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Swanger Prize Winner Serves Fellow Students and Community in Various Roles – UofSC News & Events



Laura-Louise Rice works in a variety of ways to help her fellow Gamecocks find a home at the University of South Carolina.

“Having an array of touchpoints on campus exposed me to different perspectives that informed my broader view of the university,” says the native of Lexington, South Carolina.

For his efforts over four years at the University of South Carolina, Rice received the 2022 Steven N. Swanger Award, the university’s second-highest undergraduate honor. The award is named after a former president of Omicron Delta Kappa, which sponsors the university’s Awards Day. It is awarded to a senior graduate for exemplary leadership and for significant contributions to the Carolina community.

A student at Honors College, Rice earned her Bachelor of Arts and Science (BARSC) in Medical Humanities and Public Policy. Her thesis explores how a health justice organization could address the gaps in health care received by South Carolina residents.

During her four years in South Carolina, she held many positions in student government, from freshman council to chief of staff to the student body treasurer. She served as Orientation Manager for the Honors College and University and was Peer Leader for University 101 and Academic Engagement Peer Leader for the Student Success Center.

Whether through one-on-one interactions and support from my small guidance groups and U101 students or through broader impact in organizations like student government, I believe I was able to achieve my goal of being a beacon of light and to elevate those who came after me.

Laura Louise Rice

“Much of my college involvement over the past four years has focused on supporting new generations of Gamecocks to feel seen during their time as a student,” says Rice. “I looked for a community where I would be empowered, but I could also empower those around me.”

She served as a parliamentarian and chapter president of the Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity, and held several leadership positions in her sorority Delta Sigma Theta.

In the greater Columbia community, Rice volunteered with the Carolina Survivor Clinic, which provides health care and other services to refugees living in the South Carolina Midlands, and she was one of the leaders of The Big Event, which coordinates an annual day of service for the UofSC. students in Colombia.

“Whether through one-on-one interactions and support from my small guidance groups and U101 students or through broader impact in organizations like student government, I believe I was able to achieve my goal of being a beacon of light and to uplift those who came after me.”


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Topics: Students, Scholars, Experiential Learning, Recognition, Health Sciences, Service, Leadership, South Carolina Honors College