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People profiles

Michael Barnett Cowan

Michael Barnett-Cowan

Assistant Professor, Department of Kinesiology

Dr. Michael Barnett-Cowan is an Assistant Professor for the Kinesiology Department, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, at the University of Waterloo.

Shi Cao

Shi Cao

Assistant Professor, Systems Design Engineering

Dr. Shi Cao studies human factors and ergonomics using both experiment and computational simulation methods.

Parmit Chilana

Parmit Chilana

Assistant Professor, Management Sciences

Professor Chilana has disciplinary training in Information Science and Computer Science and has worked on a variety of research projects in HCI.

Beth Coleman

Beth Coleman

Associate Professor, English Language and Literature

Beth Coleman is co-director of the Critical Media Lab at the University of Waterloo, and participates in the Rhetoric & Professional Writing major as well as the Master of Arts in Experimental Digital Media.

Karen Collins

Karen Collins

Associate Professor, Drama and Speech Communication

Karen Collins' research is diverse and interdisciplinary, but has always had a central focus: the interaction of humans and machines, specifically as related to sound.

Vic Diciccio

Vic Diciccio

Research Professor, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science

Professor DiCiccio helped found the Institute for Computer Research (ICR).

Colin Ellard

Colin Ellard

Associate Professor, Department of Psychology

Colin Ellard is a psychologist researching neuroscience. ​​His interests include how the organization and appearance of natural and built spaces affects movement, wayfinding, emotion, and physiology. He directs the Urban Realities Lab at the University of Waterloo.

Mark Hancock

Mark Hancock

Associate Director, The Games Institute; Associate Professor, Management Sciences

Mark Hancock is the Associate Director of the Games Institute. He is also an associate professor in the Department of Management Sciences in the Faculty of Engineering, where he directs the Touchlab.

Kevin Harrigan

Kevin Harrigan

Associate Professor, Drama and Speech Communication

Kevin Harrigan is a member of the University of Waterloo's Canadian Centre for Arts and Technology (CCAT). He teaches courses in multimedia and computer-game design in the Digital Arts Communication (DAC) program, and has been a technical expert witness in legal cases regarding Electronic Gaming Machines (EGMs).

Craig S. Kaplan

Craig S. Kaplan

Associate Professor, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science

Professor Kaplan studies the application of computer graphics in art, illustration, ornamentation, and design. This research area is rooted in computer graphics, but involves forays into art (to study historical sources) classical and computational geometry (to develop mathematical and computational models of ornament), and computer-aided design and manufacturing.

Edith Law

Edith Law

Assistant Professor, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science

Edith Law is an Assistant Professor at the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo. Her research focuses on interaction techniques and incentive mechanisms for volunteer-based human computation systems, and how these systems can address problems in Science and Public Health. She is also part of the Human Computer Interaction Lab.

Fue-Sang Lien

Fue-Sang Lien

Professor, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering

Professor Fue-Sang Lien has over 20 years of research experience in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Turbulance Modelling.

Chrysanne Di Marco

Chrysanne Di Marco

Associate Professor, Artificial Intelligence Group (David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science) Cross Appointment, English Language and Literature

Chrysanne Di Marco has been a member of the Artificial Intelligence Group since 1990. She is also project leader of the HealthDoc project, which works to develop natural language generation systems for producing multimedia health information tailored to medical conditions and patient characteristics.

Ian Milligan

Ian Milligan

Assistant Professor, Department of History

Ian Milligan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the University of Waterloo. He is also a member of the Tri-University Graduate Program in History (which covers the University of Waterloo, University of Guelph, and Wilfrid Laurier University).

Dr. Neil Randall

Neil Randall

Associate Professor, English Language and Literature

Director of The Games Institute

In addition to directing The Games Institute, Neil Randall has also earned large grants for The Interactive and Multi-Modal Research Syndicate (IMMERSe) and the Waterloo Game Analysis and Monitoring Environment (WatGAME). He is the Faculty Advisor to the Games Institute's First Person Scholar

Jennifer Roberts-Smith

Jennifer Roberts-Smith

Associate Professor, Drama and Speech Communication

Jennifer Roberts-Smith is Principal Investigator of The Stratford Festival Online: Games and Virtual Learning Environments for Education and Audience Engagement, a project funded by the Ontario Early Researcher Award program.

