SUU to Everywhere

Daniel Gowon ('88)

Daniel Gowon ('88) | SUU to Instructional Design


Originally published on October 01, 2019.

Daniel Gowon ('88) grew up in Jos Plateau, Nigeria, his achieving family distinguished by his uncle, Gen. Yakubu "Jack" Gowon, the country's head of state from 1966 to 1975. One thing his upbringing and years at SUU taught him, Dan says, was the importance of giving back to others, something he engages in every day.

That he chose SUU over an opportunity at USU as a 17-year-old in 1984 was largely a result of the University's then-fledgling international students program, led by the legendary Bessie Dover, who Dan says influenced his life forever.

He immersed himself in SUU life, serving as president of the Soccer Club, as a reporter for the newspaper, as an 800-meter runner for the track & field squad, and, importantly, as a window to the larger world for his classmates.

Dan added diversity to the campus before the word was commonly used in that regard.

In addition to the kind attentions of Bessie, Dan was highly motivated by the instruction he received from Professor of Management Alan Hamlin who, incidentally, is in his 38th year here. Dan convinced his brother, Job, to become a Thunderbird as well.

Following his SUU career, Dan wished to return to his homeland to give back, but found that problematic and instead succeeded in varied positions across the country. He gained a master's degree in computer science from USU, where he was the first international student to be elected student body president. He subsequently earned an MBA from the American Graduate School of Business of La Tour-de-Peilz, Switzerland.

Today he is a valued instructional designer at the University of Utah.

"I combined instructional design with training and development so that I could be a designer/gatherer of knowledge and then deliver it to learners," he says of his advancement, adding that he enjoys preparing future workers with superiorly designed courses.

He also engages in several enterprises to improve the lives of others as a consultant and as a leader in charitable causes such as a campaign to provide books and other learning resources to his native Nigeria and in developing renewable energy systems for several African nations.

An active mountain biker and hiker, Dan is the father of a daughter who's studying at USU, despite Dan's strong encouragement to find the inspiration he found at SUU.