Mustang Memories: Who was your favorite professor?

Student in classTony Narduzzi (Information Systems, ’00)
North American DevOps Team Lead at IBM
“It’s been 15 years, and so many of my professors were great. I’ll give two examples. I remember international business law with Chris Carr being very interesting and entertaining. He had real world examples and personal experiences to relate to every lesson. Even though it was an evening class during my last quarter before graduation, I looked forward to attending every class. Being an MIS concentration, who could forget Barry Floyd. He was quite possibly the most personable instructor ever, willing to discuss anything with a genuine interest in helping students find their way.”

Ralph Busch (MBA, ’13)
Operations Manager at California Royale LLC (Monte Vista Farming Co.)
“Dr. York was my favorite professor at Cal Poly and my favorite professor of my entire college career. His way of teaching was really what changed the way I think about and how I understand business. I truly believe he helped take my thinking and work ethic to the next level.”

Michelle McGoon (Information Systems & Economics Minor, ’07)
Learning Technology Advisor at Chevron Corporation
“I really enjoyed Dr. Rosemary Wild‘s Information Systems class (BUS 393: Database System and Designs). I think this was the most practical class I had in all of my information systems concentration, and one I refer back to frequently for information architecture throughout my job. She taught us some great tools: data flow diagrams, entity relationship diagrams, and third-form normalization (“So Help Me, Codd!”).”

 Kurt Raffetto (Economics, ’87)
Dr. Dominic Perello was always there for me when I had questions or needed guidance. I didn’t even know about his Air Force background when I asked for a letter of recommendation for officer training school. We kept in touch throughout my career and my oldest boy is named Dominic in part because of him.”

Robert Fernandes (Information Systems, ’99)
Director of Mobile Development at Primitive Logic Inc.
“Barry Floyd – Great professor, cared about the success of his students, as well as took extra efforts to provide all the help he could for his students to get jobs lined up after graduation. The most impressive, is he remembered, in detail, who I was when I spoke at ISA twelve years after I graduated.”

Kerry Wilson (Marketing, ’91)
“My favorite professor; Walter Rice. I’ll never forget the “Economics of Robinson Crusoe: lecture. I sat in class thinking, “I get this!” He was an excellent teacher. His final was a lottery; 3 of 10 complex problems that were given beforehand. You better believe that by the time the final came around, each of us could solve those 10 problems in our sleep; (which was exactly what he wanted).”

Cal Poly Business Students Explore Cuba over Spring Break

Students in CubaInformation systems Professor Barry Floyd, Director of Student Services Amy Carter and Advisor Katelyn O’Brien led a cohort of 22 students on the college’s first official trip to Cuba. The trip coincided with President Obama’s trip to Cuba as relations between the two countries begin to warm again.A group of students in Cuba

Throughout the week-long journey, students visited with business leaders in a variety of economic sectors, including agriculture and art. Students attended a discussion on U.S./Cuban Relations lead by Paul Rodriguez from the University of Havana as well as a round-table discussion about the changing forces of Cuba’s economic structure with Ricardo Torres, a macroeconomist at the University of Havana.

The students had the opportunity to visit El Trigal, Havana’s new wholesale market, which is the first private cooperative market to emerge since Cuba monopolized wholesale operations in the 1960s. While they were there, the students spoke to one of the owners, Claudio Sabron, who discussed how the market is uniquely run as a cooperative with the state. Students also had the chance to tour a tobacco farm and a classic car shop, where they discussed the inner workings of the business with the clients.

Students meet local business owners in CubaKayla Babu, one of the students on the trip, had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Rena Perez, a former member of the Ministry of Agriculture in Cuba, during their time there. Babu and Perez met to discuss the student’s business venture idea regarding the toxic by-products of the sugar industry and distilleries in Cuba.  Perez discussed with Kayla how the recent growth in the tourism industry, the lack of technology to produce more efficient agricultural processes, and the lack of pay for skilled Cuban workers has led to a decrease in the agricultural sector; however Perez expressed confidence that the county will soon bounce back and return to its agricultural roots.  Kayla’s talk with Dr. Perez helped to give her an understanding of a true perspective on Cuban businesses and Cuban life in general.

The group also took time for cultural immersion, from touring historical sites including Cuba’s most famous landscape, Valle de Vinales, to taking a salsa dance class taught by a local instructor. Students also took in a Rolling Stones concert as the band made a surprise trip to the island.

To read more about the Cal Poly spring break trips, click here.

To read more about Kayla’s meeting with Dr. Perez, click here.

