THIS SITE

Information for

You are here

Alumni

Kent Aardse

Kent Aardse

English Language and Literature

Kent Aardse was a PhD Candidate in English Department at the University of Waterloo and a research assistant for The Games Institute. His research focuses on humans as fundamentally technological beings, paying particular attention to the intersection between digital technology and literature.

Sultan Alharthi

Computer Science and Psychology

Through an activity theory approach, Sultan's focus was to understand urban search & rescue teams' activity and training to design game mechanics and interfaces in simulation games. The aim of this simulation game was to improve urban search & rescue teams' sensemaking and planning skills. Sultan was involved in multiple research areas of HCI including: mixed reality games, serious games, augmented and virtual reality games, gesture based interaction games, and idle games.

Karina Arrambide

Systems Design Engineering

Karina is a Ph.D. student pursuing a degree in Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo, under the supervision of Dr. Lennart Nacke. She holds an MSc in Information Technology with Business and Management from the University of Sussex in the UK, and a BSc in Information Technology from the University of Monterrey in Mexico. Her main interests include understanding player's behaviors and emotions by applying diverse games user research methodologies, specifically biometrics such as electromyography and galvanic skin response.

Kassandra Arthur

English Language and Literature

Kasandra Arthur, HBA (Lakehead University) and MA (Lakehead University), both with a specialization in Women's Studies. Kasandra studies young adult literature, particularly the processes in which these texts are adapted to film.

Guillaume Becasier

Engineering

Guillaume Besacier was a post-doctoral fellow in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI). During his Ph.D. at the Université Paris-Sud (France), supervised by Michel Beaudouin-Lafon and Frédéric Vernier, he worked with interactive tabletop computers and designed new interaction techniques to use a tabletop more effectively and easily, while being compatible with existing WIMP interfaces. 

Alice Bao

Alice Bao

School of Environment, Enterprise and Development

Alice is doing her Masters in Sustainability Management. Her thesis aims to answer whether gamification can engage employees to advance corporate social responsibility.

Megha Bhatt

English Language and Literature

Megha Bhatt was the Winter 2014 co-op student and worked as a research programmer and communications assistant for The Games Institute. During her term she helped with various projects using different software for web designing and gaming needs.

Natalee Blagden

English Language and Literature

Natalee was a Master's student in the English Language and Literature Department at the University of Waterloo.

Kai Bornemann

Computer Science

Kai is doing his Master's in Computer Science at the Otto von Guericke University in Magdeburg (Germany). There he focuses on realtime applications, visualization, AR/VR and game development. He's also a member of Acagamics, a students game developer club and a research assistant at STIMULATE where he develops medical technology applications.

Lauren Burr

English Language and Literature

Lauren Burr is a PhD candidate in the English Department at the University of Waterloo studying locative media, augmented/alternate/hybrid realities, and pervasive games. Lauren’s recent collaborative projects include Bonfire of the Humanities, an alternate reality game designed for Congress 2012; Cytopath, an augmented reality necromedia game set in downtown Kitchener; and House of Lexia, a locative hypertext remediation of Mark Danielewski’s House of Leaves.

Nathan Chan

Nanotechnology Engineering

Nathan was an undergraduate Nanotechnology Engineering student. He helped run the Game Development Club (GDC), and is working to develop his first tabletop game, Humanity.

Betty Chang

Betty Chang

Systems Design Engineering

Betty Chang received her PhD from the department of Systems Design Engineering in the area of human-computer interaction and human factors. Her PhD work sought to improve users’ awareness of each other and of the situation when they collaborate over computer systems. She studied different technologies such as digital tabletops and multi-device environments, in various contexts including police emergency response, strategic board games, and classrooms.

Victor Cheung

Victor Cheung

Systems Design Engineering

PhD candidate from the Systems Design Engineering department at the University of Waterloo. He received his MPhil in Computer Science, B(Eng) in Computer Science Information Engineering from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Jay Chilibecki

Jay Chilibecki

Computer Science

Jay was a fifth year Computer Science undergraduate student. He is passionate about game design and creation, and worked at the Games Institute as a developer during the Winter 2014 and Summer 2015 co-op terms.

