Cristina O’Barr describes herself as an Army “brat” who has moved around a lot, but she graduated high school in Waynesville, Missouri. She is a social work student with minors in criminal justice and military science. Cristina plans to become a social worker in the U.S. Army. 

“Social workers are found everywhere,” Cristina says. “Whether it’s in schools, hospitals or non-profit organizations, they are always there advocating for people. The social work program here at Mizzou has amazing professors, all of which have different focus areas. This allows students to explore the variety of options that we have while learning skills we will use for our careers.”

In addition to being a student ambassador, Cristina has been involved in campus organizations such as Mizzou Alternative Breaks, Army ROTC, United Ambassadors Diversity Recruitment team, and the Association of Latin American Students. In her free time, Cristina enjoys watching true crime documentaries, listening to podcasts, hiking on the trails in Columbia, or going out to eat with her friends. 

How did you choose your major?

I originally wanted to study criminal justice. When I found out Mizzou didn’t have that as a major, I chose social work simply because at the time I felt that it was the closest major. It ended up becoming the perfect choice for me. The purpose of  social workers aligns with my values as a person and it allowed me to find what I am passionate about. I was able to find my right career path by choosing a major that I maybe would have never considered. 

What’s your favorite Mizzou club/organization? 

My favorite organization at Mizzou is United Ambassadors. I joined this org my freshman year and became co-chair sophomore year. I met some of my closest friends through this org and was able to reach out to other Latino students and give them genuine answers about my journey at Mizzou. UA was a life-changing experience for me and ultimately is the reason I decided to stay at Mizzou. It gave me a purpose and experience that I never imagined I would find in college. 

What has been your favorite class at Mizzou so far? 

My favorite class has been a writing intensive course called Exploration in Social and Economic Justice. 

What’s your favorite Mizzou dining hall?

Southwest is 10/10 for me, especially Olive & Oil. There are a lot of different options so everyone can find something they like. 

What is your favorite spot to study on campus? 

My favorite study spot is the upper level of Memorial Union. There is a lot of quiet, secluded spaces that have natural sunlight coming in. It stays pretty empty up there and there’s even a Starbucks downstairs!