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It Starts at State

Edgar Lopez-Torres, Class of 2019

Edgar Lopez Torres smiling in lab coatFor senior Edgar Lopez-Torres, it not only starts at STATE, it also starts at STEM. The chemistry major developed his passion for science, technology, engineering and mathematics so much so that he soon began sharing it with young people throughout the Kanawha Valley.
At the suggestion of a professor and other students, Edgar found his way to the WVSU student chapter of the American Chemical Society (ACS), where he was soon leading STEM education to elementary school students as part of the group’s award-winning outreach efforts.
“It is very important to get young people interested in science,” he says. “Fostering that passion among children is vital.”
It’s a personal passion that he admittedly came to late himself.
“I started as a psychology major, but I took a chemistry class, and it really stood out to me. It got me thinking about medical school and a career in STEM,” he says.
It was a choice that has proven successful. Earlier this year, Edgar was one of 15 undergraduate students in the world to receive the 2018 Student Leadership Award from ACS. He was also among 63 students from throughout the nation selected as 2018 HBCU Competitive Scholars by the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, the Initiative’s highest student recognition. 
“There have been so many great opportunities provided to me thanks to being a student at West Virginia State University,” says Edgar, who was born in Mexico and grew up in California. He cites STATE’s small class sizes and the personal relationships he’s developed with professors as keys to his success. “The experiences I’ve had and people I’ve met and learned from would not have happened for me at a bigger school.”
Edgar is slated to graduate next spring and is eyeing medical schools to continue his educational journey.
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