Student Spotlight: Jackson Parker

Photo of Jackson Parker sitting in a chair

Student Spotlight: Jackson Parker


After attending USAO for a short time, Jackson Parker transferred to Rose State College where he received an associate’s degree in theatre. Parker returned to USAO after taking a year off due to his uncertainty of his future education. That uncertainty was eradicated when Parker began corresponding with Katie Davis, professor of theatre arts. A week later, Parker attended a show put on by the USAO theatre department at the invitation of a close friend. Parker still considers Davis to be his mentor in theatre studies.

“She has worked with me since I got here and we can regularly have conversations that relate to our personal likes and dislikes which exemplifies the strong, individualistic student-professor relationship that a small university like USAO offers,” said Parker.

Parker discusses the uniqueness of USAO and why future Drovers should consider enrolling and exploring the wide variety of required courses that are particular to the liberal arts institution.

“USAO broadens students’ horizons and expands their ways of seeing the world. I think it really gives them the opportunity to obtain more knowledge than any other university’s courses could offer,” said Parker.

Since his re-enrollment at USAO, Parker has grown personally through his acting abilities and continues to expand the depths of his knowledge of theatre by communicating with other students.

“I meet diverse people at USAO which broadens my worldly view. These unique people have completely different lives compared to mine and I find that truly fascinating,” said Parker. 

Parker chose to continue his education in theatre arts because of his passion for imagination and storytelling. He admits that he also has a love for writing but has met with complications. Parker suffers from dyslexia which sometimes halts his ability to write; however, he is not deterred.

“Dyslexia forces me to be organized, and, even though it may be organized chaos sometimes, there is always a method to the madness. Because I love to write, dyslexia only pushes me to further work through my difficulty,” said Parker.

In addition to his passion for writing, Parker currently works on campus in the cafeteria and does freelance work in videography and acting.

“As a student who has been to other colleges, USAO offers an experience you won’t get at any other university. From a theatre major’s standpoint, USAO structures the drama curriculum around the individual student in contrast to other university theatre departments that are built around the profits made at the box office,” said Parker.

After graduation, Parker’s plans include attending graduate school at Oxford University, where his father spent a semester. Later, he may pursue a professorship and continue his education in theatre arts.