Graduate student profiles

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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".

Diane Watson profile headshot

Diane Watson

Computer Science

Diane Watson is a PhD 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.

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).

Michael Hancock

Michael Hancock

English Language and Literature

Dr. Michael Hancock is a sessional instructor in the Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Waterloo. His dissertation was 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. 

Becky Anderson

Becky Anderson

English Language and Literature

Becky Anderson completed a BA (English; French Studies) and MA (Literary Studies) at Waterloo. Now a PhD Candidate in the Department of English Language and Literature, she’s also concurrently pursuing a Graduate Diploma in Cognitive Science. She’s the recipient of the Provost Doctoral Entrance Award (2015-2016), a Jack Gray Fellowship (2016-2017), a W.K. Thomas Graduate Scholarship (2017-2018), and an Ontario Graduate Scholarship (2017-2018).

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.

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.

"I am currently working on research about arm fatigue effect for large multi-touch displays, and fatigue-sensible interface display design."

- Liu Zhe 

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.

Alex Fleck

Alex Fleck

English Language and Literature

"Currently my research is in a few areas, but the focus is on virtual reality and simulation (together and separately). I'm looking at VR from the perspective of game studies as well as semiotics theory, and thinking through management/roleplaying simulations and their applications. I also spend some time with comics scholarship, and playing Dead Cells. Lots of Dead Cells."

- Alex Fleck

Kevin Barton

Kevin Barton

Psychology

Kevin Barton received his PhD in Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience from the University of Waterloo. His research interests include understanding how game dynamics and mechanics can be leveraged in professional contexts to improve the well-being of others.

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. 

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.

Natalee Blagden

English Language and Literature

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

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.

Gerd Schmidt

Computer Science

Gerd is doing his Master's in Computational Visualistics at the Otto von Guericke University in Magdeburg (Germany). There he focuses on real-time applications, visualization, AR/VR and game development. He's also an honary member of Acagamics, a students game developer club and a research assistant at STIMULATE and IBMI where he develops medical technology applications.

Andrew Jian-Lan Cen

Systems Design Engineering

Andrew Cen is a Systems Design Engineering student under SWaGUR, who graduated from Speech Communication with a minor in Digital Arts Communication. He joined the HCI Games Group because of his passion for game design and interest in Games User Research. 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.

John Yoon profile headshot

John Yoon

English Language and Literature

John Yoon (BA Honors English, Alberta), MA (Literary Studies, Waterloo) is a second year PhD candidate at Waterloo. His research interests include narratology, the narrative of sports, eSports, online gaming culture, and digital media studies.

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.

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.

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