Graduate student profiles

Diane Watson profile headshot

Diane Watson

Computer Science

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

Michael Hancock

Michael Hancock

English Language and Literature

Michael Hancock, is a Ph.D. student in the English Language and Literature Department at the University of Waterloo. He is interested in three areas of game studies: the social engagements and activities of players, the historical shifts in game design and interpretation, and the formal aspects of video games, as they present themselves to the players.

Alex as a Powerpuff Girls character

Alex Fleck

English Language and Literature

"As part of doctoral research, I study retrogaming hardware, software, and modding/fan communities to understand changes over time to consumer culture, material literacy, and legacy platforms. I also help design games with a group of other GI researchers in ongoing GI projects and partnerships. I currently am interested in finding and collecting license-expired retro games (games unlikely to be released again), as well as expanding my 90's era A/V set up."

- Alex Fleck

Betsy Brey

Betsy Brey

English Language and Literature

Betsy Brey (BA and MA, University of Minnesota Duluth) is a PhD candidate in the Department of English Language and Literature. Her research focuses on the intersections of narratological structure and gameplay. In particular, she's interested in how players understand and interpret narrative forms in role-playing games and metagames.

John Yoon profile headshot

John Yoon

English Language and Literature

John Yoon (BA Honors English, Alberta), MA (Literary Studies, Waterloo) is a PhD candidate at Waterloo. His research interests include narratology, the narrative of sports, eSports, online gaming culture, and digital media studies. His dissertation examines the storytelling mechanisms in professional football and StarCraft.

Chris L

Chris Lawrence

English Language and Literature

Chris is a PhD Candidate in the department of English Langauge and Literature. Their dissertation research focuses on identifying world-building mythopoetic structures in games and distinguishing them from traditional narrative approaches. Chris is currently Editor-and-Chief of First Person Scholar and Senior Curator for Critical Distance. 

Diana on a pier

Diana Moreno Ojeda

English Language and Literature

Diana Moreno Ojeda has loved science fiction and board games ever since she can remember, moving from Stratego—at the adventurous age of 6— to Netrunner and Ascension—more recently.

Kassandra - Assassin's Creed Character

Lindsay Meaning

English Language and Literature

Lindsay Meaning (BA English, Wilfrid Laurier University; MA Experimental Digital Media, University of Waterloo) is a fourth year PhD candidate in the English department at UWaterloo. Her research centers on settler colonialism and imperial ideologies in single player role-playing games.

Aqua from Kingdom Hearts

Jenn Rickert

English Language and Literature

Jenn Rickert is an interdisciplinary-trained academic (BA Hons Classical History & Anthropology; MA Public Issues Anthropology) specializing in the interconnectivity of people, technology, and culture. She is in the dissertation research stage of her English PhD, focusing on gender, power structures, and social dynamics surrounding competitive gaming communities, particularly within World of Warcraft. In addition to her primary research goals, she also is particularly interested in accessible and applicable research, bridging research and industry, and other socially constructed aspects of video games (e.g. cheating & modding, emotion, etc.).

Rina Wehbe

Rina Wehbe

Computer Science

Rina R. Wehbe (she/her) is an academic researcher at the University of Waterloo. She is currently working towards the completion of her Ph.D. Mathematics Computer Science at Cheriton School of Computer Science, UW.

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.  

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.

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.

Pierson Browne

Sociology and Legal Studies

Pierson Browne's research focuses on the propagation of concepts and information through the social networks formed around and within communities of play. Pierson is a methodologically-focused mixed-methods researcher: he has contributed to the field of Social Network Analysis with his work on Exponential Random Graph Models for Directed Acyclic Graphs, he has generated insights into Swarm Ethnography and Rapid Ethnographic Assessment as part of his work with game development intermediaries, and he has produced research stemming from his work as an Embedded Ethnographer with Montreal indie game development studios.

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.

Leila Homaeian

Leila Homaeian

Systems Design Engineering

Leila is a PhD student in Systems Design Engineering. She studies large interactive surfaces, such as wall displays and digital tabletops, and how to support co-located collaboration around them. Leila received her MSc. degree in Software Engineering from the University of Alberta.

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.

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).

Nicholas Hobin

Nicholas Hobin

English Language and Literature

Nicholas Hobin, BA (King’s University College), MA (University of Waterloo), is a PhD candidate in the English Language Literature program at the University of Waterloo. He is interested in posthumanism in game studies, and the ways in which digital environments work to confront what it means to be human.

Karina Arrambide

Systems Design Engineering

Karina Arrambide 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.

Furby

Cayley MacArthur

Systems Design Engineering

Cayley MacArthur, BKI (Knowledge Integration, Waterloo), MA (English & Systems Design Engineering, Waterloo), is a PhD candidate in Systems Design Engineering. Her research focuses on human-computer interaction and she is a member of the Touchlab and WaterlooHCI groups.

Judy Ehrentraut

English Language and Literature

Judy Ehrentraut is a PhD candidate at the University of Waterloo researching human/technology entanglements from a posthuman perspective. Judy’s work explores the nuances of posthuman and transhuman representations of technological embodiment in film, video games, art and modern techno-culture. Her dissertation investigates presence and absence outside traditional scopes of digital dualism that re-think our interactions with technology as synchronous events of chance

Kateryna Morayko profile headshot

Kateryna Morayko

Systems Design Engineering

Kateryna Morayko is pursuing a Masters in Systems Design Engineering through the SWaGUR program under the supervision of Dr. Mark Hancock. She is interested in human computer interaction, and her main project involves the study of daydreaming during video game play.

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.

Séamas Weech profile headshot

Séamas Weech

Kinesiology

Séamas received his PhD from Queen's University, Kingston, in the area of Psychology (Brain, Behaviour, and Cognitive Science). His postdoctoral research focuses on understanding the factors that relate to cyber sickness in virtual reality (VR).

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