From the president

Patricia “Cuca” Ramirez Miranda, a junior student at the University of the South, is a model for servant leadership and social change. As a college student, she discovered potent ways to merge her passion for healthcare and social justice, passions rooted in her own childhood exposure to the effects of inequitable healthcare and poor health outcomes in the underserved communities around her. Cuca serves at a local free clinic as a Canale Leadership in Service Intern, recruiting and training fellow pre-med students to support the clinic, writing and receiving grants to build the capacity of the clinic, and designing and collecting community needs assessments of the patients there to facilitate access to community resources. Recognizing the connection between housing and health outcomes, Cuca responded immediately when her home community in Puerto Rico was devastated by a massive flood in September of 2022. She raised over $6000 in relief funds in addition to designing and leading rebuilding work in Puerto Rico for staff and students over the break. In the coming months, Cuca will lead patient education efforts for a new local free health clinic dedicated to serving undocumented Latinx patients.

Nancy Berner

Acting Vice-Chancellor

The University of the South


Personal Statement

My passion for advocacy, research, and access to healthcare intersected when I was introduced to civic engagement. Growing up in an underserved community, health disparities and life-threatening conditions were familiar; I, however, refused to conform to these realities. As an aspiring physician, I sought an opportunity to learn about health inequities in my community, which prompted me to address issues of social justice within the healthcare field. As an intern at a free medical clinic, I manage capacity-building projects to maximize the efficiency and visibility of the clinic’s services to the community. Limited access to healthcare is only one part of the challenge for families in poverty. Many other resources remain inadequate or inaccessible. Becoming aware of the lack of affordable housing through working at the clinic has motivated me to help build affordable homes in my community; homes provide comfort and safety, a commodity we all deserve. In my current role with free health clinics, I will continue my work providing educational support and facilitating access to healthcare and community resources for undocumented patients.

Cuca Ramirez Miranda

Women's and Gender Studies, Pre-Medicine

The University of the South