University of South Florida

College of The Arts

University of South Florida

Jackson Haborak Receives Fulbright Award

Jackson Haborak standing on one hand in a dance position.

The University of South Florida’s College of The Arts is pleased to announce that Jackson Haborak has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program award to study for a Master of Arts in Contemporary Theatre and Dance Dramaturgy at Utrecht University in the Netherlands starting next fall. In addition to completing his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance this semester, Jackson is also a student in the Judy Genshaft Honors College where his culminating project was a video documentary called Dancing Through.

Jackson is a creative artist and researcher whose multi-dimensional focus has earned him many accolades throughout his educational journey at the University of South Florida. He is an accomplished dance scholar and choreographer who explores issues of identity and disenfranchised communities through solo and group choreography. He uses dance not only as an art form but also as an avenue for critical inquiry of important issues in contemporary society.

Jackson spent a semester abroad studying dance in Paris where he lived, worked, and performed. He has volunteered at the city of Savannah Pride events and participated in community outreach with the Tampa City Ballet. Jackson has served as a resident and intern for the Joffrey Ballet School, where he shared his passion and love for dance and aerial acrobatics with incoming students in Las Vegas.

Michael Foley, Professor of Dance and Fulbright Scholar Recipient states, "Jackson’s enrollment in the USF Dance in Paris Semester Program last year was where I saw him truly blossom as a creative artist and a researcher. During the 17-week program, he worked with some of the finest teachers/choreographers in the European dance scene, as well as dance scholars who nurtured his research endeavors with historically marginalized dance communities. It was through his study abroad experience that I believe Jackson found a deeper sense of his own self-worth and utility, which bodes well for his future as a global artist/scholar. The USF dance faculty is incredibly proud of Jackson for being such an extraordinary ambassador for our program."

As a choreographer, dance has been the language that Jackson has used to confront homophobia and interrogate societal expectations regarding gender and sexuality. His studies at Utrecht will allow him to engage in the kind of research where history, politics, culture, and social issues intersect, while centering dance as a facilitator for social change in the LGBTQ+ community. Pursuing this MA is a part of Jackson’s professional and creative journey toward using dance for activism and social change.

Jackson will also receive the Dance Medicine & Science certificate this spring. As a testament to his research and scholarship, he was invited to present his capstone project at the 42nd Annual Performing Arts Medicine Association International Symposium in London this July.

Dr. Jenny Kokai, Director of the School of Theatre & Dance comments, “Jackson is an outstanding student who brings a clear point of view and perspective to his work in Dance, but moreover, has fully taken advantage of the time at USF to explore diverse interests.”

Jackson worked on his Fulbright application for about a year and a half with the USF Office of National Scholars (ONS) and Fulbright Student Program Advisor Lauren Chambers. “We are thrilled to hear the news that Jackson has been awarded a Fulbright for graduate study in the Netherlands. As a College of the Arts and Judy Genshaft Honors College student, he is the epitome of what the Fulbright U.S. Student Program represents – scholarly, collegial, creative and dedicated,” said Chambers. “We are so proud of him and his accomplishments at USF and cannot wait to see how studying contemporary theatre and dance dramaturgy at Utrecht University prepares him for the next chapter in his dance career.”

About the University of South Florida Office of National Scholars:

The Office of National Scholars identifies, recruits and mentors high achieving students to apply for nationally prestigious awards across all disciplines. The scholarships and fellowships are for creative, motivated and academically strong students who are leaders in and out of the classroom.

About the Fulbright U.S. Student Program:

The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the U.S. Congress to the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Participating governments and host institutions, corporations and foundations in foreign countries and in the United States also provide direct and indirect support. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. The Program operates in over 155 countries worldwide. The Fulbright U.S. Student Program is administered by the Institute of International Education.