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School of Medicine Columbia

  • Alumni holding their awards

Alumni Awards

Each year, the School of Medicine presents a number of prestigious awards to our most dedicated and qualified alumni who have demonstrated outstanding achievements or service to the school. We would like to invite all alumni and friends of the school to nominate individuals to be considered as recipients of these awards.


2020 Alumni Award Recipients

Lilly Filler

Distinguished Physician Alumni Award

Lilly S. Filler, MD, ‘98

Lilly S. Filler, MD, was already married and the mother to three children when she began her medical training at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. After graduating in 1998, Filler completed residency at Palmetto Health Richland in 1992, then opened her private practice in obstetrics and gynecology, Women Physician Associates. The practice grew to be the largest all-female practice in Columbia at the time of her retirement in 2014.

Filler recognized that fundamental changes in patient care for women and insurance for oral contraceptives were only going to occur with medical political activism. She joined the medical executive board at Palmetto Richland, was selected chief of staff in 2002, and became president of the Columbia Medical Society in 2003. Filler has been a fierce advocate for her patients and their rights. She continues to address community organizations and college campuses about women’s issues, encouraging young women to consider a profession in medicine. 

LaNita Jefferson

Distinguished Young Alumni Award

LaNita M. Jefferson, MRC, LPC, ‘17

LaNita M. Jefferson, MRC, an adjunct professor in rehabilitation counseling, received her Masters of Arts degree in Counseling and Rehabilitation from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia in 2017, after completing her bachelor’s degree in sociology at Hollins University in Roanoke, Va. Jefferson is a licensed professional counselor and co-owner of Carolina Assessment Services, LLC in Columbia, S.C. She specializes in treating persons whose vocational levels of functioning have declined due to experiences of trauma, anxiety, and depression, and addressing those limitations to improve their quality of life.

Jefferson currently serves as president of the Midlands Chapter for the UofSC School of Medicine Alumni Board and as co-chair for Hollins University Black Alumni Chapter. Jefferson is working toward her doctorate in counselor education at the University of South Carolina, and hopes to research and adopt effective ways to treat trauma in minority populations.

Christopher Goodman

Distinguished Humanitarian Physician Alumni Award

Christopher W. Goodman, MD, ‘10

Christopher W. Goodman, MD, an assistant professor in the Department of Internal Medicine, received his medical degree from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia in 2010. He completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Emory University in Atlanta.

Goodman currently serves as a medical director for Prisma Health Richland Hospital. His professional interests focus on quality improvement, social medicine, and interprofessional care. He is currently working with a team of faculty members focused on building the social determinants of health into medical education. Goodman works to establish partnerships to advance health for all people, from housing issues to access to life-saving medications for opioid disorders.

Goodman donates his time as co-medical director for the Good Samaritan Clinic, a local non-profit that provides no-cost medical care to primarily Spanish-speaking patients in underserved communities throughout South Carolina. He also co-leads the Quality Improvement Education and Systems (QUEST) collaborative, which pairs health students with mentors in clinical improvement teams.

Lawrence Lamb

Distinguished Doctorate Alumni Award

Lawrence S. Lamb, PhD, MS, ‘91

Lawrence S. Lamb, PhD, MS, is the scientific co-founder, executive vice president and chief scientific officer of Incysus Therapeutics, focusing his career on cancer research. After earning his doctorate in experimental pathology at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia in 1991, Lamb completed postdoctoral fellowships in transplant medicine at the South Carolina Cancer Center and in the study of molecular genetics at the University of South Carolina.

Lamb also earned a master’s degree in critical care nursing from UofSC, following his bachelor’s degree in nursing from the Medical College of Georgia. Lamb has 27 years of experience as a transplant immunologist whose work has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Elsa Pardee Foundation, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the Brendan Franco Foundation, and the Southeastern Brain Tumor Foundation.

Lamb was a recipient of the National Brain Tumor Society's Samuel Gerson Leadership Chair for Glioblastoma Research from 2008 to 2010. Lamb developed the scientific support for chemotherapy-resistant T cell-based immunotherapy for high-grade brain tumors.

Kate Wilson

Distinguished Genetic Counseling Alumni Award

Kate Wilson, MS, CGC, ‘07

Kate Wilson, MS, CGC, is a board-certified and licensed genetic counselor at Quest Diagnostics. Wilson earned her master’s degree in genetic counseling from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia in 2007. She received her bachelor’s degree in zoology and genetics from North Carolina State University.

Wilson is a product manager at Quest Diagnostics and specializes in oncology and consumer-initiated testing. She is involved with several genetic counseling training programs as a lecturer, supervisor, and thesis committee member. Wilson serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the American Board of Genetic Counseling. She also is active in the National Society of Genetic Counselors.

Previously, Wilson spent seven years at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston as a prenatal genetic counselor, assistant professor in the Genetic Counseling Training program, and as director of Cancer Genetic Services. While at UTHSC, she established and coordinated several cancer genetic counseling services in the greater Houston area.

Ashley Waddington

Distinguished Master’s Alumni Award

Ashley Waddington, MRC, LPC, CRC, ‘16

Ashley Waddington, MRC, LPC, CRC, an adjunct instructor in Rehabilitation Counseling and Counselor Education, is a 2016 graduate of the Masters of Rehabilitation Counseling program at the UofSC School of Medicine. Her work focuses on counseling and psychiatric disabilities. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology at Ohio University. Waddington is a licensed professional counselor and certified rehabilitation counselor and currently is in private practice. She is working toward her Doctorate in Counselor Education.

Waddington is an active member of the American Counseling Association where she has served as co-chair for the Graduate Student and New Professional committees for two years. Waddington has volunteered in activity therapy with Appalachian Behavior Healthcare, teaches Sunday School to children at the Epworth Children’s Home, and served as a rehabilitation volunteer at Firelands Regional Medical Center.

While attending the School of Medicine, Waddington received the Distinguished Rehabilitation Counseling Student Award for 2016-2017.

Ruth Riley

Alumni Association Honorary Life Membership Award

Ruth A. Riley, MS

Ruth A. Riley, MS, is assistant dean for executive affairs and director of library services at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia. Riley earned her master’s degree in library and information science from the University of Illinois and completed her bachelor’s degree in sociology at the University of Kansas.

Riley joined the University of South Carolina faculty in 2000. She has worked in three other academic health sciences libraries: the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Library, the Alfred Taubman Medical Library at the University of Michigan, and the J. Otto Lottes Health Sciences Library at the University of Missouri.

Riley has served as president of the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries, as chair of the Southern Chapter of the Medical Library Association and chair of the Partnership Among South Carolina Academic Libraries.


2019 Event Photos

Photos from the 2019 event are available on the School of Medicine's SmugMug account.


Past Winners

See a list of past Alumni Award winners. 


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