Stacey Scott

Stacey Scott

Assistant Professor, Systems Design Engineering Cross Appointment, English Language and Literature

Stacey’s research and teaching interests are human-computer interaction and computer-supported collaboration.

Gerald Voorhees

Gerald Voorhees

Assistant Professor, Drama and Speech Communication

Dr. Gerald Voorhees studies games and new media as sites for the construction and contestation of identity and culture. He is also interested in public discourse pertaining to games and new media, as well as rhetorics of race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality in mediated public discourse.

Jim Wallace

Jim Wallace

Assistant Professor, Department of Public Health and Health Systems

Jim Wallace is an Assistant Professor at the School of Public Health and Health Systems at University of Waterloo. His research focuses on interaction techniques for computing systems that involve multiple devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and large interactive wall displays, and how these systems can address problems in Public Health.

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Jennifer Whitson

Assistant Professor, Sociology and Legal Studies

Jennifer Whitson is the Research Advisor for Execution Labs, an accelerator and investment platform for indie game studios, as well as an affiliated faculty member with the Technoculture, Art and Games Research Centre  (TAG) at Concordia University.

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.

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.

Mike Brown

Michael Brown

Game Designer and Developer

Brief Bio

Mike is a local game developer that has worked in the games industry since 2010. Mike helped us develop Quantum Cats and Alice and Schrodinger's Excellent Adventures. You can find some of his game jam work at http://mikegbrown.itch.io.

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.

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.

Judy Ehrentraut

English Language and Literature

Judy Ehrentraut is a Ph.D. student at the University of Waterloo, specializing in new media, posthumanism, and games studies. Her research includes agency and identity in digital culture, reading the digitized body, cyborgism, simulated realities, techno-futurism, and utopian/dystopian themes in games and literature. Her current work examines how personal computing devices such as mobile phones and other wearable technologies are changing how we view and redefine our bodies within real and virtual spaces.

Kaitlyn Holbein

Kaitlyn Holbein

Rhetoric and Communication Design

​Kaitlyn Holbein is 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.

Adam Bradley

Adam Bradley

English Language and Literature

Brief Bio

Adam Bradley, BA (McMaster) MA (Waterloo), is a PhD student interested in the intersections between technology and traditional literary studies. His MA research project, titled "Data Visualization and the Avant-Garde Aesthetic" was a digital humanities project completed in conjunction with the English department's Digital Media Lab and the Computer Science department's Touchlab.

Mahir Hoque

Fine Arts, Computer Science and Digital Art Communication

Mahir Hoque is 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. 

Rob Parker

English Language and Literature

Rob Parker (MA, Wilfrid Laurier & BA, MA, Waterloo) is 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.

Matthew Schwager

Matthew Schwager

Experimental Digital Media

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

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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's currently 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.

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.

Kaitlin O'Brien image

Kaitlin O'Brien

English Language and Literature

Kaitlin is an MA student with strong interests in public relations, communication strategies, and event planning. Kaitlin is currently the Communications and Project Coordinator for the GI.

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.

Julia Brich

Computer Science

Julia Brich is a Ph.D. student from Ulm University, Germany. In her work, she focuses on the effects that various game mechanics like highscore systems, achievements, or non-player character design have on player motivation. The goal of her thesis is to facilitate motivation-adaptive games that can change their characteristics during run time to present a continually motivating experience to players. Her work is largely interdisciplinary with aspects from both psychology research and applied computer science.

Ryan Clement

Ryan Clement

English Language and Literature

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

Jesse Hoey

Jesse Hoey

Associate Professor, David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science

Dr. Jesse Hoey is an associate professor in the David R. Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo.   He is also an adjunct scientist at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute in Toronto, Canada, where he is co-leader of the AI and Robotics Research Team.  Dr. Hoey received the B.Sc. degree (1992) in physics from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, the M.Sc. degree (1995) in physics and the Ph.D degree (2004) in computer science from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.  From 2004-2010, he was an assistant professor  in the School of Computing at the University of Dundee, Scotland.    In 2014-2015 he was a visiting professor at the Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en automatique (INRIA) in Sophia-Antipolis, France.

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).

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.

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. 

Alex Fleck

Alex Fleck

English Language and Literature

Alex Fleck is a Masters student in the XDM stream interested in the application of new media (games) criticism to other forms. In particular, he is interested in the transposition of literary works into other media.

woman sitting on cliff

Liu Zhe

Computer Science

Liu Zhe is a master's student co-supervised by Professor James Wallace from School of Public Health and Professor Daniel Vogel from School of Computer Science. Her current research is studying about people's fatigue when interacting with touch-sensitive display walls.

