Women of Distinction


Meredith Pavicic (Middle Right)

Jackson, Ritter, Pavicic and Johnson


  • President, Commission on the Status of Women, 2011
  • University Scholar, 2010
  • Truman Scholar Nominee, 2011
  • Queers and Allies Student Senator 2010-2012
  • Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society
  • AIDS and Nutrition Education: Arusha, Tanzania, summer 2010

How I became interested in my field:

From a young age, I knew I wanted to be a doctor, but as I’ve learned more about feminism and about population health issues, I’ve realized why I want to practice medicine. What appeals to me is medicine’s enormous capacity for working toward social justice and alleviating some of the most fundamental disparities in society.

An honor, achievement or accomplishment that is most meaningful to me:

The most meaningful thing I’ve done in college is the time I spent teaching about HIV in Tanzania. Not only did I learn about public health education and culturally sensitive practices, but I got to experience another culture in a new way.

Someone who has been a role model for me and why:

Paul Farmer is a man who understands why such enormous health disparities exist in our global society, and has a vision for how to fix them. His drive to be both physician and global health leader is inspiring to me.

An important life lesson I have learned:

One of my biggest goals this past year was to learn how to say “no.” Most students who are involved have this problem: once you do one thing, suddenly there are five more boards and committees and events and groups that you could help out with. But what I’ve learned is that stretching myself too thin doesn’t allow me to do many of these things well, and is a detriment to both my health and sanity. So I’m trying (trying is the key word) to pick what is most important to me and focus on that in an effort to create more balance in my life.

If I had a sister just entering college, I would want her to know…

In fact, I do have a sister who will be a freshman in college this year, and one of the most important pieces of advice I’ve given her is to relish in the opportunity to start anew. College, especially at a place as big as KU, is full of opportunities for personal growth, so take advantage of every opportunity you can to learn new things, try new things, and find out who you want to be.

A favorite quote or saying and why it is meaningful to me:

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
Dr. Seuss, The Lorax
“Equity is the only acceptable goal.”
Paul Farmer