Jeret Hackbarth

When his high school English teacher at the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind asked who would like to make a movie for a major class project, Jeret Hackbarth’s hand shot up. During the project, his teacher recognized his acting, directing and editing abilities and encouraged him to attend RIT to study film and animation. 

Hackbarth, 23, originally from Irvine, California, enrolled at RIT, but his interests have taken him in a different direction. A Web Production major in the Visual Communications Studies program, Hackbarth feels the major offers him many opportunities. 

“My program is so creative,” he says. “I’m learning many new things about the potential of computers. I chose RIT because it has the technology that helps me specialize and offers deaf students the opportunity and support to take advanced courses in different technologies.” 

Hackbarth also is drawn to the performing arts which have been an important part of his RIT experience.

“I started acting because I was a little bored, then I discovered I had a knack for it,” he says. “I like being someone different. Being onstage in front of an audience allows me to be a storyteller.”

Hackbarth has appeared in NTID performances of Macbeth, in which he held the title role, The Crucible, The Elephant Man and Noises Off! He earned an NTID Performing Arts Scholarship for 2007-2008, and was awarded the Elizabeth Williams Scholarship in the Performing Arts for the following year.

When he’s not studying or rehearsing, Hackbarth enjoys socializing with friends, making videos, taking photos and being outdoors.

While he’s not sure what the future will hold, Hackbarth is sure that his web production skills will help him get a good job. For now, he sees RIT as a second home.

“I have lived both in the dorms and in an apartment and have made a lot of friends here who support me. RIT is a good place to live and experience life on my own.”

This story appeared in the Fall/Winter 2009 issue of FOCUS Magazine.

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