Kayla Oliveira

Kayla Marie Oliveira

Arts and Business

Kayla received her Undergraduate Degree from the University of Waterloo studying Arts and Business. From past co-op experiences, Kayla has worked in various industries at companies such as Art in Tanzania, MappedIn, Humber College and CIBC.

Phil McClelland

Phil McClelland

User Experience Designer

As a User Experience Designer, Phil spends his days learning to understand people and the work that they do, and then finding ways to make that work more effective and satisfying. But as a long-time game nerd, he can't help but turn that same lens on the mechanics that underpin games--what works, what doesn't, and what that means for the experiences that games offer.

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.

Jenn Rickert

English Language and Literature

My research interests involve gender, hierarchy, and online gaming communities, specifically surrounding MMO/online games like World of Warcraft. I am also interested more broadly in technology and culture, namely, how culture and people shape technology (through video games), and in turn how technology (video games) shape people and culture. 

Shawn DeSouza-Coelho

Shawn DeSouza-Coelho

Experimental Digital Media

Shawn DeSouza-Coelho is a Masters student in the Experimental Digital Media program at the University of Waterloo’s Critical Media Lab.

Supervisor: Neil Randall

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.

Will Fast

Will Fast

English Language and Literature

Will is a PhD student who studies how modern video games represent Victorian London differently than modern novels about the era. Specifically, he is interested in investigating historical games' abilities to productively recreate elements of past societies. 

Cayley McArthur

Cayley McArthur

English Language and Literature

Brief Bio

Cayley MacArthur is a student in the faculty of English’s M.A. in Rhetoric & Communication Design. During her time in Waterloo’s Knowledge Integration program, Cayley initially became interested in issues surrounding popular culture and human-computer interaction through working on exhibits about the uncanny valley, followed by one about gamification for the Ontario Science Centre.

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.

John Yoon

John Yoon

English Language and Literature

John (BA honors University of Alberta) is currently an MA student in literary studies at the University of Waterloo. He has an avid interest in e-sports, competitive gaming, and the culture of live-streaming games.

Andrew Jian-Lan Cen

Speech Communication

Andrew is an emerging digital media designer. His primary focuses in digital design revolve around photography and videography. Andrew also has experience in the Adobe suites including; Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom. He also has taken an interest in game development and game design, having played many games in his past time. His current focus is to expand his digital media portfolio and create inspirational work that will motivate those around him. His work can be viewed on Facebook at Jintoki Media.

Kent Aardse

Kent Aardse

English Language and Literature

Kent Aardse is 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.

Erica Robinson

Erica Robinson

Designer

Erica is a filmmaker and designer. She has just completed  a film called “John Orpheus is Dead” which is part of a multidisciplinary collaboration that includes an album, concerts, music videos and even a jewellery line called Gada Chainz. 

Pierson Browne

Sociology and Legal Studies

Pierson Browne is a first-year Ph.D. student who has arrived in the Games Institute by way of Concordia University’s M.A. Media Studies program, during which he was an active contributor in two games research institutions: the mLab and the Centre for Technoculture, Art, and Games. Pierson’s history as an aficionado of competitive card games and competitive digital strategy games has guided his academic interest towards metagames—the compelling product of collisions between competitiveness and sociality in the context of play.

Joseph Tu

Fine Arts

Joseph is a previous game tester for: Dota2 (Valve), Maplestory (Nexon), Blade&Soul (Ncsoft) and GunZ : The Duel(Mailet). He has immense interests in UX and UI interfaces. With his background in Digital Arts Communication (DAC), he seeks to explore the different dimensions of wireframes and paper prototypes that can be useful in game designs.

Joseph is deeply involved with the Duke of Edinburgh program (Gold Status), and enjoys shooting digital cinematography on his free time.

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.

David Hussey

David Hussey

History

Ahmad Salam Alrefai

Computer Science

Ahmad Salam Alrefai is a PhD candidate working with Dr. Chrysanne Di Marco in the area of Games for Health. He is interested in designing games to help in mental health, and to improve the human well being. Studying the neurobiological factor in order to measure the effectiveness of the games is of great interest to his research direction.

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 is a fifth-year student enrolled in Honours Recreation and Business. In addition to her academics, Chantel is 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.

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. 

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.

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.

