Alan Govenar
PhD '84-Arts and Humanities

Alan Govenar is a folklorist, photographer, filmmaker and author of more than 20 books.
Alan Govenar is a folklorist, photographer, filmmaker and author of more than 20 books. Photo by Kaleta Doolin.
Alan Govenar, a PhD graduate, has received a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. In its 86th annual competition, the foundation has awarded 180 fellowships to artists, scientists and scholars in the United States and Canada. Govenar, the president and founder of Documentary Arts, a non-profit organization which presents new perspectives on historical issues and diverse cultures, received his award in the humanities category for the folklore and popular culture field of study.

Govenar plans to use the funding from the fellowship to support a year of research for his upcoming exhibition "The Folk Art of Community Photography," and relates to the exhibition he is curating, "Jasper, Texas: The Community Photographs of Alonzo Jordan," that opens in January at the International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York City and will run through May 2011. Steidl, in association with the ICP, will publish his book, also titled Jasper, Texas: The Community Photographs of Alonzo Jordan.

With almost 500 photos—many never before published—Texas Blues provides comprehensive documentation of a musical tradition.
Published in 2008, Texas Blues: The Rise of a Contemporary Sound, allows artists to speak in their own words, revealing the dynamics of blues. With almost 500 photos—many never before published—Texas Blues provides comprehensive documentation of a musical tradition.

"I will be conducting interviews in Texas and consulting with photographic historians and curators in New York and Paris," said Govenar. "The Guggenheim fellowship will help defer some of the expenses of travel and also covers some of the basic costs of living and working, leaving more free time to devote to thinking and writing."

Govenar is a writer, folklorist, photographer and filmmaker. He has a BA with distinction in American folklore from The Ohio State University, an MA in folklore and anthropology from The University of Texas at Austin, and a PhD in arts and humanities from UT Dallas. He is the author of more than 20 books, including Texas Blues: The Rise of a Contemporary Sound, and Stompin' at the Savoy: The Story of Norma Miller. His book Osceola: Memories of a Sharecropper's Daughter won first place in the New York Book Festival (Children's Non-Fiction), a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor, and an Orbis Pictus Honor from the National Council of Teachers of English. The off-Broadway premiere of his musical "Blind Lemon Blues," co-created with fellow UT Dallas graduate Akin Babatunde, received rave reviews in The New York Times and Variety.

United States Sen. Simon Guggenheim and his wife established the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 1925 as a memorial to a son who passed away. The foundation offers fellowships to further the development of scholars and artists by assisting them to engage in research in any field of knowledge and creation in any of the arts, under the freest possible conditions and irrespective of race, color, or creed.

The successful Guggenheim Fellowship candidates were chosen from a group of about 3,000 applicants.


Dale Brimer
MS '10-Healthcare Management
MS '09-Finance, Accounting and Information Management and Supply Chain Management
MS '08-Information Technology and Management and MA ‘08-International Management Studies
MS '07-Management and Administrative Sciences
MBA '06

After receiving eight master’s degrees from UT Dallas, Dale Brimer is leaving the classroom and working to make his business plan a reality.

After receiving eight master's degrees from UT Dallas, Dale Brimer is leaving the classroom and working to make his business plan a reality.

For 45-year-old Dale Brimer, it started with a class. That led to more classes.

And more classes. Until finally, Brimer recently completed almost every master's level degree the UT Dallas School of Management offers.

The first time he stepped onto campus in 2005, Brimer was newly out of a job and fresh out of ideas on what to do after a 20-year career in IT for Texas Instruments, Eastman Kodak Co. and Ericsson Inc. “I went back to school to figure out what I should do with the rest of my life,” he said.

In one of Brimer's first Cohort MBA classes, aging and health care were the hot topics.

As a baby boomer with aging parents, Brimer became “obsessed” with how to make a business out of providing health care to seniors. “What they learn in this class is how to be cogent in thought and word and writing,” explained Professor Charles Hazzard, who co-teaches “Contemporary Business Issues” with Dr. Larry Redlinger. But, Brimer said, “I also became woefully aware of how little I knew.” So, said Brimer, he approached big-box firms that quoted him million-dollar price tags for feasibility studies.

"I was too poor to hire someone to do my business plan, so I had no choice but to try and figure out how to do it myself,” he said. That might have meant assembling a dream team of professionals with backgrounds in finance, accounting, marketing and business another expensive proposition. Instead, Brimer “thought that even though I might not be able to do all these things at the time, most were subjects offered at SOM. So I took the course list, looked at what was offered and started to take classes.”

Though his academic endeavors have resulted in a variety of degrees over the years business administration, finance, accounting and information management, supply chain management, information technology and management, health care management, international management studies, management and administrative sciences Brimer remained committed to just one project.

The venture? An all-inclusive, five-star, combination surgical facility and hotel in Belize. The $50 million project will start by offering bariatric and cosmetic surgery and eventually, all types of surgeries. The goal, explained Brimer, is delivering better quality health care at a lower price.

Brimer’s feasibility study of the resort examines every aspect, from financials to the first-floor layout.

Brimer's feasibility study of the resort examines every aspect, from financials to the first-floor layout.

As for next steps, Brimer, who has two bachelor's degrees from Texas A&M University, is meeting with investors that he's partnered with through faculty at SOM. “If we could rate all the students we've had in our Contemporary Business Issues class, Dale would be in the top five,” Hazzard said.

The appreciation is mutual, as Brimer has volunteered as a teaching assistant for SOM for the last several years.

The eight diplomas to his name raise a question: Will there be more? “I'm auditing a class this summer in entrepreneurial finance and going forward, I’m only going to take one class here and there, just like a refresher," Brimer said. "What I did here wasn't special. Anyone can do it. All I did was stick around for four years."
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