Ann Barral

Degree: Bachelor of Science in Economics

College: Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs

Ann Barral believes in the power of a well-rounded professional. 

With her heart set on medical school, she enrolled at FIU as an economics major – a field that would allow her to understand numbers and data. 

Ann also earned a spot on the university’s top-notch women’s swimming and diving team, which most recently won its seventh straight Conference USA Championship. She devoted countless hours to training, developed a deep bond with her teammates and coaches and was eventually elected co-captain of the team.

A student in the Honors College, she found a mentor in the college’s assistant dean, Pete Markowitz, and dove into numerous research opportunities. 

Ann studied abroad in South Africa, working with patients and learning about infectious diseases from Dr. Aileen Marty, infectious disease specialist and professor at FIU’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine. She also interned at Case Western Reserve University, where she studied sickle cell anemia and began researching its effects on malaria. In addition, she researched the effects of marijuana use and abuse on people with HIV at the College of Medicine’s immunology and nanotechnology lab at FIU. 

In 2020, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in economics, and re-enrolled at FIU to earn the new Bachelor of Science degree in the subject – which only required several more classes to complete – and a minor in chemistry. She is currently interning at the U.S. Census Bureau.  

After graduating with her second FIU degree, Ann will begin medical school at the Ross University School of Medicine in the Caribbean. 

Her motivation to succeed: The support of her parents and FIU family. 

By Gisela Valencia
Staff Writer
Division of External Relations, Strategic Communications and Marketing

Nominated by Mihaela Pintea