Cristina O’Barr

University of Missouri School of Health Professions Student Ambassadors

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 residence hall did you live in? Were you in a FIG (freshmen interest group)?

My freshman year I lived in Defoe-Graham and I was also in a FIG that was taught by my Residential Adviser (RA). It was a smaller class that had about six of us but we had really insightful conversations and I learned a lot that first semester.

What has been your favorite Mizzou memory?

My favorite Mizzou memory has been studying abroad in Thailand at Elephant Nature Park. I had always planned to study abroad but was never sure that it would be able to happen because of COVID. Luckily I was able to experience a different country with 5 other Mizzou students I had never met and it ended up being one of the best memories of not just Mizzou but also my life.

Where is your favorite place to study on campus?

My favorite study spot is the upper level of Memorial Union. There are 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!

What is your favorite ice cream/coffee shop in CoMo?

This is hard to choose! But I love the atmosphere of Three Story Coffee. It’s so relaxing inside and I like how it is just on the edge of downtown.