Florida State University

College of Social Sciences & Public Policy

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College Names 2019 Distinguished Alumni

Three prominent graduates of the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy are the 2019 recipients of the annual distinguished alumni awards.

William Desvousges, Ph.D., Joyce Godwin and Major General Patrick D. Sargent, FACHE, will be honored at a special dinner and ceremony October 25, during the university’s Homecoming weekend.

“In the past, we have mostly honored just one alum per year, but because we have so many accomplished and noteworthy graduates, we wanted to recognize these three individuals for their professional achievements, contributions to society and support of the college and the university,” said Dean Tim Chapin.

William Desvousges
Bill Desvousges (M.S. 1974, Ph.D. 1977 Economics) has a global professional reach as a specialist in natural resource damage assessment, but his connections to his roots at FSU are deep and lasting. The skills in applied economic research that have guided him in conducting major environmental valuation studies for more than 30 years were honed at FSU. His dissertation on Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas leasing grew from his time working as a graduate research assistant to Professor of Economics Phil Sorenson.

The founder of a leading consulting firm in the environmental economics field, Desvousges has conducted interviews for the FSU applied economics program, and he and his wife have endowed a graduate scholarship fund in honor of his friend and colleague from the economics department, Michael Piette, who died in 2009.

“Mike and I, and our wives, too, believe in the importance of education as a way to advance yourself,” Desvousges said. “Being able to make at least a small difference for people is something we all value.”

Joyce Godwin
You might say governance is a magnet for Godwin (B.S. 1965 Government). Very busy in student government during her time at FSU, she has since served on boards for private or publicly traded corporations, not-for-profits, higher education organizations, banking and financial services, arts groups, even aviation companies. She has also furthered the excellence and mission of these and other governing bodies as a consultant.

Among her many accomplishments, she has been the director of the National League of Cities Inquiry Service, executive director of the San Jose Chamber of Commerce, education director of a Texas hospital and chief administrative officer of Presbyterian Healthcare Services, a large statewide organization based in Albuquerque, N.M. Much of her time and energy in recent years has been devoted to World Vision International, a Christian humanitarian aid, development and advocacy organization active in nearly 100 countries.

“Living a life of generosity is important to me. It’s always all about giving one’s time, talent and treasure,” Godwin said.

Patrick Sargent
Major General Pat Sargent (B.S. 1985 Political Science) is well aware of the debt he owes the people and opportunities from his past.

“My family and teachers taught me that greatness isn’t some elusive gift given to a select few,” he said “Greatness is in all of us. We just have to find it in ourselves and in others.”

Pat found that greatness in service to the nation throughout his long and distinguished military career as a member of the Army Medical Service Corps.

At FSU, he was a member of ROTC. When he graduated, he walked as a Distinguished Military Graduate and immediately received his active-duty commission. Over the past 34 years, which has included exceptional service in multiple deployments in Iraq, he has commanded numerous Army organizations and orchestrated and optimized capabilities and capacities in military hospitals across the globe.

Today, he is commander of the U.S. Army Medical Department Center and School Health Readiness Center of Excellence at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

When the alums visit campus for Homecoming, they plan to share their experiences and insights with students as inspiration for the various distinguished paths open to those who study the social sciences.

“These are truly three remarkable individuals with very different stories but sharing a love for this university and college,” Chapin said. “We look forward to celebrating them – and celebrating with them – in October.”

Full profiles of the 2019 Distinguished Alumni can be found here and in the upcoming issue of Engage magazine, the college’s annual publication, available in early October.

The 2019 Distinguished Alumni with deans of the college, past and present: Major General Patrick Sargent, Dean Emeritus David Rasmussen, Dean Emerita Marie Cowart, William Desvousges, Dean Tim Chapin; front Joyce Godwin