Dr. Steven Woods

Dr. Steven Woods Named Waubonsee “Fabulous 40”

Dr. Steven Woods, seen here with some of the antique pharmacy tools that he collects, has been named a Waubonsee Community College “Fabulous 40.”
Sugar Grove — A star in the classroom and on the playing fields while a student at Waubonsee Community College, Dr. Steven Woods went on to a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry. Waubonsee is proud to honor him as one of the college’s “Fabulous 40” alumni.

As part of the college’s yearlong 40th anniversary celebration, Waubonsee is honoring 40 alumni and students who embody the mission, vision and values of the college. These individuals represent the diversity of Waubonsee’s students and the college district, as well as the diversity of the college’s mission as a comprehensive community college.

Academics and athletics defined Woods’ time at Yorkville High School. He always loved the sciences, foreshadowing his future career, and he played football, basketball and baseball, enjoying a number of conference championships. With his older brother, Jeff, already playing baseball for the Waubonsee Chiefs, Woods took the opportunity to come to Waubonsee and play baseball rather than start out at a four-year school. He played two years on the Chiefs baseball team, winning the Skyway Conference title in 1988.

“If I would have ended up at a four-year school, my life would have turned out totally different,” he said. “I don’t know if I would have been able to excel. It was close to home, comfortable, and there were less distractions. It was the right place for me to go and was why my life worked out like it did.”

At Waubonsee, Woods found mentors on the baseball diamond, such as Waubonsee Baseball Coach Dave Randall and fellow Fab 40 member Dr. John Avendano, and among his professors.

“The quality of the education was excellent,” he said. “Every professor that I had was very professional.”

Although he did well academically in high school, he was never a straight-A student. At Waubonsee, he learned to tap his full academic potential and was a fixture on the Dean’s List. He was named an Academic All-American, he joined Phi Theta Kappa, the honor society of community colleges, and he was awarded the Rex C. Knapp Memorial Scholarship. He would go on to graduate from Waubonsee with honors.

“I saw Waubonsee as a new starting point,” he said. “I spent a lot of time studying and realized I should have been doing that all along. Waubonsee offers a new beginning for people like myself.”

Because of his academic tenacity, Woods was able to realize one of his lifelong dreams and attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he would earn a bachelor’s degree in life sciences. He would go on to the University of Illinois at Chicago to earn a doctor of pharmacy degree.

Woods’ parents were a strong influence for him during his childhood, and, watching his mother work as director of nursing at a nursing home in Oswego, he knew that he wanted to pursue a career in the sciences, most likely in the health care realm. His professional career has followed a steady upward trajectory. He worked from 1992 to 1995 at the University of Illinois Medical Center before taking a position as consultant clinical pharmacist and regional coordinator of professional development for Omnicare. From there, he went on to become a medical science liaison with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. Since 2003 he has been with Shire Pharmaceuticals, now as a senior medical science liaison.

At Shire, he has presented at a number of national medical conferences. He is a member of the American College of Clinical Pharmacists, the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists and the Illinois Pharmacists Association.

Woods and his wife, Elizabeth, live in Elburn with their two children, Garrett and Gavin. Woods is an active father, coaching his sons’ athletic teams.