Brock saddened by passing of fourth-year student

She was described by friends as the ‘light of people’s lives.’ She was a loved daughter, sister, fiancée and friend.

The Brock University community is mourning the loss of Jennifer Popescu, who was set to graduate with an undergraduate degree next month and get started on a master’s degree this fall. The 21-year-old died suddenly on Wednesday, May 15.

“It sounds cliché, but when Jennifer walked into a room, everyone’s attention would go to her because she had such a vibrant personality,” said her friend and classmate Chantal Ryan. “She handled every challenge with dignity and grace and will be sadly missed by all of us.”

The woman from McGregor, Ont., had recently completed her four-year Biomedical Sciences degree and was to graduate with Ryan and other friends in the Math and Science Spring Convocation ceremony on Friday, June 14.

Popescu had also been accepted into a Faculty of Applied Health Sciences master’s program under the supervision of Associate Professor of Health Sciences Litsa Tsiani, who said she was shocked and saddened by Popescu’s passing.

“Jennifer approached me in January and expressed an interest to continue her studies towards a master’s degree,” Tsiani said. “Her performance in my undergraduate courses was excellent and she was an intelligent, hardworking and promising student. She was accepted into our Master of Science program and was very excited to start working in my lab and learning new research techniques.”

Brock student Julie Costa, who was also friends with Popescu through the Alpha Pi Phi sorority they were part of with Ryan, called her friend a “light in so many lives.”

“She was such a loving, intelligent, hard-working and funny young woman whose smile could brighten any room she entered,” Costa said.

Popescu is survived by her parents Tamara and Florin, sister Jessica and fiancé Jesse Van Belle, who is also a Brock student.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, May 18 in Windsor. For more information, or to leave condolences and memories, visit

Flags at Brock University will be lowered to half-mast Tuesday, May 21 in her memory.

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