Dance Alumna named Fulbright Scholar

Published: November 05, 2012 | Read Time: 2 minutes

Accomplished dancer, choreographer and former SUU student Jessica Metcalf is the proud recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship for postgraduate students.  Metcalf will study at London’s University of Roehampton and plans to explore the historical, social and cultural impact of dance on society.

A native of Salt Lake City, Metcalf graduated summa cum laude from Southern Utah University in 2008 with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Dance Performance.  While at SUU, she choreographed a number of dynamic dance pieces and was awarded five academic and talent-related scholarships. She was also selected as the outstanding scholar for the School of Performing and Visual arts.

In the years before and after her studies at SUU, Jessie traveled the world as a professional cruise ship dancer for Holland America and Carnival Cruise Lines. She continues to follow her passion for dance by teaching at various private studios in the Salt Lake Valley and volunteers as a choreography instructor for the Bingham High School musical theatre department.

The Fulbright Scholarship Program is the nation’s flagship international exchange scholarship program, promoting the goals of academic excellence and cultural understanding in 155 other countries around the world. Through its scholarship awards program, Fulbright aims to “generate a deeper understanding of the differing cultures and peoples of the world,” as described by its founder, the late Senator William Fulbright.

Fulbright remains the only organization offering scholarships for study or research in any field, at any accredited United States of United Kingdom university. Exchange programs vary in terms of level and field of study, from the Distinguished Chair Awards for senior-level academics to postgraduate and undergraduate student awards.

When receiving the news of Jessie’s Fulbright Scholarship, Shauna Mendini, Dean of the College of Performing and Visual Arts, remarked, “Jessie’s achievement is a great honor not only for her but for SUU and our College. Our faculty strive to prepare students to meet opportunities as they arise; a Fulbright Scholarship presents an exceptional prospect.  I wish Jessie a great year abroad and I know that a rewarding future awaits her.”

Southern Utah University’s College of Performing and Visual Arts is composed of nationally accredited departments of Art and Design, Music, Theatre Arts and Dance and the newly added Center for Shakespeare Studies. The College offers 16 different areas of focus for bachelor of arts and science degrees, as well as a Master of Fine Arts in Arts Administration graduate program.

Each year, the College hosts 100 performances, lectures, presentations and exhibitions. Its affiliate organizations include the Braithwaite Fine Arts Gallery, American Folk Ballet, the Utah Shakespeare Festival and the SUU Ballroom Dance Company.

For more information about the College of Performing and Visual Arts, please contact the Office of the Dean at 435-865-8561, or via email at

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