Steve-Shulman-and-Ben-Garcia-1-1200x989 Economics celebrates new undergraduate scholarshipImage of

Economics celebrates new undergraduate scholarship

By Jenifer Davis

The Department of Economics recently announced the creation of the Ben W. Garcia Economics Scholarship, a new fund benefitting undergraduate economics students. The scholarship was established by alumnus Ben Garcia (’81) to support students who take an interdisciplinary approach to economics by incorporating knowledge from other social science or humanities fields to help explain economic phenomena.

Economics and IT merge  

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in economics from CSU, Garcia continued studying at the University of Notre Dame, receiving an M.A. in Economics with an emphasis in Labor Studies. He worked for Colorado Labor Market Information, a state government agency that produces official employment statistics for Colorado including unemployment and job growth numbers. Early in his career Garcia analyzed the Colorado economy for government agencies, non-profit organizations, the business community, and the news media.

The interdisciplinary framework required in the scholarship criteria reflects Garcia’s own approach to economics. In the mid-1990′s he developed an interest in the Internet as a vehicle for disseminating economic information and initiated development of one of the first Colorado state government websites. When Garcia’s career shifted to have more of an information technology focus, he continued teaching economics classes for the Colorado Community Colleges and Metropolitan State College.

Carrying the torch

The first recipient of the new scholarship was Samuel Laffey, an Economics and History double major and president of the Liberal Arts Dean’s Leadership Council. Laffey graduated this past December with a B.A. in Economics.

“It was an honor and a privilege to have received this scholarship,” Laffey said. “It helped me graduate CSU debt free and introduced me to some wonderful mentors.”

Since graduation, Laffey has been accepted to eight law schools, with three schools making substantial scholarship offers.

Laffey with Garcia at the Liberal Arts donor luncheon

Laffey with Garcia at the Liberal Arts donor luncheon

“Being selected by economics faculty for the Ben Garcia Scholarship substantially assisted my career aspirations, particularly my goal of becoming a lawyer. Winning a scholarship for the best economics paper at CSU strengthened my credentials and helped me get accepted to prestigious law schools.”

Laffey intends to follow in Garcia’s footsteps by becoming a donor himself. “This scholarship has been a blessing to me,” he said. “I plan to contribute to this award over the course of my career and help other CSU economics students pursue their dreams.”

To give to the Ben W. Garcia Economics Scholarship, please visit the Department of Economic giving page