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CONTACT: Dan Hewitt – dhewitt@theESA.com or 202-277-3972

ESA Foundation Announces 2017-18 Scholarship Recipients

Scholarships help 35 women and minority students pursue video game-related degrees.


WASHINGTON – September 25, 2017 –The ESA Foundation announced today that it will help 35 women and minority students pursue video game-related degrees in the 2017-18 academic year. Through its scholarship program, the ESA Foundation is awarding $3,000 to each of the students to study majors ranging from video game design to computer science education.

Over the last 10 years, the ESA Foundation has awarded 300 students nearly $1 million in scholarships, providing the video game industry with a more diverse pool of skilled and talented developers.

“This year’s class of ESA Foundation scholars brings an innovative spirit and passion to the video game industry that will be felt for years to come. From schools and communities large and small, these aspiring video game developers prove that artistic creativity and technical knowledge can come from anywhere – reflecting the growth of our industry nationwide,” said Anastasia Staten, executive director of the ESA Foundation. “The foundation has awarded 70 percent of this year’s scholarships to female students, helping to increase the number of women reflected in the industry. Committed to fostering diversity and inclusion, we are proud to provide this year’s scholars with the tools they need to make a positive impact in the video game industry.”

The 2017-18 ESA Foundation scholarship recipients are:

James Andrews Jr.
Hometown: Jersey City, NJ
Institution: Northeastern University
Major: Game Modeling and Design

Heriberto Calderon
Hometown: Marlborough, MA
Institution: Becker College
Major: Video Game Design

Felicia Chen
Hometown: Fair Oaks, CA
Institution: University of Pennsylvania
Major: Digital Media Design

Allison Dombek
Hometown: Conway, AR
Institution: The University of Texas at Dallas
Major: Arts, Technology, Communication, and Media

Alana Fletcher
Hometown: Stowe, VT
Institution: Ferris State University
Major: Game Design and Digital Information

Angela He
Hometown: Oakton, VA
Institution: Stanford University
Major: Art

Karen Kong
Hometown: Riverside, CA
Institution: University of California-Riverside
Major: Computer and Information Sciences

Alexis Lambert
Hometown: Fort Walton Beach, FL
Institution: University of Central Florida
Major: Game Modeling and Design

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

Rachel McWhirter
Hometown: Portland, OR
Institution: University of California-Los Angeles
Major: Computer Programming

Asenith Padilla
Hometown: Carolina, PR
Institution: Atlantic College
Major: Science of Art and Design of Video Games

Marlena Rehder
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Institution: University of Washington-Seattle
Major: Computer Programming

Luis Rodriguez
Hometown: Hialeah, FL
Institution: Miami Dade College
Major: Game Modeling and Design

Nguyet-Hang Truong
Hometown: Savannah, GA
Institution: Savannah College of Art and Design
Major: Animation

William Yang
Hometown: Sheboygan, WI
Institution: University of Wisconsin-Stout
Major: Game Modeling and Design

Benjamin Bao
Hometown: Miami, FL
Institution: Johns Hopkins University
Major: Computer Science Education

Grainne Casey
Hometown: Pepperell, MA
Institution: Northeastern University
Major: Computer and Information Sciences

Quiana Dang
Hometown: Vienna, VA
Institution: University of Southern California
Major: Game Modeling and Design

Nicole Fairchild
Hometown: Burnsville, MN
Institution: University of Wisconsin-Stout
Major: Video Game Design

Steven Harmon
Hometown: Denver, CO
Institution: University of Southern California
Major: Game Modeling and Design

Harrison Hur
Hometown: Paramus, NJ
Institution: Northeastern University
Major: Computer Science Education

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

Tré Lannon
Hometown: Bella Vista, AR
Institution: University of Southern California
Major: Computer Programming

Sharon Lin
Hometown: Corona, NY
Institution: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Major: Computer and Information Sciences

Kate Olguin
Hometown: West Hartford, CT
Institution: Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Major: Video Game Design

Ashwin Ramaswami
Hometown: Johns Creek, GA
Institution: Stanford University
Major: Software Developing

Megan Rochlin
Hometown: Seattle, WA
Institution: Cornell University
Major: Computer Engineering

Alexis Schneider
Hometown: Dresher, PA
Institution: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Major: Computer Science and Molecular Biology

Jenny Xu
Hometown: Cupertino, CA
Institution: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Major: Computer Science Education


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. The ESA Foundation receives its primary funding proceeds from the signature annual fundraiser Nite to Unite and other charitable initiatives. For more information, please visit the ESA Foundation website or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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