Kirk Goodlet

History

Kirk W. Goodlet received his PhD in History at the University of Waterloo and was a research associate at the Laurier Centre for Military Strategic and Disarmament Studies. He has worked and conducted research in archives across Canada, the Netherlands, and Belgium. In addition, Kirk is also the co-founder and writer for clioscurrent.com, a website dedicated to exploring current affairs with historical perspective.

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Ashley Rose Mehlenbacher

Assistant Professor, Department of English Language and Literature

Professor Mehlenbacher is an Ontario Early Researcher Award holder who specializes in science communication, citizen science, and expertise in multidisciplinary teams. 

Anda Gabriela Chitescu

Global Business and Digital Arts

Anda is currently studying Global Business and Digital Arts at the University of Waterloo. 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.

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.

Susan Elliott

Susan Elliott

Professor, Geography and Environmental Management

Susan is a medical geographer with specific interests in global environmental health. She is an Adjunct Professor with the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health, a partner in much of the global water and sanitation research that she does. She is also a research lead for the AllerGen national centr

Kelly Hornung

Kelly Hornung

School of Environment, Resources, and Sustainability

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

Diane Watson

Diane Watson

Computer Science

Diane Watson is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo. Her focus is on "Gamification", in particular, how positive behaviours can be encouraged through games.

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.

Rina Wehbe

Rina Wehbe

Computer Science

​Rina R. Wehbe is currently working on her Ph.D. Her research focuses on understanding difficulty and learning in games and productivity applications. Currently, she is co-supervised by Dr. Lennart Nacke and Dr. Edward Lank of the University of Waterloo, and Dr. Stephen Fairclough of Liverpool John Moores University (LJMU). They are all a part of HCI Games Labs

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. 

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.

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.

Justin Carpenter

English Language and Literature

Justin Carpenter BA (University of Calgary) MA (University of Leeds) is a PhD student interested in Aesthetics, Critical Game Studies, Indigenous Literature, and Multimodality. More specifically, he hopes to explore indigenous video games (such as Never Alone) and how oral narratives function in these games, particularly how music and spoken word interact with visual and ludic elements in a game. He is also a copy editor for First Person Scholar.

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.

Jay Chilibecki

Jay Chilibecki

Computer Science

Jay is an undergraduate student in his third year of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo. He is passionate about game design and creation, and is working at the Games Institute as a developer during the Summer 2015 co-op term.

Caroline Wong

Psychology

Caroline Wong has joined The Games Institute as a research assistant for her Spring 2017 co-op and will be under the supervision of the Associate Director, Dr. Mark Hancock.

Elise Vist

Elise Vist

English Language and Literature

Elise Vist, BA and MA (English, Carleton University), is a Ph.D. student currently studying the intersections of feminism and game studies. Thanks to her experiences with locative narratives and tabletop game design, she has become interested in low-tech games and enjoys encouraging people to make "crap games". As a co-founder of the Games Institute Janes (GI Janes), Elise is currently working towards bringing people who identify as women together to make, play, and talk about games.

Andre Yam

eSports Specialist

Andre Yam is an eSports specialist who is concerned with all aspects of competitive "play" and the spectatorship that follows. He has an M.A. in English Literary Studies from the University of Waterloo with a combined honours B.A. in English and History from Wilfrid Laurier University. He currently works with the Games Institute along with the Ontario eSports Gaming Events group in promoting and theorizing the future of eSports.

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.

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.

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.

Melissa Stocco

Drama and Speech Communication

Melissa Stocco has joined The Games Institute as a research assistant. She is 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.

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Becky Anderson

English Language and Literature

Becky Anderson is a PhD candidate in the English Department at the University of Waterloo.

Ed Lank

Ed Lank

Associate Professor, Cheriton School of Computer Science

Ed Lank is an associate professor in the Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo. His research is in the area of Human-Computer Interaction (HCI).

Mufaddal Dairkee

Computer Science

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

Emma Vossen

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.

Gina Angelea

Designer

While currently working as freelance web, digital, and marketing designer, Gina continues to look for new opportunities to put her passion for presentation and design to good use.  

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.

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.

Leilah Homaeian

Leila Homaeian

Systems Design Engineering

​Leila received her M.Sc. degree in Software Engineering from the University of Alberta. She joined the Collaborative Systems Lab in 2013 as a research assistant.

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. 

Mitchell Gordon-Habib Loewen

Psychology

Mitchell Loewen is 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 is currently 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.