Ryan Clement

Ryan Clement

English Language and Literature

Ryan Clement (MA York University, BA Brandon University) was an English PhD candidate who studies the relationship between emergent narrative and game mechanics and the possible use of this interaction for new forms of education and intercultural communication.

Brian Cullen

Drama and Speech Communication

Brian graduated in Fine Art from the National College of Art and Design Dublin in 2000 where his interests included video and sound installation. He received an M.Phil in Music and Media Technologies from Trinity College Dublin in 2004 focusing on audio-visual composition.

Mufaddal Dairkee

Computer Science

Mufaddal was a 2B Computer Science student at the University of Waterloo, who joined the GI team to work as a Research Assistant co-op student.

Shadi Davarian

Digital Experience Innovation

Born in Tehran-Iran, as a painter and digital artist, Shadi started painting professionally in 2004. Earlier on, she used to take photos, manipulate them using computer and paint them on the canvas. Later in her career, she stopped painting on canvas and stopped using human figures in her paintings and instead, started to work with objects. She likes to show women in her digital and analog artworks to highlight the problems they are confronted with in society.

Shawn Dorey

Shawn Dorey

English Language and Literature

Shawn Dorey is a student in the Masters of Arts - Experimental Digital Media program inside of U Waterloo's English department. Coming from the University of New Brunswick, they graduated with a First Class designation for their Honours Bachelor of Arts in Media Arts and Cultures.

Judy Ehrentraut

English Language and Literature

Judy Ehrentraut is a PhD candidate researching the creation of posthuman bodies in virtual and augmented realities through technological embodiment. Her dissertation examines how VR and AR expand notions of presence through mobile smartphones and heads-up displays that physically and cognitively extend the boundaries of the body. She is a research associate at the University of Waterloo's Critical Media Lab and a resident of the Games Institute. As part of the IMMERSe network, her ongoing work involves the multimodal and interactive components of VR and AR immersion in video games.

Mahzar Eisapour

Systems Design Engineering

Mahzar was a master's student in the Systems Design Engineering department. She previously earned her bachelor's degree in Software Engineering.

Her research focuses on the design and development of virtual reality exergames to promote physical activity for people living with dementia.

Will Fast

Will Fast

English Language and Literature

Will is a PhD candidate who studies modern videogame-based iterations of Victorian England.  He is interested in better understanding historical games' abilities to productively revise and recreate elements of the past.  His current research investigates the representation of women in neo-Victorian games and their basis in the fiction of the nineteenth century.

Anda Gabriela Chitescu

Global Business and Digital Arts

Anda is a graduate from the Global Business and Digital Arts program at the University of Waterloo and is currently studying animation at Seneca College. With more than four years experience as a digital freelance artist, Anda is proficient in all applications within the Adobe Suite. Anda seeks to find ways to intersect their background in games, animation, and user experience design.

Mitchell Gordon-Habib Loewen

Psychology

Mitchell Loewen was a 4th year Knowledge Integration and Psychology Joint Honours student with a Collaborative Design Specialization at the University of Waterloo. Under the supervision of Dr. Lennart Nacke and Dr. Chris Burris, Mitchell was working on his undergraduate Psychology thesis investigating the relationship between the self and avatar creation norms in video games. Mitchell is also very passionate about game design, and is currently working with some fellow undergraduate students to publish a game they designed during Dr. Nacke’s Introduction to Game Design course.

Marim Ganaba

Digital Experience Innovation

Marim joined the Games institute as UX designer and research assistant. She recently completed her Masters in Digital Experience Innovation program at the University of Waterloo. With her skills in design and background in science, she is passionate about understanding people’s behaviour then crafting products and experiences that delight and empower them. She worked under the supervision of Dr. Nacke on various projects where she helped create intuitive solutions to complex problems. Her area of interest is in human centric design, interaction and motion design.

