BYU’s colleges honored successful alumni for professional excellence at Homecoming 2010.
Elder Jay E. Jensen (BA ’67), of American Fork, Utah, has focused his career and service on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He earned both a master’s degree in Church history and doctrine and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction at BYU. He spent his career in the Church Educational System and at the Missionary Training Center. In 1992 he was called to the Seventy, where he now serves in the presidency.
Engineering and Technology
L. Douglas Smoot (BS ’57), of Provo, has spent 47 of the last 56 years on the BYU campus—from student to dean of the College of Engineering. He spent seven years leading the successful effort to preserve the historic Brigham Young Academy building as Provo’s new library, and among his honors are the BYU Distinguished Service and the Karl G. Maeser Distinguished Faculty Lecturer awards.
Family, Home, and Social Sciences
Ambassador Robert R. King (BA ’66), of McLean, Va., is a special envoy for North Korea human rights issues at the U.S. Department of State. Prior to his confirmation by the U.S. Senate in November 2009, he was chief of staff to Congressman Tom Lantos of California and staff director of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. King holds a PhD in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.
Fine Arts and Communications
Kathleen Parsons Debenham (BA ’74), of Orem, Utah, entered BYU as a dance major and there earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She co-directed Contemporary Danceworks and is a certified movement analyst. At Utah Valley University (UVU) she was Dance Department chair and interim dean of the School of the Arts; she is now UVU’s associate vice president for academic affairs.
As a partner with Vinson & Elkins, Robert L. Kimball (BA ’83), of Dallas, Texas, works with securities offerings, mergers and acquisitions, and other investment activities in U.S. and international settings. Among other honors, he has been recognized in the Best Lawyers in America for expertise in corporate law, project finance, mergers, and acquisitions, and in Texas Monthly as a Texas Super Lawyer in corporate law.
Annette Wanlass Jarvis (BA ’77), of Salt Lake City, earned her law degree from BYU in 1979, when relatively few women were practicing law. She negotiated part-time jobs to accommodate her family and educated several firms in accommodating flexible work schedules. Jarvis is a partner at Dorsey & Whitney in Salt Lake City and co-head of the firm-wide Finance and Restructuring Department.
Val C. Sheffield (BS ’74), of Iowa City, Iowa, earned a PhD and MD from the University of Chicago and received post-graduate training at the University of California, San Francisco. He is on the faculty at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine, where he has developed a successful human-genetics research program and his laboratory is recognized worldwide for work in identifying genes involved in hereditary blindness.
Allan E. O’Bryant (BS ’85), of Mercer Island, Wash., is a member of the BYU President’s Leadership Council. His career includes positions with KPMG, where he served as president of Aflac International and as deputy chief financial officer of Aflac, and with Yunzei Capital Management, where he was president and CEO. He is currently CEO of RGA Reinsurance Company in Japan.
Laura Poe (BS ’85), of South Jordan, Utah, began her career as a staff nurse at Holy Cross Hospital and progressed through Utah nursing leadership, including being a bureau manager with the Utah State Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing. Poe is listed in Who’s Who in American Nursing and was named Professional of the Year by the Utah Citizen’s League for Nursing.
Physical and Mathematical Sciences
Edward W. Gholdston (PhD ’82), of Newbury Park, Calif., completed a doctorate in physics at BYU and began his career with Texas Instruments in Dallas, Texas. He accepted a position with Rockwell International in 1985 to work on the International Space Station program. For the past four years he has been a deputy program manager for the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle project.