Dr. Maria Loffredo Roca

Dr. Maria Loffredo Roca

Several things attracted me to FGCU, top among them was to be part of an exciting new venture.

Photo of Dr. Maria RocaAfter earning her bachelor’s degree in Interpersonal and Public Communication from Purdue University, Dr. Maria F. Loffredo Roca went on to New York University where she earned her master’s in Performing Arts Management and her Ph.D. in Media Ecology. She then taught at the State University of New York-Oneonta for 8 years prior to joining FGCU as one of the institution’s founding faculty members.

“Several things attracted me to FGCU, top among them was the opportunity to be part of an exciting new venture,” she said, adding that living where the temperature doesn’t dip below zero degrees had its allure as well. But, in truth, even in her initial interview, it was clear that FGCU would be student-focused and committed to civic engagement and sustainability. Twenty years later, FGCU’s core commitments stand strong.

Integrated Studies is a unique major that allows students the flexibility to shape their scholastic journey based on their individual interests. This flexibility also opens the door to a diversity of immersion experiences outside the classroom, each centered on a student’s specific goals.

“The first thing I ask a student,” said Dr. Roca, is “‘What are your passions? What can you imagine waking up to every morning, so much so that you can’t wait to get out of bed?’ It’s not about salary or title. It’s about something that fills you up every day.

“We live in an integrated world. No problem lives exclusively in one discipline. Of course, each discipline needs its experts, but it also needs the person who can stand back, see the whole picture and help integrate solutions. A graduate of FGCU’s Integrated Studies Program is a problem solver and a systems thinker.”