International studies major Colin Lopez is a Mountaineer through and through—and so are the members of his family.
The Lancaster, Penn., native’s younger brother Ryan is a sophomore international business and Chinese dual-major, his other brother Scott is transferring to WVU this fall after a year-long internship with NASA and his father moved to Morgantown a few years ago.
“We are a family of Mountaineers. I have also been extremely fortunate to extend my family through developing lasting relationships with some exceptional people at WVU,” Lopez said.
While at WVU, Lopez has served as the captain of the WVU men’s lacrosse team, a member of the Global Medical Brigades, a research assistant for the WVU Food Justice Lab and he spent nine months studying Arabic in Jordan on a Boren Scholarship.
He also worked as an anesthesia extern and perioperative care associate at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, which helped shape his passion for increasing global healthcare accessibility and influenced his decision to major in international studies.
“During my time [at Ruby Memorial Hospital], I had the opportunity to speak with physicians and read a lot of work by Paul Farmer,” Lopez said. “They exposed me to the fact that the health of patients is heavily influenced by various social, political and economic factors outside of the hospital.”
In fact, while he studied Arabic in Jordan as a Boren Scholar, Lopez learned that the country’s distribution of information on healthcare is lacking. Now as a Fulbright Scholar, he plans to collect information on every healthcare provider in Jordan and map them using geographic information systems. With the data he gathers from his research, he will assess Jordan’s healthcare and make information widely accessible to Jordanians.
Lopez advises freshmen to jump at all opportunities that come their way.
“If there’s something you want—or any goals you have—you just really have to go for them. WVU will offer you every opportunity to succeed, but it’s up to you to make the most of it.”