock.

In addition to the standard degree curriculum, Mock will also be welcoming more than 40 industry professionals into the classroom as a part of the program’s Graduate Tax Speaker Series, which gives students a chance to network with and learn from innovative professionals in the field.

For more information, or to get involved with the MSA Tax program or Graduate Tax Speaker Series, contact Rodney Mock at