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GMG Fellows 2018

During the 2018 GMG Fellowship Program, 42 Fellows spent three weeks teaching at GMG summer camps across San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Redmond, Durham, Austin, and Boston. As part of the Fellowship program, GMG’s partners hosted exclusive mentorship and networking events with Double Fine Productions, Xbox, PlayStation, Google, Red Storm Entertainment, and Ghost Story Games. Learn more about the Fellowship program here.

We would like to give a special Thank You to our partners at Xbox, PlayStation, Double Fine, Red Storm Entertainment, Ghost Story Games, ReedPop, and UBM who made this program possible!


Amy Hori

Currently studies music composition at CSU Long Beach, is a fan of Legend of Zelda, Kingdom Hearts, and Monster Hunter, and doesn’t like avocados and geese. Makes sound effects, music, and other noisy things for various indie games and films, and dabbles in game design, especially where it interacts with audio. Didn’t realize the game industry was really a thing until three years ago, and wants to get more girls involved in the process of sound design, audio engineering, and getting a button to sound perfect.


Becca Bryant

Hi, I’m Becca! I’m a fresh college graduate, and I love video games! I graduated college with a BFA in Fine Arts and am looking for ways to intertwine my love for art and games. I have been playing games for as long as I can remember, Spyro the Dragon being my first one. (You can imagine how excited I am about the remake!) I look forward to sharing my experiences with the girls at camp but to also listen and learn about their experiences and favorite games. I look forward to building a fun community at camp and to create some great games!


Candice Academia

Hi! My name is Candice and I have loved playing video games since I was a young girl. My first video games were all educational ones (i.e. Clue Finders, Reader Rabbit, etc.) that I played on the desktop computer. As I grew older, I was more exposed to more genres and different platforms. My all-time favorite game is probably Legend of Mana from Playstation, closely followed by Final Fantasy 8. League of Legends is the current game that I play casually. I recently graduated at SJSU with a BS Computer Science degree with an inclination to UI/UX and game development. I would consider myself as an amateur game developer so I am beyond excited to inspire young girls to pursue this field and as well as learn with them throughout the summer camp. It seems like there is an ongoing feud between staff members regarding cats vs dogs. Though I love all animals, I find cats and otters extra cute so I think that makes me a part of the cat-loving staff members. Looking forward to having fun this summer with you all!:)


Cassie Lier

Hi there! My name is Cassie Lier and I'm an French/American illustrator who loves cooking pasta and onions, going to concerts and - oh, yeah, playing video games!

I came to the USA in 2011 to study Studio Art at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA. After graduating and deepening my knowledge of digital art, I decided to take my education a bit further and went to the Savannah College of Arts and Design to get a Masters in Animation. During my time at SCAD, I discovered just how vast the gaming and animation industries are. At the moment, most of my time is dedicated towards creating visual art and resources for bands in the music industry, but I would love to create concept and game art for video games (or animated films)! My very favorite video games include The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, The Sims, The Witcher III and Stardew Valley. I'll be camp coordinator at the Redmond location this Summer, and I cannot wait to meet eager future video game artists and developers! You can find my work at cassielierart.com or come say hi to me on Twitter @CassieLier :)


Chau Ho

Chau Ho is a Game Designer, Writer and Artist passionate about video game development. She is currently a Senior at California State University Long Beach where she is studying Creative Writing. Once a fanfiction writer and poet, she eventually found a passion to write and design for video games. During her spare time at CSULB, Chau would be working on several video game projects with her school club called 'Video Game Development Association (VGDA). Every semester, students of varying majors, skills and disciplines work together to create and publish a video game or two. She has worked and lead on currently eight titles, four of which are VGDA games that have been completed and published. She was the Creative Director and Producer of VGDA's latest published game, ""Last Whispers"" where she led a team of interdisciplinary students of varying sizes in achieving and keeping consistency in the game's creative direction as well as making sure production timeline of the game goes by smoothly and effectively throughout development. Chau will be moving forward as President of VGDA in the Fall Semester of 2018. Chau is pursuing multiple independent projects while learning other crafts that strengthens her own game development skills. She is excited and grateful to be working with Girls Make Games and cannot wait to inspire and fangirl about all sorts of games with everyone at the camp.


Courtney Clark

Courtney Clark is a freelance composer for video games and other medias. She is a recent graduate of Berklee College of Music where she studied Film and Video Game Scoring. From a very young age, Courtney showed interest in both games and music, but it wasn’t until high school that she started putting them together. She’s worked on many student projects, most notably Umbrella Mondays. Some of her favorite games are Legend of Zelda, MarioKart, Undertale, and Life is Strange. Courtney’s super excited to join the Girl’s Make Games family and looks forward to helping campers get excited about games and the gaming industry.


Daniel Ramos

A former band director, Daniel Ramos is an award winning Sound Designer and Composer for video games and film. He has worked on multiple titles for android and iOS, as well as titles for PC. He is currently an impressive bronze in Overwatch.


Dustin Harris

Dustin works across gaming, mixed reality, and tangible interaction. Most recently he created the award-winning puppet show video game Puppet Pandemonium. Previously he worked on HoloLens at Microsoft.


