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CONTACT: Dan Hewitt – dhewitt@theESA.com or 202-223-2400

ESA Foundation Awards 30 Scholarships to Aspiring Game Developers

$90,000 in Scholarships Awarded to Women and Minority Students

December 14, 2011 - WASHINGTON, DC - Thirty students will receive scholarship grants for the 2011-2012 academic year, courtesy of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) Foundation. The scholarship program, which assists women and minority students pursuing careers in video game development, started in 2007.

"ESA is proud to support the next generation of video game industry innovators. This year’s scholarship recipients have the talent and passion needed to succeed in our industry, and we are confident they will go on to create games that will entertain, educate and inspire," said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of the ESA, the trade association that represents U.S. computer and video game publishers. "These students will also play an important role in enhancing diversity among game developers, a critical factor in fostering the variety and creativity of content that drives our industry."

Academic and artistic concentrations among this year’s scholarship recipients collectively cover almost all aspects of video game development. These include graphic design, computer science, animation, programming, digital entertainment and software engineering. Offered to students enrolled full-time at accredited four-year colleges and universities, the ESA Foundation awards 30 scholarships of $3,000 each year. Half are allocated to graduating high school seniors, with the remainder going to current college students.

In recent years, courses in game development have seen a marked increase in popularity. American colleges, universities and technical schools currently offer 343 programs and courses in video game design, development and programming. The rising number of these academic programs is an acknowledgment of the video game industry’s steady growth, which leads in turn to an increased demand for a diverse, creative and well-qualified pool of developers.

The ESA Foundation was created by the American entertainment software industry to provide opportunities that can make a difference in the lives of America’s youth. The Foundation is fully supported by proceeds from their limited edition charity game pack’s sales and "Nite to Unite for Kids," its annual fund-raiser. For more information about the ESA Foundation, please visit www.ESAFoundation.org.

Editor's note: please see below for full list of scholarship winners.

2011-2012 ESA FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP WINNERS

Alexandra Barlow

Hometown: Scarsdale, NY
Institution: Ringling College of Art & Design
Major: Game Art & Design

Coleman Beasley

Hometown: Boise, ID
Institution: University of Idaho
Major: Computer Science

Ashley Carli

Hometown: Harvard, IL
Institution: DePaul University
Major: Computer Games Development

Janelle Desborough

Hometown: Canton, PA
Institution: Art Institute of Pittsburgh
Major: Game Art & Design

Miranda Due

Hometown: Broken Arrow, OK
Institution: University of Southern California
Major: Interactive Entertainment

Ardra Farrier

Hometown: Apple Valley, CA
Institution: California State University - San Bernardino
Major: Graphic Design

Desiree Fernandes

Hometown: Granby, MA
Institution: Champlain College
Major: Game Art & Animation

Nicolette Hart

Hometown: Round Rock, TX
Institution: University of California - Santa Cruz
Major: Computer Science: Game Design

Eileen Heilsnis

Hometown: Apex, NC
Institution: Savannah College of Art and Design
Major: Visual Effects

Rachael Hosegood

Hometown: Barre, MA
Institution: Becker College
Major: Interactive Entertainment Design

Jennifer Johnson

Hometown: Redmond, WA
Institution: DigiPen Institute of Technology
Major: Production Animation

Gabriella Jraige

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Institution: Otis College of Art and Design
Major: Digital Media

Elizabeth Kirby

Hometown: Redmond, WA
Institution: DigiPen Institute of Technology
Major: Production Animation

Kim Krueger

Hometown: Port Washington, WI
Institution: University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Major: Multimedia Design

Erica Larson

Hometown: Bozeman, MT
Institution: University of Idaho
Major: Virtual Technology Design

Karen Layman

Hometown: Warren, CT
Institution: Becker College
Major: Interactive Entertainment Design

Charles Lee

Hometown: Bellevue, WA
Institution: DigiPen Institute of Technology
Major: Real-Time Interactive Simulation

Valerie Magri

Hometown: Milford, NH
Institution: Rochester Institute of Technology
Major: Game Design and Development

Mavin Martin

Hometown: West Jordan, UT
Institution: University of Utah
Major: Computer Science

Kevin McQuay

Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Institution: Morehouse College
Major: Computer Science

Gordon Ngo

Hometown: Burke, VA
Institution: George Mason University
Major: Applied Computer Science

Anna Nguyen

Hometown: Chicago, IL
Institution: Drexel University
Major: Game Art and Production

Joanna Ogburn

Hometown: Hilton Head Island, SC
Institution: Savannah College of Art and Design
Major: Sequential Art

Mario Ramirez

Hometown: Chicago, IL
Institution: Columbia College Chicago
Major: Game Design

Emily Russo

Hometown: Uniontown, OH
Institution: Kent State University
Major: Computer Science

Audre Schutte

Hometown: Snohomish, WA
Institution: DigiPen Institute of Technology
Major: Production Animation

Jennifer Tran

Hometown: Bothell, WA
Institution: DigiPen Institute of Technology
Major: Production Animation

Charles Weaver

Hometown: Northfield, VT
Institution: Champlain College
Major: Game Art & Animation

Angela Wilson

Hometown: Valrico, FL
Institution: Savannah College of Art and Design
Major: Animation

Gretchen Zarle

Hometown: Akron, OH
Institution: Bowling Green State University
Major: Digital Arts

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