In the Loop
Student Stories : May 25, 2015

Itarah Godbolt receives Dr. J. Michael Rollo Diversity Impact Award

By Tyler McLennan

In April 2015, Itarah Godbolt (FABA Dance '15) was honored as a 2015 Dr. J. Michael Rollo Diversity Award recipient. The award honors Dr. Rollo, a former staff member in the Dean of Students Office who worked for 20 years to diversify the student body at UF. The award seeks to recognize students who demonstrate leadership and inspire others to commit to creating a more diverse and inclusive community.

Visiting Assistant Professor Trent D. Williams, Jr. nominated Godbolt for the award in recognition of her contribution and support of multiple communities both on and off campus.

“I could tell from conversations that Itarah would be a great fit for this award," said Williams. "She does so much for the community inside and outside of the School of Theatre + Dance.” 

In addition to her contributions to the UF community such as working on productions like Dance 2015 and assisting with Swamp Dance Fest!, Godbolt also dedicates her time to the greater Gainesville community. Godbolt volunteers with the Micanopy Tutoring Program twice a week for five hours, tutoring students who come from low socioeconomic backgrounds and troubled homes. She serves as a mentor and tutor for students ranging in age from elementary to high school.

“The issues of education for people of low socioeconomic income hits close to home for me,” Godbolt said. “I can remember what it's like.”

Godbolt shares about diversity and community through dance. “I let the students know I’m a dancer and what it means to be a dancer,” Godbolt said. “I take dance to them by talking about it and actually performing. I share through dance.”

In the past, Godbolt has also traveled to New Orleans where she spent a week teaching children about nutrition and how to keep themselves healthy.

Godbolt’s post-graduation plans include traveling to the American Dance Festival in North Carolina in June and returning to the School of Theatre + Dance in July to work as rehearsal director for Swamp Dance Fest!