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ESA Foundation Awards 30 Scholarships to Aspiring Game Developers


$90,000 Granted to Women and Minority Students

– WASHINGTON, DC – The Entertainment Software Association Foundation (ESAF) today awarded scholarships to 30 women and minority students for the 2012-2013 academic year to pursue computer and video game-related degrees. The recipients include graduating high school seniors and college students currently enrolled full-time at accredited four-year colleges and universities.

"We are proud to support these outstanding students as they follow their academic and professional dreams,” said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of ESA, the trade association that represents U.S. computer and video game publishers. “By providing access to critical education and technical skills, the scholarship program helps to cultivate young, ambitious game developers and future leaders of our industry. These scholarship recipients represent the next generation of innovative thinkers, who will create games and technologies that will drive our industry’s continued growth and success.”

Each student will receive $3,000 toward a degree that will prepare them for employment in the evolving entertainment software industry. Academic and artistic concentrations among this year’s scholarship recipients represent almost all aspects of video game development: graphic design, computer science, animation, programming, digital entertainment and software engineering.

The diversity of these concentrations underscores the marked increase in post-secondary courses and programs related to game development. In fact, 381 American colleges, universities, art and trade schools offer courses, professional certificates, undergraduate or graduate degrees in video game design, development and programming. The proliferation of these academic programs affirms the demand for diverse, creative and qualified personnel in the highly prosperous video game industry.

About the ESA Foundation

The ESAF was created by the American entertainment software industry to provide opportunities that make a difference in the lives of America’s youth. The Foundation is fully supported by proceeds from its limited edition charity game pack’s sales and “A Nite to Unite for Kids,” its annual fund-raiser. For more information about the ESAF, please visit

please see below for a full list of scholarship winners.


Harika Adivikolanu
Hometown: San Ramon, CA
Institution: Arizona State University
Major: Applied Computer Science

Rahel Badee-Thomas
Hometown: Detroit, MI
Institution: Savannah College of Art and Design
Major: Animation Arts & Design

Catherine Bailey
Hometown: Portland, OR
Institution: Ringling College of Art and Design
Major: Computer Animation

Mary Burbridge
Hometown: Campbell Hall, NY
Institution: Champlain College
Major: Game Art & Animation

Jesse Chand
Hometown: Lodi, NJ
Institution: University of Southern California
Major: Computer Science, Game Development Specialization

Sabrina Chaney
Hometown: Spring, TX
Institution: Savannah College of Art and Design
Major: Animation

William Connors III
Hometown: Norwalk, CT
Institution: Stanford University
Major: Computer Science & Engineering

Lindsay Corriveau
Hometown: Lake George, NY
Institution: Messiah College
Major: Film/Digital Media

Kevin Haro
Hometown: Yakima, WA
Institution: Yakima Valley Community College
Major: Computer Science

Javier Heard
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Institution: DeVry University
Major: Game & Simulation Programming

Eileen Heilsnis
Hometown: Apex, NC
Institution: Savannah College of Art and Design
Major: Visual Effects

Angel Hernandez
Hometown: Orange, CA
Institution: University of California-Irvine
Major: Computer Science

Kristin Jarrett
Hometown: Buena Park, CA
Institution: California State University-Fullerton
Major: 3-D Modeling & Animation

Jackie Kan
Hometown: San Jose, CA
Institution: Otis College of Art and Design
Major: Digital Media

Kim Krueger
Hometown: Port Washington, WI
Institution: University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Major: Media Arts & Design

Jordan Kunzika
Hometown: Hartford, CT
Institution: Dartmouth College
Major: Computer Science

Nicole Maiorano
Hometown: Redmond, WA
Institution: DigiPen Institute of Technology
Major: Animation & Game Design

Valerie Malcomb
Hometown: Elkins, WV
Institution: Marshall University
Major: Computer & Information Sciences, Software Development and Game Programming Concentrations

Ashley Miller
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Institution: DePaul University
Major: Computer Games Development

Marissa Morgan
Hometown: Climax, MI
Institution: Western Michigan University
Major: Computer Science & Arts

Anna Nguyen
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Institution: Drexel University
Major: Game Art

Daniel Oliveira
Hometown: Wellington, FL
Institution: DigiPen Institute of Technology
Major: Real-Time Interactive Simulation

Emily Russo
Hometown: Uniontown, OH
Institution: Kent State University
Major: Animation & Game Design

Elaine Slezewski
Hometown: Green Bay, WI
Institution: University of Wisconsin-Stout
Major: Game Design & Development

Eric Smith
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Institution: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Major: Computer Science

Shayna Strong
Hometown: Medina, TN
Institution: Middle Tennessee State University
Major: Electronic Media Communication

Stephanie Verish
Hometown: Brookfield, WI
Institution: Ringling College of Art and Design
Major: Computer Animation

Angelita Wylie
Hometown: Folsom, CA
Institution: California State University-Chico
Major: Game Art & Animation

Steffi Yavar
Hometown: Miami, FL
Institution: Savannah College of Art and Design
Major: Animation & Game Design

Christine Yi
Hometown: South Pasadena, CA
Institution: California College of the Arts
Major: Animation


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