College of Business

MBA Faculty & Staff

Get to know the faculty and staff who teach and support the MBA Program at CSU, Chico.

Dr. R. Mitch Casselman


Dr. R. Mitch Casselman is an Associate Professor of Management in the College of Business at California State University, Chico.  Dr. Casselman received his Ph.D. from the University of Melbourne in Australia, and before that spent more than 15 years in various senior management roles in the technology industry in Ottawa, Canada. 

Mitch has broad teaching experience at the undergraduate, graduate, and executive levels, where he typically teaches courses on strategic management, innovation and international management.  He has also taught in various locations around the world such as Australia, China, Italy, Panama, as well as in New York and California. 

He has recently developed an international business course for CSU, Chico graduate and undergraduate students that culminates in a 10 day international trip to visit industry leaders and their corporate facilities.  In Fall 2019 the class went to Lima, Peru and Mitch plans to teach the class again in Fall 2020.

Dr. Carol Trivedi

Carol Trivedi

Dr. Trivedi teaches courses in Management, Human Resources, Operations Management, and Data Communications and Networking at CSU-Chico. She has dedicated many years to Business and Information Technology both in the corporate environment and in education. She has also taught at DeAnza College, University of Phoenix, San Jose State Professional Development, and the University of Michigan. In addition, Dr. Trivedi authored a textbook entitled Wide Area Networking published by EMC Paradigm Publishing.

In industry, she directed strategic planning and managed the implementation of several large-scale corporate IT projects. In Silicon Valley she worked for Adobe Systems, National Semiconductor, and Surf Control. In Detroit, she worked for EDS at General Motors and Horizon Health Systems. Her roles have included system engineer, system analyst, network planner, manager, and director of Information Systems.

Dr. Trivedi earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Eastern Michigan University and a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Michigan. Finally, she completed her PhD in Organization and Management at Capella University in July 2015.

Dr. Katie Mercurio

katie mercurio

Dr. Mercurio is an Assistant Professor of Marketing in the College of Business at California State University, Chico.  Dr. Mercurio received her Ph.D. from the University of Washington, and before that worked in the marketing department at Nestle USA in Southern California.  She worked on projects in their Confections & Snacks Division, Beverage Division, and Infant Nutrition Division.  She also worked as a post-doctoral researcher at University of California, Los Angeles and taught in the evening MBA program at California State University, Northridge.   She was at the University of Oregon for 6 years and joined the CSU, Chico faculty in 2018.  She has recently developed a new Brand Strategy course at CSU, Chico.

Dr. Arash Negahban

Professor Negahban

Dr. Arash Negahban is an assistant professor of information systems at the College of Business at California State University, Chico. He received his Ph.D. in Business from the University of North Texas, holds an MBA in management, and a Bachelor of Science in computer software engineering.

Arash has several years of experience working in the industry as a software engineer, application developer, systems and business analyst, IT project manager, and information systems manager in several IT companies. His research interests include social media and business analytics, mobile technology. 

Bonnie Persons, JD, MBA, MSM


Dr. Persons holds a Juris Doctorate degree from McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific, a Master’s of Science in Management degree from Krannert School of Business at Purdue University, and a Master's of Business Administration from TIAS School of Business, at Tilberg University (The Netherlands).  

Dr. Persons has leveraged her experience as a business lawyer to serve on a number of boards of directors.  She achieved the designation of Leadership Fellow with the National Association of Corporate Directors.  Further, she has also held leadership positions in academic professional institutions including having served as the President of the Western Academy of Legal Studies in Business.  She divides her time between Silicon Valley and Chico.  In addition, Bonnie continues to support the community on rebuilding in the aftermath of the devastating Camp Fire.  

Christine Ponce

christine ponce

Administrative Support, MBA Program
Business Student Advising and Services

Ms. Christine Ponce joined the MBA Advising team in 2020. She provides administrative support to the MBA Director and MBA Advisors to keep application and admission materials organized. She earned a Bachelor's in Art with the option in Studio Art with an emphasis in Printmaking from CSU, Chico. She started with the Business Student Advising Office in 2019.

Nicole Newton

Nicole Newton

Academic Advisor, MBA Program
Business Student Advising and Services

Nicole joined the Business Student Advising team in 2020 and works with students in the campus and online MBA programs. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from CSU, Chico and a Master’s degree in International Education Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. Although born and raised in Chico, she has had the privilege of living in Lyon, Berlin, and now resides in Monterey. In her spare time, she enjoys seeing new places, eating new foods, reading, and running.

Mr. Tom Wilder, MBA

Mr. Tom Wilder

Tom Wilder is Executive Director of the SAP University Competence Center(opens in new window) (UCC) and Lecturer in the Business Information Systems Department in the College of Business at California State University, Chico. Tom received his undergraduate degree in Industrial Technology and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from CSU, Chico.

A faculty member since January 1997, Tom is a Stanford Certified Project Manager, an SAP Certified Associate, and a certified SAP TS410 and TERP10 instructor. In addition to his teaching, he also writes curriculum for the SAP University Alliance program and teaches faculty members from other institutions how to use SAP in the classroom. He is globally known for his knowledge within SAP systems which include SD, MM, PP, FICO, QM and PS. As the Executive Director of the UCC, he meets regularly with his counter parts from around the world.

Marsha Lauck, MBA

Marsha Lauck

Marsha Lauck worked in large multi-national firms (oil industry, residential services, marine industry, and the food industry) in the mid-west for over 25 years prior to relocating to California and teaching at CSU Chico.  She was the financial officer responsible for implementing Sarbanes Oxley within a decentralized Fortune 1000 company. Her experience has been in the financial areas of internal audit, financial analysis, budgets, and corporate consolidation. 

Marsha has been teaching since 2011 and has an undergraduate degree in Accounting and a CPA. She also has an MBA from the University of Chicago. 

Dr. Jeff W. Trailer, Ph.D., SCPM

Dr. Jeff Trailer

Dr. Trailer is a Professor of Management System Dynamics in the Department of Management, College of Business, at the California State University, Chico and a Senior Partner with Castle-Side Partners. Dr. Trailer has served on the faculty since 2001 teaching strategic management and project management. He has had an active consulting practice for 20 years, involving a range of industries including Banking, Farming, Transportation Systems, Plastic Injection Molding, Steel Works, Brewery and Winery. Consulting projects focus on strategic planning and managing complex systems. 

He has served on the Board of Directors of Lundberg Family Farms for the last 10 years and currently serves as Treasurer and Chair of the Audit Committee. Dr. Trailer is co-author of the following books: ‘Economics of Strategy’ Instructor’s Manual. Wiley & Sons. 2006, Essentials of Project Control, Publisher: PMI (Project Management Institute), 1999.  Project Leadership: From Theory to Practice, PMI, 1998. Leadership Skills for Project Managers, PMI, 1998.   

Dr. Trailer received his Bachelor of Science degrees in Naval Science and Business Administration from Oregon State University, attended the U.S. Navy Surface Warfare Officers’ School in Coronado (serving active duty USN in 1985-88), an M.B.A. from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, a Ph.D. in Strategic Management from the University of Houston, at M.I.T. Sloan School of Management, received a certificate in applying the system dynamics method for managing complexity, and at Stanford University, completed the Advanced Project Management Program, receiving the certification S.C.P.M. (Stanford Certified Project Manager).