Financial Fitness Program

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Financial Fitness Program: Speakers and workshops to put you on the track to financial empowerment

Speakers and workshops to put you on track to financial empowerment. Throughout the semester, the Zoom workshop series will cover topics ranging from basic financial awareness, personal financial plan development, insurance, estate planning and investing. This series will be facilitated by CBE Faculty and industry experts. Download the Event Flyer.

Workshop Series Takeaways:

  • Developing your personal financial plan 
  • Gaining insight about investment assets, accounts, strategies and analysis tools 
  • Gaining insights about how to use insurance to protect your assets 
  • Learning about estate planning tools  
  • Learning about the real estate buying process 


Workshop #1 | Feb 22nd, 3:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. 
Topic - Income Tax Basics
Summary - This session will explore the basics of income taxes and how to prepare your own tax return.
Presenter - Dr. John Cooper, CBE Accounting Professor
Zoom Meeting ID - 385 371 6847,

Workshop #2 | March 1st, 3:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. 
Topic - Rent or Buy?
Summary - This session will describe the differences between renting and buying property.
Presenter - Michael Oconitrillo, Strategic Fortune Wealth Management 
Zoom Meeting ID - 385 371 6847,

Workshop #3 March 8th, 3:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.
Topic - Credit Management
Summary - This session will discuss the different types of credit and what makes up a credit score.
Presenter - Dr. Porschia Nkansa, CBE Accounting Professor 
Zoom Meeting ID - 385 371 6847,

Workshop #4 | March 15th, 3:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.
Topic - Debt-Free Before Graduation
Summary - This session will provide tips for how to reduce debt during college years.
Presenter - Charlene Rhinehart, Founder of Wealthy Women Daily & Best Selling Author 
Zoom Meeting ID - 385 371 6847,

Workshop #5 | March 22nd, 3:15 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. 
Topic - Financial Empowerment
Summary - This session will focus on financial management skills, empowerment service learning opportunities and the free Financial First Responder certificate training.
Presenter - Dr. Joanna Doran, Social Work Professor & Founder of Asset Building Clinic 
Zoom Meeting ID - 385 371 6847,

What is the Financial Fitness Program?

The Financial Fitness Program is a team of faculty, lecturers, industry experts and external partners focused on developing and offering essential financial workshops and information to empower students financially.

Our Goal

The goal of the Financial Fitness Program is to build a network of students who not only understand but can use financial knowledge to better their lives and the lives of others.

The Financial Fitness Program considers this the year of financial empowerment for students and topics include basic financial awareness and tools to understand complex topics including home ownership and investing. 

Each workshop is designed to give you important knowledge that comes together at the last session to create your financial plan. The most benefit is gained from attending all workshops.

Previous Workshop Topics and Resources:

For questions, please contact Dr. Porschia Nkansa at [email protected].

Financial Empowerment Course Elective offered Spring 2023 (Thursdays from 6:00-8:45 pm)

If you want to deepen your financial fitness by getting course credit, consider taking the full elective that is open to all majors. Its successful completion gives students the Financial First Responder certificate and the next level Financial Navigator certificate. See more details.

Financial Fitness Program Team:

Dr. Charles Danso, Coordinator

Finance, Law & Real Estate, Cal State LA

Dr. Danso obtained his doctorate from Florida Atlantic University. He has taught several finance classes including personal financial planning. His hope is that students and the community in and around Cal State LA will get useful skills they can apply and share with family, friends, and the community. Click to view Dr. Danso's profile.

Charles Danso

Dr. Porschia Nkansa, Coordinator

Accounting, Cal State LA

Dr. Porschia Nkansa is a first-generation college student from Chicago raised by entrepreneurial parents who value education and learning. She would like to see students use the financial skills obtained from the financial fitness program to elevate their financial futures.

Porschia Nkansa

Dr. Maryam Tofighi, Director of Behavioral Research and Visualization Environment (BRAVE)

Marketing, Cal State LA

Dr. Maryam Tofighi earned her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Marketing. She has two years of professional experience in marketing. Dr. Tofighi is responsible for measuring the effectiveness of the financial fitness program at Cal State LA. Her favorite quote is from Ayn Rand “Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.”

Maryam Tofighi


  • Dr. John Cooper, CBE Accounting Professor
  • Mr. Rodrego Byerly, Lecturer, Managing Director, Evitarus
  • Mr. Thomas Lawson, Caprice Capital Partners
  • Mr. Edgar Ortiz, State Farm Insurance
  • Mr. A. Sami Siddiqui, Retired, Banking and Finance