John Harris

John Harris

Computer Science

John Harris is a PhD student in Computer Science (BAsc. Mechatronics Engineering, UWaterloo; MSc Computer Science, UCalgary). His research focuses on the design and development of Strong Asymmetry in games as a means of promoting inclusiveness and getting more kinds of people playing together.

Jason Hawreliak

Jason Hawreliak*

Assistant Professor, Game Studies, Brock University

Jason Hawreliak received his Ph.D. in English from the University of Waterloo. His research examines rhetorics of heroism and immortality in videogames. Other research interests include multimodal rhetoric and the psychological function of digital media.

Jennie Heo

Digital Experience Innovation

Jennie Heo recently completed her Master of Digital Experience Innovation program at the University of Waterloo. With her background in BA English and M.Ed in Applied Psychology & Human Development, she is passionate about conducting user research throughout the end-to-end process of delivering human-centric products through storytelling. 

Saifuddin Hitawala

Computer Science

Saifuddin Hitawala is a Masters student at the Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo. His research interests include artificial intelligence, machine learning, database systems, network security and data structures and algorithms. 

Alex Hodge

Alexander Hodge

Research Assistant

Alexander Hodge is an audio engineer, creative technologist, and freelance software developer. He is interested in music technology in general, and especially in the way sound can influence Human-Computer Interaction.

Kaitlyn Holbein

Kaitlyn Holbein

Rhetoric and Communication Design

​Kaitlyn Holbein was a part-time Rhetoric and Communication Design MA student and full-time communications and marketing professional. She received her BA in English literature, with a minor in Sociology, from Carleton University. Kaitlyn enjoys exploring a wide range of topics in the fields of new media and game studies.

Ian Holstead

Ian Holstead

Electrical Computer Engineering

Ian was an undergraduate student in his final year of Computer Engineering. As both a gamer and a filmmaker, Ian enjoys figuring out how each discipline can draw from the other to produce better media.

Wan Hong Situ

Computer Science

Wan Hong Situ is the CTO of Invuze. He is responsible for developing the platform and leading the implementation of the applications. He was  a fourth year Honours Computer Science student at the University of Waterloo. Wan Hong Situ has extensive experienced in web and mobile development utilizing multiple frameworks.

Mahir Hoque

Fine Arts, Computer Science and Digital Art Communication

Mahir Hoque was an undergraduate student at the University of Waterloo, majoring in Fine Arts and minoring in Computer Science and Digital Art Communication. He is interested in art, design, technology and the fusion of these disciplines. 

Kelly Hornung

Kelly Hornung

School of Environment, Resources, and Sustainability

Kelly was in the process of finishing her undergraduate degree in the Faculty of Environment at the University of Waterloo, with a minor in Theatre & Performance.

Ruby Huang

Ruby Huang

Psychology

Ruby was working at the GI as the Project Coordinator for her Fall 2015 co-op term. Now entering into her third year of Honours Arts and Business at the University of Waterloo, she is pursuing a major in Psychology with minors in Human Resources Management and Digital Arts Communication.

Lesley Northam

Computer Science

Lesley Northam is a Ph.D. student in Computer Science, in the Computer Graphics Lab (CGL). She studies film language, cinematography, stereoscopic 3D and HFR. She is also interested in non-photorealistic rendering.

Wilson Kwong

Recreation and Leisure

Wilson Kwong was a co-op student for The Games Institute for fall term 2013. He is enrolled in the Recreation and Sports Business program with a minor in Computer Science and Human Resource Management. He likes to spend his free time playing video games, especially sports games (FIFA, Madden and NBA 2K). Wilson is also interested in photography and playing basketball.

Jason Lajoie

English Language and Literature

Jason Lajoie (@LudicScribbler) is a PhD candidate in English Language and Literature at the University of Waterloo. His work explores how gay identities are constructed and negotiated through media and technology in online gaming and social media. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with an Honours BA in English Literature and Theatre, and an MA in English Literature from the University of Ottawa. He has been the recipient of a Joseph-Armand Bombardier CGS Master's Scholarship, and an Ontario Graduate Scholarship.

