2024 Awards Honor Outstanding Achievements by UCSF Alumni

By Susan Godstone

The Alumni Association of UC San Francisco (AAUCSF) has named the UCSF Alumni Achievement Awards winners for 2024. These awards honor alumni across UCSF’s four schools – Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, and Pharmacy – and the Graduate Division for their extraordinary contributions to clinical practice, research, entrepreneurship, philanthropy, service, and mentorship, as well as early-career success. In addition, the alumni associations of UCSF’s four schools, the Graduate Division, and the Graduate Program in Physical Therapy honored the remarkable accomplishments of exemplary alumni with their annual accolades.

Catherine Lucey, MD, UCSF executive vice chancellor and provost, bestowed the awards at this year’s UCSF Alumni Weekend in April. Dr. Lucey was joined by Shelly Nakaishi, MS ’06, president of the AAUCSF.


“All of these alumni are models of unwavering dedication to improving health, advancing our knowledge through research, and training the next generation. Each awardee reminds us of the power of our collective mission and the boundless potential of the UCSF alumni community.”

Catherine Lucey, MD, Resident Alum
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, UCSF

This year, University Development and Alumni Relations grouped the 13 alumni awardees into four categories that each align closely with UCSF’s mission: global impact, community, mentorship and innovation. Below you can watch the videos that showcase the work of these remarkable UCSF ambassadors, their dedication to health and improving health, and their extraordinary accomplishments since graduating from UCSF.

Illustrations by John Jay Cabuay

Global Impact

A graphic illustration of Richard Carmona.

Richard Carmona, MD ’80, MPH, Resident Alum, Clinical Fellow Alum
Medical Alumni Association Alum of the Year 2024

A graphic illustration of Laura Keyser.

Laura E. Keyser, DPT ’08, MPH
Alumni Practitioner Award

A graphic illustration of Ruth Arnold Smarinsky.

Ruth Arnold Smarinsky, PharmD ’83
Pharmacy Alumni Association Alum of the Year 2024


A graphic illustration of Kerry K. Carney.

Kerry K. Carney, DDS ’84
UCSF Dental Alumni Association Medal of Honor

A graphic illustration of Pauline Chin.

Pauline Chin, BSN ’78, MSN ’92
UCSF Nursing Alumni Association’s Jane Norbeck Distinguished Service Award

A graphic illustration of Laurel Coleman.

Laurel Coleman, MD ’89, Resident Alum
Alumni Humanitarian Service Award


A graphic illustration of Hibret Hailu.

Hibret Hailu Benjamin, DDS ’02
Dental Alumni Association Medal of Honor


A graphic illustration of William Carroll.

William Carroll, DDS ’80
Alumni Mentor Award


A graphic illustration of Michael Go.

Michael P. Go, PT ’74, MPH
Graduate Program in Physical Therapy Alum of the Year 2024



A graphic illustration of Sebastian Bernales.

Sebastian Bernales, PhD ’06, Postdoc Alum
Graduate Division Alumni Association Alum of the Year

A graphic illustration of Cheryl Cherpitel.
A graphic illustration of Nicholas Hertz.

Nicholas T. Hertz, PhD ’13
Alumni Early-Career Award

A graphic illustration of Kelly Nguyen.

Kelly Nguyen, PharmD ’96
Alumni Entrepreneur Award

Seeking Nominations

The AAUCSF is now seeking nominations for the 2025 UCSF Alumni Achievement Awards. All UCSF alumni, including former residents, fellows and postdocs, are eligible. If you know someone whom you would like to nominate, please contact Nancy Knowles, assistant director of Alumni Relations, at [email protected].

Help us to find the most deserving awardees!