Fresno Pacific University business students got more than they expected from a local entrepreneur.

Kaysi Curtin, president of Sandler Training in Fresno, was on the main university campus May 1, 2023, to present a scholarship worth $4,500 to a student of Breck Harris, Ed.D., professor of business. This would be the second year Curtin presented the award, Sandler’s 10-week training course teaching approaches to becoming a more effective sales professional.

Tommy C. Rover, a member of Harris’ MKT 316 Sales Management class, knew he was getting the scholarship, based on a reflection paper he had written on a presentation by Curtin. The senior business major from Brentwood was looking forward to thanking Curtin and Harris, with three classmates who had also written papers and some School of Business leaders looking on.

“Whatever we do in life, we have to sell ourselves or sell a product,” Rover said, adding that he really appreciates Curtin’s positivity and outlook. “She’s about more than just teaching skills. She’s about believing in yourself, as well.”

One of those classmates was Turner Pruitt, a junior business major from Denver. Harris, who judged the papers with Curtin, had already let Pruitt know his essay had been very, very good, but just missed the mark. Like Rover, Pruitt is a member of the Sunbird baseball team, so he’s a competitor, but happy for his teammate.

So, the presentation was made, photos were taken and Rover received congratulations from Curtin and Harris; Michelle Bradford, Psy.D., interim dean for School of Business; Sharon Starcher, D.B.A., assistant professor of business and director of the bachelor’s degree completion business program; Pruitt; Felicia Douvra, senior business major from Sweden; and Grant Highstreet, senior business major from Visalia.

But wait!

After Pruitt and others had left, Harris and Curtin kept talking. Thinking more about the quality of Pruitt’s work, Curtin said she was willing to give another scholarship this year. She and Harris gave Pruitt the good news over the phone.

A surprised Pruitt later expressed gratitude for all Curtin has done for the class. “She’s taken significant time out of her schedule to contribute her knowledge to us,” he said.

Pruitt called the training program a “jump start” to his future, that will “equip me with extremely valuable skills for any career I choose to pursue.”

About the scholarship

Lauren Farrar, junior marketing major from Lemoore, CA, received the first scholarship in 2022. “Kaysi’s training transforms the lives of sales professionals,” Harris said. “As a new professional in the sales field, it’s going to change everything for you.”

Curtin became an owner of a Sandler Training franchise after eight years as a client. “This training is going to help you in whatever you do, whether it’s sale or not,” she said.

Sandler Training in Fresno helps local business owners develop and improve their sales and leadership. Curtin herself has more than 18 years of sales experience, beginning at ESPN before finishing her B.A. degree at California State University Fresno and serving as sales manager at The Fresno Business Journal. More at $9K in sales training offered to Fresno Pacific University students - The Business Journal and Sandler Training in Fresno, CA by Kaysi Curtin

PHOTO (from left): Turner Pruitt, Tommy Rover, Grant Highstreet (rear), Kaysi Curtin and Felicia Dourva.


Wayne Steffen
Associate Director of Publications and Media Relations