University of South Carolina

A recognized leader

From USC Women's Volleyball Team to leadership posts in health care, HSPM instructor puts 'team work' into action

By Karen Petit, Arnold School of Public Health,

Amanda Williams of the Arnold School of Public Health has been selected for the Class of 2013 of Leadership South Carolina, the state’s oldest and most recognized leadership development program.

Williams is a clinical instructor and masters’ programs coordinator for the Arnold School's Department of Health Services Policy and Management. Her path to the Arnold School had some twists and turns that have proven beneficial to her career.

Amanda WilliamsA former member of the USC women's volleyball team, Williams was a pre-med major whose goal was to become a pediatrician. But she realized that her interest in health care had more of a business focus, so she decided to pursue a master of health administration (MHA) degree.  

It proved to be a great decision, and upon graduation, she worked at Palmetto Health for 10 years in several healthcare leadership posts, which she thoroughly enjoyed. Through her leadership position, she was able to hire MHA students as graduate assistants, which involved mentoring and training them to become future health care leaders.

When the door opened for her to come back to the Arnold School to continue her career in healthcare management education, she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to work more closely with the students and share her knowledge of the industry.

"I loved the school, and I decided that I wanted to return here," she said.

The job as masters’ programs coordinator seemed like a perfect fit for her outgoing personality in which she has the opportunity to recruit and advise students and build strong connections with the healthcare community. She also teaches a master's-level course on health planning and will teach a course for the undergraduate public health program on healthcare management in 2013.

In 2007, Williams was selected for Leadership Columbia, where she enjoyed networking opportunities with other professionals in the Midlands area and had the chance to participate in events focused on education, health and government.

As a member of Leadership South Carolina, Williams said she will "learn more about the issues facing the state."

Leadership South Carolina participants from throughout the Palmetto State will have the opportunity to network and collaborate on topics related to South Carolina and to become more involved in public service activities.  Each class participates in a class project to demonstrate leadership skills.

Williams said being on USC's women's volleyball team taught her the value of teamwork and communication – skills that she puts to use in her job. Opportunities arise, she said, in which she almost is at a level of "coach" to students, and communication skills are critical when working on a team.

"In health care management, 'teamwork' is one of the things that we teach our students. I've lived that in several facets of my career," she said.

She maintains a busy schedule away from the Arnold School as well. She is married to Byron Williams, and they have three children, Sean, Kathleen and Dylan.

When her Leadership South Carolina experience ends next year, Williams will be among more than 1,300 Leadership South Carolina members who have participated in the nine-month program.

Leadership South Carolina accepts approximately 50 participants a year who demonstrate commitment to and leadership within their community and strive to reach a higher level of service to the Palmetto State. For more information about Leadership South Carolina, visit

Arnold School of Public Health

Posted: 09/28/12 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 09/28/12 @ 2:26 PM | Permalink