2015 IGDAF Women in Games Ambassadors

We are very pleased to present our inaugural round of IGDAF Intel Scholars. To read about their experiences at GDC 2015, click here.

Jennifer Allaway is an undergraduate student of Sociology at Willamette University, a game writer, and an independent social researcher whose primary body of work focuses on sexism in the game industry and its impact on game content and culture. Her groundbreaking study exploring these topics has been presented at the GDC 2014, PAX Prime 2014, and Indie Game Con 2014, with articles published in Gamasutra and Jezebel. She is currently working on a Roleplay website set to launch in June. Read about Jennifer Allaway’s experience in her own words.

AndiBakerAndi Baker is finishing her final year at DigiPen Institute of Technology, where she is earning her Bachelor of Science in Computer Science in Real-Time Interactive Simulation. She enjoys both playing and creating video games and has worked on several student projects as both a producer and programmer. She is currently interning at Monolith as an Assistant Producer and is always looking for opportunities to gain more knowledge and experience in her field.

Miranda BradleyMiranda Bradley is a graduate student at the Georgia Institute of Technology studying Computer Science. She’s been an active part of the gaming community at Tech, working on both art and code on a variety of projects. She joined the Georgia Tech Game studio in 2014 and was a part of their first release, ElectroTerrestrials (available for iPad). Miranda started her career as an artist, graduating from the Savannah College of Art and Design with a BFA in animation. She left school with a taste of what it could mean to combine art and code and was determined to learn more. After a year of freelancing and learning to code through making games, she decided to go back to school. She’s currently interning at Adult Swim games and prototyping a new project for the GT Game Studio. Read about Miranda Bradley’s experience in her own words.

Jessica BullJessica Bull is an avid gamer, who loves all aspects of game development. From concepting to producing and marketing. She has recently completed an Advanced Diploma in Professional Game Development at Academy of Interactive Entertainment (AIE) in Sydney, specialising in Environment Art. With her team, she was also awarded Most Impressive Advanced Diploma Game Project for their game “Wholey Moley.” Jessica lives and breathes what she does. Participating in: local and global game jams, putting together social events for AIE students, attending many IGDA events that take her up and down the coast of Australia and volunteering in the marketing department for AIE. She is currently a Certificate teacher at AIE and continues her passion for game production. She is also in talks to release mobile games in the near future. She is about to embark upon a production and marketing certificate to continue to push the games she loves to make and play. Read about Jessica Bull’s experience in her own words.

BethanyDeRight_HeadshotBethany DeRight is a recent graduate of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online Division, obtaining her BS in Game Art and Design. Her passion for art and character design has nailed several freelance opportunities, but no job has been more rewarding than helping others, particularly women, in this growing industry. Bethany spearheaded the AiPOD’s national chapter of IGDA, where she spent time as the elected President, Guest Speaker Coordinator, and Lead Concept Artist. She believes in the spirit of community service, igniting the same passion for games, creativity, and teamwork in others. This inspired Bethany to begin making her own mobile games that promote teamwork and unity. Through local volunteer efforts, Bethany has worked to give youth and minorities a chance at learning new skills through code, art, and playing games. One of Bethany’s goals is to bring positive gaming culture to the forefront of the industry by promoting women, youth, and minorities. In her spare time, Bethany enjoys hiking, working on her novel, and writing about anything-and-everything geek chic for Marooners’ Rock. Read about Bethany DeRight’s experience in her own words.

Elaine GomezElaine Gomez is a graduate student in the Interactive Media and Games Division at the University of Southern California. She is passionate about diversity and inclusion. She believes that being mindful of social struggles and actively taking part in tearing down negative cycles is the only way to truly bring about change. She is interested in intersecting social issues, game studies research, and game design to create unique and out of the box characters and worlds. Her goal is to own a diverse game studio and obtain a PhD in game studies to teach mindful game design at a graduate level.