The Orfalea College of Business Leads Spring Break Trips Abroad

Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business led two student groups on international trips abroad during spring break. The excursions are part of the college’s push toward making international experience a key part of its career-readiness initiatives.

Students in CubaInformation systems Professor Barry Floyd led a cohort of 22 students on the college’s first official trip to Cuba. Throughout the week-long journey, students visited with business leaders in a variety of business sectors, including agriculture and art. Students attended a discussion on U.S./Cuban Relations lead by Paul Rodriguez from the University of Havana as well as a round-table discussion with Ricardo Torres, a macro-economist at the University of Havana, about the changing forces of Cuba’s economic structure. The group also took time for cultural immersion, from touring historical sites including Cuba’s most famous landscape, Valle de Vinales, to taking a salsa dance class. The trip coincided with President Obama’s visit to the nation as diplomatic relationships with the Unites States begin to ease. Director of Student Services Amy Carter and Advisor Katelyn O’Brien also led the trip with Professor Floyd.

Students in BrazilAt the same time, industrial technology and packaging Professors Ahmed Deif and Javier de la Fuente took a class of Cal Poly students to Florianoplois, Brazil. The excursion was part of BUS 304: Doing Business in Brazil, a course that looked closely at supply chains in the South American nation. Throughout winter quarter, 21 students studied different industries in the region; the trip allowed students to then visit major players in the supply chain in telecommunications, agriculture and healthcare. Students also embraced Brazilian culture on the tour by visiting an indigenous tribe and learning the samba with a local instructor.

These trips allowed students the opportunity to “learn by going” and see how the concepts they learned in class applied to the real world. The students not only saw how the local businesses were run, but they also got to immerse themselves in the local culture and hear from local business experts. As they toured historic landmarks and interacted with the locals, students were provided with the opportunity to learn and experience different cultures.

As the students return back to Cal Poly, they will carry with them the lessons they learned about business and local culture that will no doubt help them as they continue to pursue their degree and a career in business.

Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business Honors Students, Faculty and Clubs


Kaitlin Siemering with entrepreneurship Professor Jon York.

Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business recently recognized outstanding students, clubs and faculty at its annual Senior Awards Ceremony. At the event, college Dean Scott Dawson, area chairs, and ambassadors highlighted academic excellence and extraordinary contributions to the university.

The top student honor went to Kaitlin Siemering, a business administration major concentrating in entrepreneurship. Siemering, originally from Woodinville, Wash., earned the Academic Excellence and Delta Sigma Pi award for maintaining the college’s highest cumulative grade point average: 3.9. She also won the Outstanding Graduating Senior award in entrepreneurship for helping create the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship’s first kids’ camp, “Launch It!,” which will debut this summer. Siemering is graduating a year early and will attend law school at New York University.

Siemering was also one of 15 students in the college who received scholastic achievement awards for holding a GPA above 3.85.

Economics Professor Eduardo Zambrano was named Distinguished Teacher of the Year for his ability to weave real-world issues into his courses. Zambrano is also involved with the United Nations’ Environment Programme, where he has helped develop an index to assess a country’s efforts to become ecologically and socially sustainable.

Information systems Professor Barry Floyd was named Emeritus Faculty of the Year for building strong industry connections that benefit students in the classroom. He has brought unique opportunities for students to test software for leading companies and to discuss gender in the workforce with alumni in the technology sector.

The Orfalea College of Business’ top club honor went to the Cal Poly Accounting Club (CPAC). CPAC was named Club of the Year for its strong recruiting events with the Big 4 and regional firms, alumni engagement, and professional development opportunities. The club was also voted Club of the Year by Mustang News’ Poly Picks survey.

For a complete list of Orfalea College of Business award winners, visit

Information Systems Vet NetApp Certifications


During winter quarter, 10 information systems students partnered with NetApp to test resources for its Certified Storage Associate certification, a foundational certification offered to colleges and universities worldwide. The students thoroughly vetted materials through hours of reading and tutorials before giving detailed feedback to NetApp’s developers. Their feedback and comments were used by NetApp’s technical content developers’ quality assurance process to finalize the new guides, which went live in early March.

“There’s no better way for us to know if the content is hitting the mark than having our target audience give us direct feedback,” said Linda Moss, vice president of NetApp University. “We were really impressed with the great job, diligence and detail that Cal Poly’s students put into the exercise –– and I believe their input will lead to a far more effective learning guide!”

Students in information systems Professor Barry Floyd’s BUS 393: Database Systems in Business course earned extra credit for their work with NetApp. Floyd orchestrated the collaboration through to his role on NetApp’s Academic Advisory board.