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ESA Foundation Awards Scholarships to Next Generation of Game Developers

Women and minority students receive $90,000 to pursue video game degrees

September 30, 2015 – Washington, D.C. - The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) Foundation today awarded scholarships to 30 women and minority students from across the country for the 2015-2016 academic year. The students received a total of $90,000 to pursue video game-related degrees at accredited four-year colleges and universities.

“These outstanding students represent the future of the digital entertainment industry,” said Rich Taylor, senior vice president of the ESA, the trade association that represents the U.S. computer and video game publishers. “They will bring a new wave of critical thinking, diversity and innovation to our ever-growing industry. We are proud to support these students as they pursue their academic and professional dreams.”

This year’s recipients come from 16 states and Puerto Rico and attend 26 schools, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Mass.), Ringling College of Art & Design (Fla.), Rutgers University (N.J.), Savannah College of Art and Design (Ga.), University of Florida (Fla.), University of Pennsylvania (Penn.) and University of Texas at Austin (Texas). Each student received $3,000 to advance their education in subjects including game art and design, computer animation and virtual technology.

The scholarship program is part of ESA Foundation’s continuing efforts to promote diversity within the computer and video game industry. Since 2007, the ESA Foundation has awarded nearly $700,000 in scholarships to more than 230 students.

The list of the 2015-2016 ESA Foundation scholarship recipients is below.

2015-2016 ESA Foundation Scholarship Winners

Umama Ahmed

Hometown: Atlantic City, N.J.

Institution: Rutgers University

Major: Computer Engineering

Karen Kong

Hometown: Riverside, Calif.

Institution: University of California-Riverside

Major: Computer & Information Sciences

Joel Albiter

Hometown: Tempe, Ariz.

Institution: University of Advancing Technology

Major: Game Art & Animation

Sasha Krishna

Hometown: Winter Garden, Fla.

Institution: Ringling College of Art & Design

Major: Computer Animation

Rahel Badee

Hometown: Detroit, Mich.

Institution: Savannah College of Art & Design

Major: Animation

Andrea Lin

Hometown: Naperville, Ill.

Institution: University of Pennsylvania

Major: Computer Engineering

Liz Berberena Carvajal

Hometown: Sayreville, N.J.

Institution: Rutgers University

Major: Computer & Information Sciences

Warren Lindsey

Hometown: Sherwood, Ark.

Institution: Savannah College of Art & Design

Major: Interactive Design & Game Development

Schmika City

Hometown: Midland, Texas

Institution: University of Texas at Austin

Major: Technology, Vo-Tech

Isaiah Mann

Hometown: Amherst, Mass.

Institution: Hampshire College

Major: Computer Programming

Diana Diaz

Hometown: New York, N.Y.

Institution: Rochester Institute of Technology

Major: Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies

Madison Martin

Hometown: Santa Rosa, Calif.

Institution: Santa Clara University

Major: Computer Engineering

Nicole Fairchild

Hometown: Burnsville, Minn.

Institution: University of Wisconsin-Stout

Major: Game Design & Development

Nicole Moeckli

Hometown: Lewiston, Idaho

Institution: University of Idaho

Major: Virtual Technology & Design

Chloe Garden

Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.

Institution: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Major: Computer Engineering

Teawnni Moya

Hometown: Los Lunas, N.M.

Institution: University of New Mexico

Major: Fine Arts

Arianna Goodman

Hometown: Charlotte, N.C.

Institution: George Mason University

Major: Computer Game Design

Heidi Neunhoffer

Hometown: Kerrville, Texas

Institution: University of Texas at Dallas

Major: Arts & Technology

Kimberly Goodridge

Hometown: West Park, Fla.

Institution: Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale

Major: Game Art & Design

Alyssa Newsome

Hometown: Adrian, Mich.

Institution: Eastern Michigan University

Major: Simulation, Animation & Gaming

Jacqlin Ha

Hometown: Fullerton, Calif.

Institution: Art Center College of Design

Major: Graphic Design, Art

Asenith Padilla

Hometown: Carolina, P.R.

Institution: Atlantic College

Major: Digital Graphic Art Design & Animation

Mary Hauser

Hometown: Superior, Wis.

Institution: Herzing College

Major: Graphic Design, Art

Kristen Trevino

Hometown: Rowlett, Texas

Institution: Texas A & M University

Major: Visual & Performing Arts

Maria Teresa Ibarra

Hometown: San Francisco, Calif.

Institution: Harvey Mudd College

Major: Computer Engineering

Nguyet-Hang Troung

Hometown: Savannah, Ga.

Institution: Savannah College of Art & Design

Major: Animation

Ayanna Jacobs-EL

Hometown: Madison, Ala.

Institution: Berklee College of Music

Major: Music Performance

Julia Tuason

Hometown: W. Henrietta, N.Y.

Institution: Rochester Institute of Technology

Major: Graphic Design, Art

Caitlyn Kenney

Hometown: South Burlington, Vt.

Institution: Champlain College

Major: Game Art & Animation

Adreenah Wynn

Hometown: Apalachicola, Fla.

Institution: University of Florida

Major: Graphic Design, Art


About ESA Foundation 

Created by the American entertainment software industry, the ESA Foundation works to make a positive difference in the lives of America’s youth by providing scholarships to the next generation of industry innovators and supporting charitable organizations and schools that leverage entertainment software and technology to create educational opportunities. ESA Foundation is primarily supported by proceeds from its signature annual fundraiser, “Nite to Unite – for Kids” and other charitable initiatives. For more information, please visit ESA Foundation's website or follow us on Twitter.

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