Humboldt State University

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Luis Ceballo, Economics Class of 2016


Luis Ceballos

Luis Ceballos is a graduating senior who enjoys reading, piano, guitar, and data analysis. He just finished his work as team leader for this years’ Consumer Price Index update for the City of Eureka, and hopes to eventually go to grad school.

Born in Palm Springs, Luis spent many of his childhood summers in the Chicago area with his father. He attended three different high schools, graduating from high school in San Bernardino, CA.

“I’ve always lived in different places,” he said, “I spent school years with my mom in Palm Springs, but I really got tired of the weather there, so I lived with my aunt in San Bernardino my senior year.”

After high school he enrolled at a community college in Palm Desert, graduating mid-year.

The Road to HSU

Timing and trees brought Luis to HSU.

“I was looking for schools that accepted my degree and would let me transfer in the Spring,” he said. “I was also so done with the weather, and when I saw the pictures of the redwoods at HSU, I knew I had to apply.”

He enrolled while still undeclared, though his sites were veering towards economics. His first economics class, Economics 210, with Dr. Will Fisher, convinced him that economics should be his major.

“Dr. Fisher made everything so interesting,” said Luis. “I was intrigued by so many discussions, like the ones on the Great Depression. One year things were going great, and then came the stock market crash. It wasn’t anything really real, but that’s what started the Great Depression.”

He has high praise for all of the professors, and recalled another class, taught by Dr. Beth Wilson. “It was an intermediate microeconomics class,” he said. “I think it’s the most I’ve ever learned in a class. I never missed a lecture and would always sit in the front rows.”

Luis says since coming to the Economics department he thinks about life differently, often taking an “economics point of view. “

“Whether it’s applying theory to playing poker,” he said, “or having a better understanding of what the feds are doing when they change the interest rate, I’m altering my behaviors based on what I’ve learned here.”


Every senior in the Economics department works on a capstone project their last year. This project must have impact on the community and/or the university – a way of giving back. Luis was offered the opportunity to work on a revision to the Eureka Consumer Price index for the City of Eureka as his capstone project.

“Luis does really good work and is exceptionally reliable,” said Dr. Steven Hackett, Department Chair. “He was the team leader, and received an honorarium from the Ruprecht Assistantship Grant. This is a very visible project and he and his team did well.”

This was the third year for students to complete the project, which used a “basket of goods” as identified by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to calculate the index.

“One thing I found interesting,” said Luis, “was the increase in the cost of eggs. They have doubled in price since 2013.”

This was Luis’ first time leading a team. “I learned a lot, especially about how I communicate,” he said, “I’m lucky to have had a great team and the support of Dr. Hackett.”

His advice to new students is to take classes from all of the professors.

“I think it’s important to hear them all. They are all amazing instructors with great senses of humor, but they have different emphases, and learning from all of them help you make more informed decisions.”

Luis is an avid reader, and enjoys reading books that relate in some way to economics. He has played piano since childhood and also enjoys playing guitar and music production.  


He will be the first in his immediate family to graduate from college, and he’s been applying to positions in a number of places from San Francisco to Chicago to Seattle. Luis is interested in work as a data analyst now, and hopes to go to grad school in a few years, with his sights set on the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle, and their data science program.