Chris Lawrence

English Language and Literature

During my undergraduate studies at Carleton I double majored in English Literature and Linguistics, and played a lot of video games. During my Masters in English Literature at Carleton I specialized in science fiction and dystopia, and played a lot of video games. At some point I realized that I ought to combine these interests.

Pascaline Lorentz

Pascaline Lorentz

Sociology

​Pascaline Lorentz has her PhD in Sociology and is a Postdoctoral Researcher working on online gaming at the Institute for Research on Children, Youth and Family at Masaryk University in Brno, the Czech Republic.
Granted with an ENDEAVOUR Research Fellowship in 2011 she undertook a study documenting the social environment of an intense practice of virtual world attachments in Australia. 

Toby Malone

Toby Malone

Drama and Speech Communication

Toby Malone holds a B.A (Hons.) from the University of Western Australia and a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto’s Centre for Drama, Theatre, and Performance Studies. 

Sebastian Malton profile shot

Sebastian Malton

Computer Science

Sebastian Malton is an undergraduate student in the Department of Mathematics studying Computer Science and a minor in Classical Studies and a research assistant for the Games Institute and the Rhetorical Figures working group.

Christian Metaxas

Christian Metaxas

English Language and Literature

Christian is an award winning writer from Toronto. He is interested in eSports and the narrative negotiations that take place between player and game. Christian is currently studying in the Experimental Digital Media stream.

Philip Miletic

English Language and Literature

Philip Miletic is an English PhD Candidate, whose areas of interest include digital life writing and 20th-century American literature. He is the Book Reviews Editor for First Person Scholar and the Vice President of the Student Association of Graduates in English (SAGE).

Alberto Mora

Computer Science

Alberto is a Ph.D. student at the Open University Of Catalonia, Spain, under the supervision of Dr. Joan Arnedo and Dr. Carina González, and a visiting researcher at the HCI Games Group. He holds a M.Sc in education and teacher training from the University of La Rioja and he is a computer engineer from the University of La Laguna. His main interests include gamification design in the field of learning environments, as well as healthcare and wellness. His thesis is titled "A framework for agile design of gamification services".

Jagger Nast

Jagger Nast

Applied Mathematics

Jagger Nast was an undergraduate student in Applied Mathematics at the University of Waterloo looking to expand his knowledge of game design.

Amber O'Brien

English Language and Literature

Amber O’Brien is pursuing a Masters in Literary Studies. Her main area of interest is examining how narratives in science fiction and fantasy texts work to challenge and alter gender ideologies in Western societies.

Saba Oji

Saba Oji

School of Public Health

Saba is in her third year of Health Studies, with a minor in Gerontology.

She has worked as a research assistant on various projects started in The Games Institute. Her interests revolve around projects that relate to patient satisfaction, especially the elderly.

Kaitlin O'Brien image

Kaitlin O'Brien

English Language and Literature

Kaitlin graduated with a Master's degree in Rhetoric and Communication Design. She has strong interests in communication strategies, marketing, public relations, and event planning. Kaitlin is the former Communications and Project Coordinator for the GI.

Rita Orji profile headshot

Rita Orji

Computer Science

Dr. Rita Orji was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Games Institute, working with Dr. Lennart Nacke and Dr. Chrysanne Di Marco. Rita’s research at the Games Institute focuseed on creating persuasive games aiming to help adolescents avoid various interconnected risky health behaviours (e.g., risky sex; drugs and alcohol use).

Alex Orlando

Alexandra Orlando

English Language and Literature

Alexandra Orlando (BA and MA, English and Film, Wilfrid Laurier University), is a first year Ph.D. student at the University of Waterloo in the English Languages and Literature department. She is specializing in narratology and game studies. Her research interests include the intersection between film theory and game cinematics, e-sports and East Asian game studies.

Felan Parker

Felan Parker

Games Institute

Felan Parker is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow with the Technoculture, Art and Games Research Centre at Concordia University. His current research examines indie gaming cultures, and he is collaborating with the Games Institute on the Indie Interfaces project.