Caroline GuevaraCaroline Guevara is a graduate student at Drexel University. The subject of her research is designing an activist game that conveys the underlying causes of Latino immigration in order to foster empathy. She is working towards her M.S. in Digital Media and wants to make a positive impact in the world by educating people on complex topics. Her goal is to keep working on these kinds of educational activist games in hopes to reach as many people as possible through immersive and creative gameplay. Read about Caroline Guevara’s experience in her own words.

Isabella HenriquesIsabelle Henriques is a videogame producer and graduate student at the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy at the University of Central Florida. Prior to her studies in the United States, Isabelle worked in the technology industry in Latin America. Despite her youth, in her first five years as a professional she worked as a Business Manager at Intel, led the Online Marketing activities for the Brazilian market at Electronic Arts, and produced the full Brazilian portfolio of applications for the Windows Phone Marketplace. During this productive period she earned several prestigious awards, including a 2011 award for the Best Channel Marketing Manager for Intel Latin America. Now with an eye towards broadening her career and pursuing her true passion, she is earning a Master’s degree in Game Production. A true believer in the transformative power of games, she eventually aspires to create games that change people’s perspective on life, the universe and everything.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESJess Hider is an undergraduate Computer Arts student at Abertay University specialising in animation. Her honours project is exploring her favourite aspect of game animations, bringing life and believability to the character. Even outside of her studies, she is immersed in game development. Her latest project, Seek, began as part of the international gaming competition Dare to be Digital with team Five Pixels, where it won the Artistic Achievement Award. It has since had BETA release on Android, picked up the TIGA 2014 ‘Best Student Game’ award and will soon be fully released on iOS. Read about Jess Hider’s experience in her own words.

headshot_Farah_KhalafFarah Khalaf is currently in her second year of completing a Bachelor of Design in Digital Design (Major) and Game Design (Minor), at Auckland University of Technology. After playing Uncharted 2 a few years back, Farah was inspired to look into game development and since then has become immensely passionate about learning and doing everything game development related. Farah enjoys helping out at local game development events in her area such as Global Game Jam, and Digital Nationz. Her plans after her studies is to open her own studio in Auckland. When not studying, working or playing video games, she likes to skate, box, and go for runs. Read about Farah Khalaf’s experience in her own words.

Jaclyn HuchelJaclyn Huchel is a passionate level designer, avid gamer, and a graduate student of Southern Methodist University Guildhall. She has a background in animation and film-making, which helps accentuate the designs in herwork. She focuses on designing levels incorporating verticality, challenge, and environmental storytelling. Her favorite part of level design is creating events that take players off guard and really make an impact in their game experience. Her thesis is focused on the process of designing a combat experience in an environment that emphasizes verticality. Read about Jaclyn Huchel’s experience in her own words.

gaylen MaloneGaylen Malone is currently an undergraduate senior at the Savannah College of Art and Design’s campus in Atlanta, Georgia. Working towards her B.F.A. in Interactive Design and Game Development, she has a thirst for knowledge that spans across many aspects of game design, and enjoys helping others in the game design community. She thrives on the creative environment that is fostered by working in teams, and has plentiful experience being the lead programmer and art director on many student projects, though she prefers to focus on 3D environment art. Gaylen looks forward to finishing school and pursuing a career she is deeply passionate about.

Sarah MassageeSarah Massagee is an animation major at Chattahoochee Technical College. Her specialty is rigging within the games industry. She also started an organization with the Georgia Game Developer’s Association called Advancement of Women in Gaming, which she is also the president of. Sarah was one of the managers at the Smite World Championship and is super invested in the world of E-Sports. She was also the philanthropy chair of her sorority, and started a game tournament to raise funds for the philanthropy, Autism Speaks. She can be found streaming from time to time and expressing her nerd rage on the internets. Read about Sarah Massagee’s experience in her own words.

Andrea MoralesAndrea Morales Coto is a strategic designer with a special interest in how games’ systematic impact is shaped by distribution chains. She is pursuing an MFA degree in Transdisciplinary Design at Parsons. Before coming to New York she worked as a marketer and transmedia creator for international brands and helped found the first interaction design graduate school in Central America. Her past creative endeavors have also been selected at the Nordic Creative Commons Film Festival. She wishes to bring design thinking and service design to the games industry as part of her efforts to explore the middle ground between the virtual and the AFK.

