Anna Oprescu, FCLC '09
Anna Oprescu is a 2009 alumna of Fordham College at Lincoln Center.
Anna Oprescu, FCLC '09, is committed to improving the lives of the poor, the medically uninsured and the ill. "I grew up in a primarily Hispanic neighborhood that has a large medically underserved population," says Oprescu, a four-recipient of the Robert E. Campbell Endowed Scholarship and a Campion Scholar. "Many people there are not very well off. They don't have access to many opportunities or medical care. I feel that I need to work with people like them."
What attracted Oprescu most about Fordham was the University’s philosophy of cura personalis (care for the whole person)—a phrase she first heard from her mother, who earned her master’s degree in social work at the University’s Graduate School of Social Service while Oprescu was in high school.
“In the support I received from professors and administrators, Fordham surpassed my expectations,” she says. “Fordham creates many opportunities for students to find their purpose.”
Oprescu quickly found her way at Fordham through her premedical curriculum in psychology and Fordham’s various outreach programs. She took part in a 10-day service-immersion project, helping homeless and impoverished residents in Philadelphia, Pa., and Camden, N.J., through the University’s Global Outreach program. “I helped prepare food and clothing for those in need,” she says, “and got to know them as human beings and to understand their situations.”
In summer 2007, she volunteered daily in the Bellevue Hospital emergency room, which helped reinforce her desire to help the less fortunate. “I met doctors, nurses and social workers who are dedicating their lives as men and women for others. They’re not just providing emergency room care," she says. “They are going the extra distance for their patients.”
During her junior year, Oprescu earned a research fellowship from the University's St. Edmund Campion Institute and spent the summer between her junior and senior years conducting neuroimmunology research at the renowned Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. On campus, she has served as a general assembly member of the Commuting Students Association and participated in the Fordham Advocates Cultural Enrichment (FACE) program, which promotes cross-cultural understanding.
After graduating from Fordham with a bachelor's degree in psychology, she headed to Romania, her mother’s native country, to lead a service-immersion project. She says she’s interested in working as a physician with either Doctors Without Borders or the Peace Corps, and ultimately would like to end up in Romania working with and for the HIV-positive youth there.
“I believe the way for me to follow my calling is to earn a medical degree,” Oprescu says. “I want to work with people who don’t have access to proper medical care. I want to be of service to those who don’t have the privileges I’ve been given.”