Newman Civic Fellow Sophia Lopresti to return to Indonesia as a Fulbright Scholar

Sophia Lopresti
B.A., Global Studies
Minor: Intercultural Communication
Magna Cum Laude
Hometown: Sterling, Virginia
Plans: Fulbright English Teaching Assistant, Indonesia

UMBC has connected me to some of the most amazing experiences of my life. The Sondheim program and Shriver Center helped me arrange service-learning experiences, both in Baltimore and internationally. The global studies program challenged my perspective on the realities of international development and showed me resources to find international summer experiences. The Grand Challenge Scholars program encouraged me to seek experiences outside of my field. UMBC has given me more resources than I ever could have imagined.

Sophia Lopresti’s UMBC career has been defined by service-learning experiences, in Baltimore and around the world. As a Sondheim Public Affairs Scholar, Lopresti got her start in this work by completing several service-learning practica through the Shriver Center, connecting with local communities, most recently by teaching English at the Esperanza Center. Those experiences helped her envision a path for her future focused on supporting underserved communities worldwide in meeting their own goals and needs.

Sophia Lopresti pictured with brother, Michael Lopresti ’15, at a UMBC Student Government Association retreat before she even started classes. Lopresti credits her brother as the reason she chose UMBC; photo courtesy of Sophia Lopresti.

Lopresti has traveled to Indonesia to serve as a midwife’s assistant, volunteer with the Wadah Foundation (which focuses on supporting women as community leaders), and teach children English. Her involvement with UMBC’s chapter of Global Brigades led her to create an oral health education program for children in Panama. From there, her responsibility grew and she was named campus chairperson for Global Brigades at UMBC, overseeing 104 students as they traveled to Nicaragua and Panama for alternative spring break trips. For her outstanding commitment to service, Lopresti was named a Newman Civic Fellow in 2017.

Beyond her service work, Lopresti recently spent a semester abroad in Sweden, studying peace and development. She has also channeled her interest in problem-solving and creating positive change to her work as a Grand Challenges Scholar and Student Government Association Election Board chair. She was named Outstanding Leader in the Global Studies Program and has just received a Fulbright Scholarship to return to Indonesia after graduation to teach English.

Portrait by Marylana Demond ’11 for UMBC.