Humboldt State University

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Edgar Lazaro, Economics Class of 2016

Edgar Lazaro portrait
Economics

Edgar Lazaro, Senior

Edgar Lazaro is a soft-spoken man who chooses his words with care. The first in his generation to attend college, he is proud of his indigenous roots. Edgar will graduate this May with a degree in economics omics with a microeconomics omics emphasis and already has a local job lined up.

He and his family are Zapotec Indian, originally from Oaxaca, Mexico. Both his mother and his father have worked all of their lives, sometimes struggling but always fiercely guiding their two sons.

“In my father’s work he was surrounded by people with college degrees,” said Edgar. “But he was good at his job and highly adaptable, which helped him. My dad always taught me to question whether you could do more. If the answer was ‘yes,” then that’s what you had to do.”

Edgar grew up in Boyle Heights, a mostly Latino neighborhood on Los Angeles’ East side. He attended the local high school and maintained a B average.

“I have always enjoyed work in class,” he said, “but really hardly ever studied outside of class during high school. I couldn’t motivate myself to do the homework by myself. But I did want to keep my options open, and needed that B average in case I wanted to go to college.”

Path to Economics

He made the decision to apply to schools during the second week of the last semester of his senior year. He applied to schools, including HSU, which he learned about from a fellow volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club.

After being accepted to several schools, he decided on Humboldt State because of the atmosphere.

“I know myself,” he said. “there would have been too many distractions for me in the bigger cities or in a bigger school. I thought Humboldt would be a perfect place to focus.”

He enrolled as an English major, but changed to Economics omics soon after taking an Introduction to Economics omics Class. He enjoyed the professor and the subject matter, and something clicked as he understood a simple but profound definition of western economics omics.

“Economics omics is about trying to meet infinite wants with limited resources,” he said. “It’s the study of allocating those finite resources. For me, economics omics is universal, practical, and very interesting.”

He has learned a lot about himself. “The Economics omics department is special,” he said. “We are tight-knit and the instructors and professors are all very flexible and open. I have gained a great deal of confidence in myself as an academic with the department’s support.”

He also relishes the quality of discussions in his economics omics classes, and is known for asking insightful questions himself.

"I can always count on Edgar to ask an insightful question that I have never before been asked,” writes Dr. Erick Eschker, Economics omics Professor. “He is a big thinker."

Reflections

Edgar has a strong belief in community service, and, in his own words, has “always volunteered.” This year he is active in the Seventh Generation Fund.

 His role with the Seventh Generation Fund includes helping to craft grant proposals by offering quantitative responses for Requests for Proposals, from framing the proposals in the right language to developing asset mapping.

“I provide a different perspective, and ask a lot of questions,” he said.

His perspective recently helped a colleague understand how to explain the importance of indigenous artifacts.

“We were driving back from an event when he asked the question,” said Edgar. “I thought for a while, and then likened the significance of a tobacco holder, for instance, to the significance the American people place on the flag or the Liberty Bell. The object itself might not have merit for people who are not American, but what it represents to the people who are is worth saving.”

Asked what advice he would give to new students, Edgar writes: “Get into the habit of reading regularly so that they can listen more than they write during lecture. It is important to be in the moment listening to what the professor has to say so you can understand, not only the context, but the true depth of their words”

What’s Next

On graduation day Edgar’s family will be here in force. Grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts and cousins will travel the 500 miles to see him take his walk and earn his degree.

He and his parents will also attend a special dinner for graduates hosted by the Seventh Generation Fund, where he expects to start his post-college career.