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

ESA Foundation Awards Scholarships to Video Game Design Students

Thirty women and minority students granted $90,000 for degrees in video game arts

September 7, 2016 – WASHINGTON, DC – The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) Foundation today awarded $90,000 in scholarships to 30 women and minority students to pursue video game-related degrees throughout the 2016-2017 academic year. The recipients, including high school seniors and undergraduate students, will each earn $3,000 to study subjects such as computer programming, video game design, animation, and digital graphic art at a four-year college or university.

“The ESA Foundation is proud to have awarded nearly $800,000 in scholarships to women and minorities,” said Anastasia Staten, executive director of the ESA Foundation. “These talented new voices contribute to our industry with their innovation and remarkable ability. Scholarship winners this year prove that great artistic vision and technological knowledge can flourish anywhere.”

Established in 2007, the ESA Foundation scholarship program aims to promote diversity and inclusion within the computer and video game industry. The program has granted more than 260 women and minority students across the U.S. the opportunity to follow their dreams of earning a video game-related degree, while also creating a pipeline of well-educated job candidates for the industry.

The list of the 2016-2017 ESA Foundation scholarship recipients is below:


Donald Boose

Hometown: Falls Church, VA
Institution: Maryland Institute College of Art
Major: Video Game Designers

Robert Brown

Hometown: Wyoming, MI
Institution: University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
Major: Computer & Information Sciences

Stephan Cantero Gaudalupe

Hometown: Peoria, IL
Institution: Bradley University 
Major: Video Game Designers

Aliya Chen

Hometown: Fair Oaks, CA
Institution: Purdue University - Main Campus
Major: Studo Arts and Technology 

Kristina Chin

Hometown: Mitchellville, MD
Institution: University of Maryland - Baltimore County
Major: Visual & Performing Arts

Diana Diaz

Hometown: New York, NY
Institution: Rochester Institute of Technology 
Major: Video Game Designers 

Selena Eng

Hometown: Bothell, WA
Institution: DigiPen Institute of Technology
Major: Digital Art and Animation 

Nicole Fairchild

Hometown: Burnsville, MN
Institution: University of Wisconsin - Stout
Major: Video Game Designers

Kaila Harris

Hometown: Redmond, WA
Institution: DigiPen Institute of Technology 
Major: Game Design 

Rahat Hossan

Hometown: Jamaica, NY
Institution: New York University 
Major: Computer & Information Sciences 

Michael Inouye

Hometown: Tucson, AZ
Institution: University of Arizona
Major: Computer Engineering 

Tessa Jarden

Hometown: Wilmington, NC
Institution: Brown University 
Major: Computer Science & Modern Culture and Media

Caitlyn Kenney

Hometown: South Burlington, VT
Institution: Champlain College
Major: Video Game Designers 

Tyler Knox

Hometown: Campbell Hall, NY
Institution: University of Pennsylvania
Double Major: Business Management & Computer Science

Karen Kong

Hometown: Riverside, CA
Institution: University of California - Riverside
Major: Computer & Information Sciences 

Sarah Korkes

Hometown: Cary, NC
Institution: North Carolina State University at Raleigh
Major: Computer & Information Sciences

Rachel Kowalski

Hometown: Wellington, OH
Institution: Shawnee State University 
Major: Game and Simulation Development Arts

Alexis Lambert

Hometown: Fort Walton Beach, FL
Institution: University of Central Florida
Major: Video Game Designers

Sam Lee

Hometown: Moraga, CA
Institution: University of California - Davis
Major: Computer Programming 

Eleanor Love

Hometown: Searcy, AR
Institution: Oklahoma Christian University 
Major: Gaming and Animation 

Anesu Mafuvadze

Hometown: Lee's Summit, MO
Institution: Duke University 
Major: Computer Programming 

Nicole Maines

Hometown: Lower Lake, CA
Institution: University of California - Santa Cruz
Major: Video Game Designers 

Nicole Moeckli

Hometown: Lewiston, ID
Institution: University of Idaho
Major: Virtual Technology and Design

Sophia Nelson

Hometown: Little Rock, AR
Institution: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 
Major: Video Game Designers 

Heidi Neunhoffer

Hometown: Kerrville, TX
Institution: The Univeristy of Texas at Dallas
Major: Arts and Technology 

Asenith Padilla

Hometown: Carolina, PR
Institution: Atlantic College
Major: Digital Graphic Art Design with Animation

Alexandria Ripple

Hometown: Morristown, TN
Institution: Berklee College
Major: Music (specializing in video game musical arrangement) 

Leshe Scott

Hometown: Glenside, PA
Institution: Drexel University 
Major: Video Game Designers

Nguyet-Han Truong

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

Jessica Zhu

Hometown: Castro Valley, CA
Institution: University of Southern California
Major: Game Modelling & Design 


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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