AshleyNicollette_ProfileAshley Nicollette is a senior Animation student at DePaul University. Ashley has worked in the industry since she was a freshman and has shipped on over fourteen titles from various Chicagoland studios. For her senior year, Ashley is exploring non-profit development: she works as a fellow at the Game Changer Lab, where she creates youth-targeted games that examine health and social issues. Ashley also researches the minority disparity in media as an ELLA Fellow at the Sadie Nash Leadership Project. Her analysis will be launched as the satirical video series, “Cardboard Horde”. When not working, Ashley can be found faithfully attending Pathfinder sessions or playing fetch with her cat.

Sharon ohSharon Oh is an animator and illustrator currently majoring in Animation and minoring in Game Design at the University of Southern California. Her interests range from sewing cute dresses to thinking of new games to make with her roommate at 4 in the morning. However, Sharon’s passions are mainly centered around storytelling, character design, and critically analyzing her favorite mediums until people question if she really like them to begin with. When she isn’t heated up about animation or games, she is probably crying about cute dogs, bugs, and bad movies. But there is a large chance she is crying over all three of those things at once. Read about Sharon Oh’s experience in her own words.

Shirley ParkShirley Park is a writer, user experience designer, and graduate student at Carnegie Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Center. She holds a BA in Computer Science from the University of Virginia, with a minor in Media Studies. Shirley has worked on games for many platforms, including Oculus, Epson Smart Glass, Eyegaze and Kinect, and has written for many different mediums, from prose to screenplays. Currently, she is working as writer and creative lead on Cat Scratch, an interactive story for the Kindle Fire. Read about Shirley Park’s experience in her own words.

Kathryn PultoskiKatie Pustolski is currently a senior at the Rochester Institute of Technology pursuing a BSc in Game Design and Development and a minor in Psychology. She has many interests including web development, 3D modeling, and, of course, game design. In addition, she is currently a member of the Alpha Xi Delta women’s fraternity chapter at her school and part of her school’s Gymnastics Club e-board. In her spare time enjoys rock climbing, watching movies, and reading. Read about Kathryn Pultoski’s experience in her own words.

Cara RicciCara Ricci recently graduated from Cogswell College’s Game Design and Development program. Her core training in liberal arts from Mills inspires her to create more games that discuss sociological issues and promote empathy in others. Recently, Cara has been researching graduate programs, volunteering for technology related conventions and conferences, and developing both tabletop and digital games. She loves discussion and collaborating with others on anything from art to design mechanics, so don’t hesitate to say hi! Read about Cara Ricci’s experience in her own words.

Maria Saint MartinMaria Saint Martin is a game designer and artist originally from Mexico City. She’s currently in her last semester of the Game Design masters program in NYU. She’s worked in several indie game companies in Mexico City and New York City doing art, design, or both for games ranging from action platformers, to educational apps, and tactical strategy games. She’s currently working in Turbo Studios as a game designer. Her main career goal is to create meaningful experiences through games.

Zoe SamsZoë Sams is an aspiring programmer and technical artist, currently studying for an MSc in Computer Animation and Visual Effects at Bournemouth University. Her passion lies in combining art and code, with some of her favourite projects being real-time simulations, character rigs, and interactive installations. In July 2014, Zoë graduated from Abertay University with an Honours degree in Computer Games Technology. She is dedicated to her hobbies too, being awarded Most Valuable Member from the University of Abertay Dundee Dance Team for her work in charge of Tech and PR. Currently, Zoë is volunteering with the BU Games Development Society, organizing workshops and talks. Read about Zoe Sams’ experience in her own words.

