Jennifer Jacobs, assistant professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance has been elected to the board of directors for The United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT). Founded in 1960 as an organization to promote dialogue, research, and learning among practitioners of theatre design and technology, today the institute has grown to include members at all levels of their careers and has embraced the new technologies being used in entertainment. USITT is now the leader in life-long learning opportunities for the entertainment design and technology industry.
“As a member of USITT, and as a member of the board of directors, I am honored to help shape the future of those conversations that move us forward into the changing landscape of our industry,” said Jacobs. Directors are charged with the responsibility to advise, govern, oversee policy and direction, and assist with the leadership and general promotion of the institution so as to support its mission and needs. “My personal aim is to keep issues of equality, diversity, and inclusion at the forefront of all progress and change made within the institute, as well as advancing scholarship and demarginalization within my field of expertise.”
As a costume designer and educator, Jacobs maintains that the study of costumes is a uniquely human endeavor, involving psychology, sociology, and art history. She has sought out new forms of pedagogy, informed teaching strategies, and course design. As a new member of the USITT board, Jacobs hopes to encourage research and creative endeavors that “break from traditional, sometimes confining forms of learning to more applied and interdisciplinary techniques.”
In her 40 years of being a theatre artist, 30 years of professional work in the industry, and now in her sixth year of academic work, Jacobs feels strongly that what theatre artists do collaboratively and bravely is of vital importance to society and humanity. “My greatest hope is that we can continue to push the study of theatre as immensely valuable learning.”