Rob Parker

English Language and Literature

Rob Parker (MA, Wilfrid Laurier & BA, MA, Waterloo) was a research associate and HASTAC scholar (2013-2014), a contributing editor for First Person Scholar, and has been actively involved with the Games Institute since 2012.

Alexandra Paz-Barreiras

Legal Studies and Business

Alexandra Paz-Barreiras was The Game Institute's Spring 2014 Marketing, Communications, and Research co-op student. As her long title suggests, Alex was responsible for many tasks, one of which being the management of the GI and IMMERSe web sites. She is in the process of completing her undergraduate degree through the Arts and Business program in the Faculty of Arts.

Chantel Pilon

Applied Health Sciences

Chantel Pilon was a co-op student for The Games Institute from September - December 2013. During her term she created many of the visual and digital promotional materials for the Games Institute. She was a fifth-year student enrolled in Honours Recreation and Business. In addition to her academics, Chantel was a member of the varsity track and field team at the University of Waterloo specializing in the pentathlon and 4X400m relay. The pentathlon is a contest consisting of five events: 60m hurdles, high jump, shot put, long jump and the 800m.

Quinn Powell

Quinn Powell

English Language and Literature

Quinn Powell, BA (Wilfrid Laurier University) and MA (Wilfrid Laurier University), has research interests in gender studies, digital media theory and design, as well as post-colonial theory and literature.

Brandon Ralph

Brandon Ralph

Psychology

Brandon Ralph (BSc and MA in Psychology) was a PhD candidate in the Cognitive Neuroscience division of the Psychology Department at the University of Waterloo. His primary areas of expertise are visual processing and attention.

Umair Rehman

Umair Rehman

Systems Design Engineering

MASc. candidate from Systems Design Engineering working as an experimental perceptual psychologist, a quantitative user researcher and a human factors engineer at the Human Optimization and Modelling Lab (HOM Lab).

Evan Ribey

Evan Ribey

School of Public Health

Evan Ribey was an undergraduate student in the School of Public Health at the University of Waterloo. Currently entering his final year of his undergraduate education, he has research interests in web-based applications of health care data and information visualization.

Kirsten Robinson

Kirsten Robinson

Systems Design Engineering

Kirsten Robinson is a systems design engineer and designer. She worked on Governor General Award winning architect Phillip Beesley’s Hylozoic Soil team to create responsive architectures that were shown across Canada and at the Venice Biennial.

Mike Schaekermann

Computer Science

Mike is a Masters student in the Computer Science program at the University of Waterloo. Before coming to Canada, he studied game development and augmented reality in Austria and Medicine in Germany. He is also a co-founder of a Berlin-based start-up company which is active in the 3D printing sphere.

Brian Schram

Sociology

Brian is a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology & Legal Studies. His  research looks at the intersection between surveillance and new media. Specifically, he is interested in how software has come to structure identity politics, labour practices, and activism both online and off.  

Conchita Rodrigues

Conchita Rodrigues

Student


Conchita is a student at the University of Waterloo entering the final year of her undergraduate degree. She is in Honours Arts and Business, Honours Peace and Conflict Studies, and her minor is International Studies. 

Matthew Schwager

Matthew Schwager

Experimental Digital Media

Matthew was an MA student in the Experimental Digital Media program. His research involved media design, narrative, and experimental graphics.

Jonathan Rodriguez

Jonathan Rodriguez

Computer Science

Jonathan Rodriguez is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Computer Science.

Melissa Stocco

Drama and Speech Communication

Melissa Stocco  joined The Games Institute as a research assistant. She was a 4th year undergraduate student in the Arts and Business program with a major in Sociology and minor in Digital Arts Communication. Melissa became interested in studying games after taking Jennifer Whitson's course Gamers and Games, and Lennart Nacke's course Introduction to Game Design.

George Ross

George Ross

English Language and Literature

George Ross, BA (Hons.) (Linguistics and Applied Language Studies, Carleton University) and MA (Applied Language Studies, Carleton University) specializes in simulations, organizational rhetoric, and narrative modeling.