Lauren ScanlanLauren Scanlan is a MBA candidate at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (formerly the Monterey Institute of International Studies), focusing in Localization Management. Her main area of interest is media localization, especially game localization, and her goal is to find ways to make localization as efficient as possible while ensuring the high quality of the original doesn’t get (as they say) lost in translation. She speaks fluent Japanese and basic Korean, and has mastered food vocabulary in both. When she is not studying, she’s a freelance manga proofreader, plays JRPGs, and avidly watches the South Korean variety show Running Man. Lauren recently helped develop the International Ambassador program for GDC 2015, and is looking forward to the international, multicultural environment that is GDC. Read about Lauren Scanlan’s experience in her own words.

Bobbi SchultzBobbi Schultz is a Senior undergraduate at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois in Interactive Media with concentrations in game design and computer science. She holds AA degrees in both game design and computer science and will earn her BS in Interactive Media with a computer science minor in May 2015. Bobbi has worked in serious games professionally for the last two years, and will be publishing a much-anticipated card game in mid 2015, internationally. She has been making games for the last 28 years, and strives to create games that not only entertain, but also educate or raise awareness. Upon graduation, she plans to found an LLC to release analog games as well as mobile. In her spare time, she makes games and analyzes vintage games as well. Read about Bobbi Schultz’s experience in her own words.

Mariana SteffenMariana Steffen is a senior year translation student who will be getting her degree as a Literary Translator from Universidad de Montevideo, in Uruguay. Her goal is to continue her studies into achieving a Masters Degree on Audiovisual Translation with a focus on the localization of videogames. Currently she is working on preparing a workshop for fellow University students and videogame professionals from Uruguay on the process of game localization. The workshop will be held as a complement to the LOCJam2. Her professional long-term goal is to help build on solid foundations the Uruguayan game development market by explaining to clients how relevant the localization process is. Read about Mariana Steffen’s experience in her own words.

Sai TSamantha “Sai” Timmermann is a 3D Environment Artist and a senior in the undergraduate Media Arts & Science program at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. She is an active member of her local SIGGRAPH and ACM-W chapters and is the president of her IGDA academic chapter. Most recently she organized the Indianapolis site for the 2015 Global Game Jam. Before attending IUPUI, Sai received her AAS in Digital Media from Parkland College. She has two cats, loves the Nancy Drew games, and is a defender of the Oxford comma.

Carol Torres GonzalezCarol Torres is a third-year Game Art and Design student studying at Ringling College of Art and Design. Growing up with videogames since the age of 3, she slowly became passionate with this interactive medium’s potential for enhancing traits such as empathy, teamwork, curiosity and perseverance through carefully crafted experiences. As a game artist, she aims to find innovative ways to enhance these meaningful experiences through the use of shapes, colors, movements, and sounds. She now works on the preproduction of her senior thesis, and is excited to meet the challenges that await after graduation. Her passions include storytelling, music, creature sound effects and Puerto Rican cooking. Read about Carol Torres Gonzalez’s experience in her own words.

Hannah WalkerHannah Walker was born the seventh of nine children to trekkies, it was only natural that she would become obsessed with aliens. As a result, when she saw Independence Day at the age of eight she decided that if she wanted to save the world from aliens she would have to attend MIT. She attended MIT hoping to major in planet saving, but ended up settling for a B.S in Computer Science and Engineering. However, Hannah still gets her heroism fix by playing various games (both board and video). Currently, she is attending the Denius-Sams Gaming Academy at UT Austin. There she is learning more about leadership and how to apply her technical skills and propensity for problem solving to leading a team of developers. She loves working on games because she believes it is the art medium best suited for bringing people together, and while her passions mainly lie in coding, she does spend a large portion of her time creating worlds with aliens and other fantastical creatures through writing and game design. Read about Hannah Walker’s experience in her own words.

Minni WiitalaMinni Wiitala is a digital media student specializing in game production. In addition to game projects, she has volunteered for many organizations, such as IGDA Finland, SLUSH, Ludum Dare and FGJ, to produce game jams and game industry events. Her future goals include leading large development teams. Read about Minni Wiitala’s experience in her own words.

Not pictured: Rachél Bazelais