Humboldt State University was deeply saddened to learn that admissions counselor Arthur Arzola was among the deceased in the April 10 Charter Bus accident which took place on Interstate 5 near Orland, Calif.
Arthur was 26, and in addition to his graduate studies in educational counseling at the University of LaVerne had worked with HSU’s Office of Admissions for about a year. While he worked for HSU, he was based in Los Angeles, where he was an active recruiter, meeting with prospective college students, attending college fairs and visiting high schools and junior colleges.
His colleagues remember his passionate commitment to helping low-income and first-generation students get into college. “Art’s life’s passion was finding ways for low income and first generation students to be successful in college,” said Peg Blake, Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs. “He had a magical personality. He was bright, talented, articulate with a heart as big as the world.”
Arzola's stepmother, Stephanie Arzola, told The Los Angeles Times, that he earned straight As in high school, and had previously worked as a counselor at academic programs for underprivileged youth. "He wanted to make it an even playing field. He wanted them to have the same opportunities," she said. "He always just wanted to help students be passionate about school and have them move on to higher education, making something of themselves, and have a career."
One way Arthur worked to expand college opportunities was through Humboldt State’s Preview Plus Program. Since 1989, Preview Plus has helped prospective students who couldn’t otherwise make the trip to visit Humboldt State University. In addition to providing travel and lodging, the program takes students on campus tours, connects them with current students, staff and faculty and helps these potential-students figure out the next steps in enrolling in college—everything from applying for financial aid to securing housing on campus.
On his staff page Arthur described his connection to Humboldt State: “The moment that anyone walks on the HSU campus, every staff/faculty member and student makes you feel like you’re part of the family, and HSU provides all students on campus with incredible opportunities that change the world for the better.”
Arthur had recently married Krystle Barbosa, an alumna of University La Verne. They resided in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.