Story Made in the CSU

Meet Eight Industry Leaders ‘Made in the CSU’

Jeanne Ricci

CSU alumni are making a difference in every field throughout California, the nation and the world.

​From left: Julie Miller-Phipps, Dominque Braud, Mourad Lahlou, Corey Gray, Kim Ruiz Beck, Mike Hopkins, Francisco Gaviña & Leonor Gaviña-Valls. These CSU graduates are leaders in health and wellness, entertainment and media, culinary arts, technology, and business.


Every year, the CSU graduates more than 100,000 students into California's workforce. In 2015, the system surpassed three million alumni from its 23 campuses. Our alumni are leading the way in every industry, from agriculture and engineering to hospitality and entertainment. Just as important, these professionals drive the state's economy, making California a leader around the world.

Meet some of the CSU's extraordinary alumni:

Julie Miller-Phipps (CSU Fullerton) President, Kaiser Permanente Southern California. Miller-Phipps oversees funding and grants for programs that cultivate improvements in the economic, social, and environmental factors that strengthen the quality of health in Southern California, totaling nearly $1 billion in support annually.

Dominque Braud (CSU Dominguez Hills) Post-Production Co-Producer, The Simpsons, 20th Century Fox Television. As co-producer of The Simpsons, Braud works in-studio with a small team, mixing and balancing audio levels, music, sound effects and dialogue with the final animation.

Mourad Lahlou (San Francisco State) Chef/Owner, Mourad. Lahlou is the chef/owner of the Michelin-starred restaurant, Mourad, where he pays homage to his Moroccan roots in ways that harmonize with the fresh and local ingredients of the Bay Area.

Corey Gray (Humboldt State) Lead Operator, Caltech – LIGO. Gray is the lead operator at LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory) Hanford Observatory, and part of the group of researchers that confirmed the existence of gravitational waves, marking a major discovery for the fields of physics and astronomy.

Kim Ruiz Beck (Fresno State) Chairman, Ruiz Foods. Ruiz Beck is the chairman of third generation business, Ruiz Foods—the nation's largest manufacturer of frozen Mexican foods.

Mike Hopkins (CSU Long Beach) Chairman, Sony Pictures TelevisionAs chairman of Sony Pictures Television, Hopkins oversees all television production, distribution, and marketing operations globally for the studio as well as Sony Pictures Entertainment's media networks business.

Francisco Gaviña (Cal State LA) Vice President, F. Gaviña & Sons, Inc. & Leonor Gaviña-Valls (Cal State LA) Vice President, Marketing, F. Gaviña & Sons, Inc. The nation's largest minority-owned family coffee roasters, F. Gaviña & Sons Inc. is owned and run by Francisco and Lenor with their brothers Pedro and José.

Read about more remarkable alumni of the 23 campuses of the CSU.