Undergraduate student profiles

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Mitchell Gordon-Habib Loewen


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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

Marta Jacyla

Science and Business

Marta is in her third year of studying Science and Business with a specialization in Biotechnology. She aspires to combine her knowledge of both fields in the future.  Marta has been with the Games Institute since the Fall 2017 term, and greatly enjoyed her co-op role as the Operations Assistant in Spring 2018.  

Marta loves cross stitching and sings in an a cappella group at the University. Marta’s favourite types of video games are story-based role-playing games and life simulation games. During her employment, she reveled in playing new games and testing out new technology.

Joe holding a camera up to his face

Joseph Tu

Systems Design Engineering

Joseph is a Ph.D. student pursuing a degree in Systems Design Engineering at the University of Waterloo, under the supervision of Dr. Lennart Nacke and Dr. Oliver Schneider.

Lillian Black

Lillian Black

English Language and Literature

Lillian (Lia) Black, HBA & MA (English, University of Waterloo), is a PhD student at the University of Waterloo. Her current research interests revolve around the way Queer identity and experience—particularly trans and non-binary identity—manifest themselves through player-driven storytelling practices distinct from the more formally constructed narratives within games. The current intention for this OGS (2020) funded project is to focus on Persona 4 (2008), NieR: Automata (2017), The Missing (2018), and Cyberpunk 2077 (2020), though this is almost certainly going to change.

Her undergraduate and master’s research moved through: (1) cognitive semiotics and its intersection with rhetoric and rhetorical figures, (2) communication pedagogy with an emphasis on STEAM education, and (3) science communication with a rhetoric of science influence and an emphasis on citizen science; all of which impact the way she goes about her research. As part of these endeavours, she presented at IACS (2018), ACM SIGDOC (2018) and DPI (2019), with publications in the American Journal of Semiotics, Technical Communication Quarterly, First Person Scholar, East Asian Science, Technology and Society and SciStarter.

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.

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.

Conchita Rodrigues

Conchita Rodrigues


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. 

Ethan Fischer


Ethan Fischer is an undergraduate student in the psychology Department at the University of Waterloo. He is currently studying how gamers' verbal reports of their emotions during game play relates to various aspects of their subjective emotional experiences.

Amy Liang

Amy Liang


Amy Liang finished her Bachelor of Arts degree with Psychology major and Human Resource Management minor. 

"I am a passionate researcher interested in Second Language Acquisition. I am currently helping a couple researches testing on topics related to accented language. On August 2018, I finished a presentation on how we could use the new VR technology to help students learn English easier."

- Amy Liang 

Mira Patel


Mira is an undergraduate student at the University of Waterloo completing a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, with a minor in Social Development Studies. Her focus in research has been towards investigating and developing screening and early prevention and/or intervention methods that indicate the relationship between specific personality traits and depression or anxiety in youth. She is passionate about helping others and hoping to pursue a career in Counselling.


Arden Song

Management Engineering

Arden Song is an undergraduate student in the Management Engineering program. They were first introduced to the Games Institute through a research assistantship under the supervision of Dr. Mark Hancock. Since then, they have helped in research about the lifestyle of vanlifers (culminating in a paper published in CHI 2021), daydreaming in video games, and the space requirements of board games. Arden is currently investigating hybrid physical-digital games and how games may be played remotely.

Yiqing (Myracle) Wang

Mathematical Finance & Statistics

"Interested in Machine Learning, I have developed predictive regression models in the financial industry and am ready to expand my career/academic path into the games industry! Believed in data driven facts and looking forward to learning deeper knowledge and broader applications of ML/NLP in the Games Institute."

- Myracle

May Nemat Allah

Arts and Business

May Nemat Allah is a 4th-year student at the University of Waterloo studying Arts and Business with a specialization in Theatre and Performance. After studying theatre for the past eight years, May fell in love with stage, production, and festival management. She is interested in theatre's inimitable ability to entertain and provoke thought and action within various communities. May aspires to support the production of pieces that utilize theatre’s dual ability in an impactful way to promote positive change within ourselves and our communities.


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