The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Kansas has selected five graduates to honor with its Alumni Distinguished Achievement Award for 2013. The award is the highest recognition the College bestows upon its graduates.
The recipients’ varied professional pursuits reflect the versatility of a liberal arts and sciences degree. Their careers include accomplishments in film and television, the military, art and international government relations.
Honorees are retired four-star general Charles Boyd; renowned paleo-artist John Gurche; Emmy-winning visual effects supervisor Chris Martin; foreign services diplomat B. Lynn Pascoe; and Sesame Workshop executive Rosemarie Truglio.
The recipients are selected by the College’s alumni advisory board. The award recognizes graduates’ contributions to KU, their professions or their communities. The College will recognize the recipients at events hosted nationwide throughout the year.
“The board was impressed by the accomplishments of this group and excited by the inspiration they offer for students to envision their career options,” said Tony Arnold, chair of the advisory board. “It’s an honor to recognize these outstanding alumni.”
Charles Boyd is a retired four-star general of the U.S. Air Force and Starr Distinguished National Security Fellow at the Center for National Interest, a nonpartisan public policy institution established by former President Richard Nixon. Gen. Boyd retired in 1995 after 35 years of service. A combat pilot in Vietnam, he was shot down on his 105th mission and survived 2,488 days as a prisoner of war. The only POW from that war to achieve the four-star rank, General Boyd's final military assignment was as Deputy Commander in Chief of U.S. forces in Europe. His military decorations include the Air Force Cross, Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross and the Purple Heart with two oak leaf clusters. He is a command pilot with more than 3,000 flight hours. Boyd received his KU bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in Latin American Studies in 1975 and 1976.
John Gurche is an award-winning artist whose recreations of human ancestors and other ancient life has appeared in national magazines and top museums around the country. Gurche utilizes his academic training in paleontology and anthropology to create models and drawings that are scientifically accurate and highly realistic. His work has appeared on the covers of National Geographic, Discover and Natural History Magazines. It can also be seen at the Smithsonian, the Field Museum and the American Museum of Natural History, among others. His work on the reconstruction of human ancestors has been featured in television documentaries by National Geographic, the Smithsonian and the BBC. He is well-known for his work on the film "Jurassic Park" and for his paintings for the 1989 dinosaur stamps issued by the U.S. Postal Service. Gurche received a KU bachelor’s degree in geology in 1974 and a master’s degree in anthropology in 1979.
Chris Martin is an Emmy Award-winning visual effects supervisor whose credits include both television and film projects. Martin works for Stargate Studios in Pasadena, Calif., where he turned a two-week internship into a full-time job. He has gained a variety of special effects skills through successive roles. He won an Emmy in 2009 for his work on the television series “Heroes.” He has done work for other popular shows, including “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Office” and “24.” Martin mentors students pursuing a degree in film and media studies at KU and is also active in the Hollywood Hawks group in Los Angeles, an alumni networking group for Jayhawks in the entertainment industry. Martin received his KU bachelor’s degree in film in 2003.
B. Lynn Pascoe is an experienced diplomat who has held numerous posts with the United Nations and the U.S. Foreign Service over the last 40 years. Most recently, Pascoe served as Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs for five years until July 2012. Previous assignments included serving as U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Indonesia and to Malaysia, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the federal Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs and U.S. Special Negotiator for Regional Conflicts in the former Soviet Union. Other positions have taken him to Moscow, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Beijing. Pascoe received his KU bachelor’s degree in East Asian studies, international relations and mathematics in 1964
Rosemarie Truglio is the senior vice president of education and research at Sesame Workshop. She is responsible for the development of the interdisciplinary curriculum on which “Sesame Street” is based, and she oversees all educational research pertaining to the development of “Sesame Street” content. Before joining Sesame Workshop in 1997, she was an assistant professor of communication and education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Through her research, she investigated the effects of television on the cognitive and social development of children and adolescents. She has written numerous articles; presented her work at national and international conferences; and conducted media literacy workshops. Truglio received her KU master’s degree in human development and family life in 1986 and her doctorate in developmental and child psychology in 1990.