Degree: Bachelor of Science in Biology
College: School of Environment, Arts and Society at the College of Arts, Sciences & Education
Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Sociology
College: Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs
Cristina Orozco wants to dedicate her life to helping others. After all, it was a lesson she learned from her mother, who would go out of her way to help people in need.
As part of an advanced placement capstone project in high school, Cristina worked with a team at what would become Baptist Hospital’s Miami Cancer Institute - researching complementary and alternative treatment for breast cancer patients. An aspiring pre-medical student at FIU, she co-founded the FIU Friends of Médecins Sans Frontières Student Chapter with her longtime boyfriend, Alexander Hanks in 2019.
Not even the COVID-19 pandemic could get in Cristina’s way. In 2020, she volunteered to help indigent and homeless people at Camillus House experiencing COVID symptoms to get tested and treated. She was also selected by mentor Eric Feldman as an FIU in DC Hamilton Scholar and she developed a literature review on Black and Latino communities for an Us Against Alzheimer’s social media campaign. Another summer opportunity funded by the National Institutes of Health led Cristina to research financial toxicity or how out of pocket costs for cancer treatment can cause financial problems for patients.
In addition to Feldman, Cristina counts Master’s of Public Health Program Director Alok Deoraj and the team at the Peer-Led Team Learning office as mentors.
After commencement, Cristina plans to pursue a master’s degree in sociology at the University of Chicago. Whether she becomes a doctor or a researcher is something she has yet to figure out. She just knows she’s going to help address social inequalities.
By Chrystian Tejedor
College of Arts, Sciences & Education