Betsy Brey

Betsy Brey

English Language and Literature

Betsy Brey, (BA and MA, University of Minnesota Duluth), is an English PhD student working with game studies and narrative. Her research focuses on the impact of gameplay mechanics and interactive characters on digital narrative immersion, particularly on how sound functions in these environments.

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.

student headshot

Katja Rogers

Computer Science

Katja Rogers is a Computer Science PhD student from the Institute of Media Informatics at Ulm University, Germany. As a visiting researcher within Dr. Lennart Nacke's research group, her current project at the GI focuses on the effects of audio on player experience in a VR horror game.

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.

Ben Thompson

Ben Thompson

Associate Professor, Optometry and Vison Science

Ben’s background is in visual neuroscience and his research interests relate to the development and plasticity of human visual brain areas.

Lennart Nacke

Lennart Nacke

Associate Professor, Drama and Speech Communication

Dr. Nacke's work is located within the information and communication technologies, design, psychology and human-computer interaction space, but also ties closely into the areas of human health and wellness. He uses biotechnology (namely, physiological sensors) and much of his research is located in the field of user research, where he is focused on evaluating physiological signals elicited by humans when playing games.

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. Right now her focus is on how to design and develop math video games that help construction of knowledge rather than just the transmission of it.

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.

Evan Ribey

Evan Ribey

School of Public Health

Evan Ribey is 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.

Rita Orji

Computer Science

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

Brandon Ralph

Brandon Ralph

Psychology

Brandon Ralph (BSc and MA in Psychology) is 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.

Gustavo Tondello

Gustavo Tondello

Computer Science

Gustavo is a Ph.D. student in Computer Science at the University of Waterloo under supervision of Dr. Lennart Nacke and Dr. Daniel Vogel. His main interests include gamification and games for health and learning. His research focus on the design of gameful applications.

Ning Jiang

Ning Jiang

Assistant Professor, Systems Design Engineering

In the research community, there has been a new direction of research on dexterous myoelectric control mimicking the neuromuscular system by extracting nature control information from surface EMG with advanced algorithm, and Ning Jiang is one of the world leading experts in this exciting direction.

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.

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.

Adrian Reetz

Adrian Reetz

Management Science

Dr. Adrian Reetz is a post-doctoral research fellow with a background in Human-computer Interaction. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Saskatchewan where he worked under the supervision of Dr. Carl Gutwin.

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.

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).

Ian Holstead

Ian Holstead

Electrical Computer Engineering

Ian is a 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.

Emily West

Emily West

Psychology

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.

She was awarded Co-op Student of the Year for the Faculty of Arts in 2015 for her work within The Games Institute as well as her contributions to the co-operative program at the University of Waterloo.

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.

Nicholas Hobin

Nicholas Hobin

English Language and Literature

Nicholas Hobin, BA (King's University College at WU) and MA (University of Waterloo), is a first-year PhD student curious about video games, narratology, Lovecraftian horror, and Shakespeare.

Jonathan Rodriguez

Jonathan Rodriguez

Computer Science

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

Isabel Pedersen

Isabel Pedersen*

Associate Professor, Communication Studies, UOIT

Dr. Isabel Pedersen, Director of the Decimal Lab at UOIT and Canada Research Chair in Digital Life, Media, and Culture, studies the societal impact of human-computer interaction.

Kevin Barton

Kevin Barton

Psychology

Kevin Barton received his PhD in Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience from the University of Waterloo. His doctoral research examined how people effectively navigate the world around them, using techniques drawn from mathematics, psychophysiology, virtual reality, and computational neuroscience.

Sultan Alharthi

Computer Science and Psychology

Through an activity theory approach, Sultan's focus is to understand urban search & rescue teams' activity and training to design game mechanics and interfaces in simulation games. The aim of this simulation game is to improve urban search & rescue teams' sensemaking and planning skills. Sultan is 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.

Michael Hancock

Michael Hancock

English Language and Literature

Michael Hancock is a PhD candidate in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Waterloo. His dissertation is on the history of textual representation in videogames, a study which ranges from videogame instruction manuals to the 1989 Amiga game It Came From the Desert.

Jagger Nast

Jagger Nast

Applied Mathematics

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

Lindsay Meaning

English Language and Literature

Lindsay Meaning received her B.A. in English from Wilfrid Laurier, and is an M.A. student in the Experimental Digital Media program. Her current research is focused around educational games.

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