Ana Eliza Souza Cunha — Class of 2019
Ana Eliza Souza Cunha was born in São Paulo, Brazil and moved to Orono when she was 4 years old. As Orono is her hometown, Souza Cunha has experienced the culture and activities that the University of Maine has to offer from a young age. This will be her senior year as a pre-med biology major with a minor in neuroscience and psychology, and she looks forward to a career in the medical field.
UMaine has provided multiple opportunities for Souza Cunha, but the most important to her was, “In short: research and community service. UMaine has endless resources for both. I chose the University of Maine because it is one of the most encouraging schools for undergraduate research. It’s rare that a student is unable to find a research opportunity. I started doing research on the University of Maine campus when I was a sophomore in high school.” Souza Cunha is also a student ambassador for the School of Biology and Ecology. “I mentor students on what career paths the University of Maine offers and guide them to direct programs that may satisfy their intellectual and humanitarian ambitions,” she said. “I remember how scary it was to navigate these college experiences on my own and I can remember the individual few who helped guide me through the best resources to make my transition easier here at UMaine. I was grateful for that authenticity when I was looking for the right niche and now I look to pay it forward.”
Through scholarship awards, Souza Cunha can find time for continuing her volunteer work she started in high school. “Passion fuels passion. I am so grateful that striving to be involved in the community has paid me back tenfold, not only monetarily but as a human being. Events such as Breakfast with Santa, an event for children to enjoy holiday cheer, pancakes and crafting activities; Halloween at Acadia, a Halloween event for the children at Acadia Hospital; and partaking in Special Olympics — these are only a few of the many events to which we contribute and that have personally been my favorite. These activities have allowed me to become better at problem solving with children, and as I look to the future I hope these skills will contribute to my ability to become a good physician.”
As her record of volunteerism is strong, Souza Cunha qualified herself as a recipient of the Servant Heart Scholarship for this coming year. Like many UMaine students, Souza Cunha enjoys getting outside and going for runs, hikes, and exploring nature in her spare time.