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by Lauren Hofer, Photo by Jenna Ross

We asked the CSUF community what the elusive word means to them

As students, sometimes the idea of success can seem daunting, but Cal State Fullerton represents a community of dedicated individuals who have proved that success is indeed attainable. Curious about how these Titans define this achievement in their own lives and careers, we asked a few individuals in the CSUF community what their thoughts on success are.

Nicholas Jakel

Board of Directors chair, Associated Students Inc.

“On a daily level, success means growing and improving a little bit each day, but also doing things that make you go out of your comfort zone. It means setting and aiming for short term and long term goals. It doesn’t matter so much if you achieve those goals but that you set them to guide your life in the direction you want to go.”

Dr. Stephen Stambough

Chair, CSUF Academic Senate

“Success is finding a way to work and be productive by doing what you find to be enjoyable. If you take out the fun, it’s just not worth it.”

Jeni Maus

B.A. 2003, designer and owner of Found Vintage Rentals

“Success means feeling completely proud of what you are doing. I feel so passionate and excited about my career, and that makes me feel happy and successful in every way. As a mom of two teenagers, I want them to grow up knowing that when you love something and are able to make a career out of it, then success is a given.”

Jordan Poblete

B.A. 2014, Alumni Association Board of Directors and publisher of Disney Examiner

“Identifying your calling, applying yourself fully and trying to make the world better through that calling. Everybody has their own unique talents and gifts. I think if people rely more on that, that’s success in itself.”

LaToya Green

Instructor, Human Communication Studies and director of debate

“As people set out on paths to “be successful,” they look around them for signifiers of success. Status, material items and attention end up at the foundation of why people do what they do. They forget to define success on their own terms and be content with what they have achieved.”

Luc Ceci

B.A. 2017, associate financial advisor at DH Financial & Insurance Services

“Effectively using the talents, gifts and opportunities you are given. I think it’s dependant on what you start off with. It’s the maximization of your natural talents and abilities and the opportunities you have.”

Melissa Hoon

M.A. 2012, founder and executive director of Inner Awakening Writing

“I measure success by happiness, and I create my happiness by living my passion. Since childhood, I wanted to be a writer and teacher. Now I run a nonprofit teaching writing to people in need. Money doesn’t last, but the impact you make on others can last forever.”


Fram Virjee

CSUF President

“It is the result of collaborative experiences that enlighten our community, immersive educational practices that illuminate pathways to academic success, and co-curricular activities that prepare students for participation in a global society. In short, it is the physical manifestation of what Cal State Fullerton provides students from all backgrounds and in all disciplines.”


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