Ruth Torres Castillo profile headshot

Ruth Torres Castillo

Computer Science

Ruth is a senior PhD student in the Interdisciplinary Doctorate with a concentration in Computer Science and Curriculum & Instruction at New Mexico State University. She is interested in developing educational games that have a constructivist approach and that enhance critical thinking.

Lukas Schabler

Computer Science

Lukas Schabler (BA Graz University of Technology) is a Computer Science Master's student at the Technical University of Graz who is interested in Interactive Systems and Data Science. He joined the summer research program to expand his knowledge of game design.

Lisa Tran

Lisa Tran

Speech Communication

Lisa Tran was the Communications and Research co-op student for the Fall 2014 term. She has many titles to her role including Project Manager Assistant as well as Facilities Manager.

Alvaro Uribe

Alvaro Uribe

IMMERSe

Brief Bio

​Alvaro Uribe holds has a degree in Mechatronics Engineering from Mil. Nueva Granada University, Bogotá, Colombia and a Master's and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Universidade Estudal de Campinas, São Paulo, Brazil.

Deltcho Valtchanov

Deltcho Valtchanov

Psychology

​Deltcho Valtchanov is a postdoctoral research fellow with a background in virtual reality, human visual perception, and cognitive and behavioural neuroscience. His past research has focused on how low level visual information influences emotional responses to, and aesthetics of, visual scenes.

Elise Vist profile headshot

Elise Vist

English Language and Literature

Elise Vist, BA and MA (English, Carleton University), is a Ph.D. candidate studying fans, immersion, and queerness. Her research focuses on hockey fans and Real Person Fanfiction, but she has also written about immersion and queerness in games, including dys4iaDragon Age: Inquisition, Lord of the Rings: Online, and the worldwide scavenger hunt GISHWHES. She is also passionate about creative and playful game design, running workshops using University of Alberta's Cobble Cards. As a co-founder of the Games Institute Janes (GI Janes), Elise encouraged women and non-binary people to find joy in gaming. 

Emma Vossen

English Language and Literature

Emma Vossen is a PhD candidate currently writing a dissertation examining how accessible games and gaming/gamer culture is to women. Her research is specifically examining how comfortable women feel playing, talking and writing about games in both physical and virtual spaces and how this determines who enters and becomes a part of gamer culture.

Cong Wang

Computer Science

Cong is a fourth year Computer Science student at the University of Waterloo with double minors in Psychology and Entrepreneurship. He has co-founded, and serves as advisor on several startup ventures in the KW region.

Amber West

English Language and Literature

Amberly H. West, (BA and MA University of Waterloo) researches games for health. Her secondary research areas include adaptations, rhetoric, and new media studies. Under the supervision of Dr. Neil Randall and Dr. Mark Hancock, she and Rebecca Langer (Computer Science) have been working on a multi-disciplinary research project for which the team researched, designed, and developed a prototype of a game that teaches children to identify and manage food allergies.

Emily West profile headshot

Emily West

Past Operations Coordinator

Emily West started her work with the GI as a Research and Communications Assistant co-op student for the Winter 2015 term. Upon completion of her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology she has returned to The Games Institute full time as Operations Coordinator.

Steve Wilcox

Steve Wilcox

English Language and Literature

Steve Wilcox is a PhD candidate in the English department at the University of Waterloo where he studies empathy, videogames, comics, and rhetoric. His focus is on the use of media for translating knowledge between bodies, communities, and cultures. He is also one of the 25 grad students across Canada to win a $3000 SSHRC award in the "Research for a Better Life: The Storytellers" competition.

Wilcox is currently researching the relationship between language, media, and normativity. More specifically, he is interested in how media defines and replicates a normative definition of reality and how this impacts what we think of as abnormal and disabled.

Melody Zheng

Melody Zheng

Past Project Coordinator

Melody was the co-op student for The Games Institute for Winter 2016. She's an Arts and Business student, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Human Resources Management. She has worked closely with the Project Manager to organize special events at The Games Institute to showcase both the gaming culture within the university. She also worked on improving the GI website, and digitizing or redesigning some of the outdated systems.

IMMERSe Network

FPS

Follow us on twitter!