Grace Ling

I’m Grace! I am passionate about art, video games, and running. I aspire to be an indie video game developer, anime and food artist, lifestyle blogger, and Olympic runner. I’m currently developing a virtual reality role-playing game called Cell-fie, which aims to gamify learning in biology. It’s called Cell-fie because you can become a cell! (Art portfolio: http://grace-ling.com/cell-fie/) I’m currently going into my senior year of college. I started my undergraduate career as a pre-med. I wanted to become a neurosurgeon. Growing up in Cupertino with immigrant parents from Singapore and Taiwan, I was conditioned to believe that success is defined by doing well academically, which leads to earning a lot of money. It took me two years to figure out that my true passion is in art, video games, and anime. I’m majoring in Bioengineering and minoring in Computer Science and Engineering. Next year, I hope to continue my education with a PhD in Computer Science, combining game design, artificial intelligence, and bioengineering while starting an indie game company. Additionally, my favorite games include MapleStory, Pokemon, and Animal Crossing! I’m also quite into Instagram: @irungracepace @graceful.food @candyleaf_


Iman Fayek

Hail and well met! Iman is an indie game developer, with experience in design, art, and programming. She has a BS in Environmental Engineering from Stanford University and a MS in Games & Playable Media from UC Santa Cruz. Her friends call her grandma, as you can often find her sipping tea, knitting/crocheting soft things, and complaining about her aching joints. She also enjoys drawing, crafting, making/eating food, sports (Go Warriors!), and hanging out with her puppy-child, Roscoe. She is super excited about having more women in games and hopes to start a female-run game studio in the near future!


Jackie Fazekas

Jackie Fazekas graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music. She is passionate about both technology and sound and has over 15 years musical performance experience including coding music, synthesized sound design, composition for film, directing the electroacoustic ensemble LOrkAS (Laptop Orchestra of Arizona State), orchestral playing, and field recording. She has previously interned as a Software Engineer at Google and Pandora Radio and is now pursuing a career in game audio (sound design and composition). Website: jackiefazekas.com


Jingqi Yang

Hi, my name is Jingqi! I'm an undergraduate student at Tufts University, class of 2020, studying computer science. I love programming, playing volleyball, doing traditional art, taking care of my plants, and teaching. I also love storytelling, and narrative based games are my favorite kind of game. I was a camp counselor at Girls Make Games the summer of 2017, and I had the best time of my life! I'm super excited to be back and teaching the girls game development again!


Joe Marchuk

Joe Marchuk is a human flesh monkey grown organically, with no artificial flavoring. He can be found in the wild working as a freelance independent videogame composer and sound designer. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, he is currently a student at Berklee College of Music, where he runs the Sound Design Network club, and anticipates graduation in the spring of 2018. Most of his work has been in mobile games, though he was most recently involved as assistant sound designer on Earplay’s interactive audio stories, The Orpheus Device, and Pugmire. Joe is an alumnus of the MassDiGI Summer Innovation Program for 2016 where he was responsible for music and sound design on their mobile games, Comet Cats, Takeover Trail, Smash Crusaders, and Colosseum Coach. In 2017, Joe was selected to attend GDC as an IGDA Scholar. He also dislikes descriptions of himself in third person.


John Palermo

Hi! My name is John Palermo. I graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with a major in Game Design and Development and a double minor in Creative Writing and Japanese! My hobbies are (unsurprisingly) playing and making games, watching anime/TV, reading, and spending time with friends. Some of my favorite games are Persona 3 FES, Fire Emblem 7, the Pokemon series, Dark Souls 3, and Fate/Grand Order.


Ju Howe

Hi, I'm Ju! I'm a senior graduating with a degree in Game Art and Design, and I specialize in Environmental Art and VFX. I think the game industry is rad because people from all backgrounds and skill sets can find the perfect place for themselves on any team! My favorite types of games are narratives that explore controversial topics that might be misunderstood, or that typically aren't talked about. Video games are a unique media, and can be the perfect space for players to experience empathy for characters that differ from themselves. My ultimate reason for being a game developer is to tell compassionate stories, give a voice to those who are voiceless, and to put a smile on people's faces! Some of my favorite things other than games include coffee, animals, and rock climbing.


Kelly Weng

Kelly Weng is an aspiring writer and game developer from Los Angeles, CA with a passion for storytelling. She recently graduated from Smith College and has a BA in English. Having both seen and felt the effects of representation and diversity in media, she is committed to helping young girls explore an environment that can be daunting. As a child, Kelly only casually played a few browser-based and console games. It wasn’t until the end of high school that she delved into PC gaming and familiarized herself with the industry. After working with Midboss on their release of 2064: Read Only Memories, Kelly decided to continue telling stories through the medium of video games. During college, she worked on a few projects while connecting students and faculty who shared her interest in games, determined to help foster a gaming community on campus. Nowadays, Kelly finds the time to write interactive narrative games while (slowly) attempting to teach herself coding. Though numerous genres inspire her, she especially loves RPGs. In addition to playing and creating games, she enjoys watching Overwatch eSports and listening to Critical Role. Her website can be found at https://kellyweng.carrd.co/.


Kira Twombly

Kira is so excited to start her first summer with Girls Make Games! During the year, she studies Art and Technology at Mills College in Oakland, CA. She likes to program in OpenGL, Java, and mod Minecraft! She’s also a huge fan of the Legend of Zelda, knitting, and playing her ukulele. She’s interested in creating immersive games with interesting stories, and beautiful graphics, and some of her biggest inspirations are Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead and Night in the Woods by Infinite Fall. She can’t wait to get started making (and playing) a bunch of awesome games this summer!


Kristin Dragos

Kristin is a graduate of and student mentor for Udacity’s Virtual Reality Developer Nanodegree. In February 2017, Kristin’s game, Future Fix-up, Past Patch-up, won first place in Udacity’s VR jam. She has served as counselor for Girls Make Games summer camp, encouraging middle and high school girls to make games. She is a member of the Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Association (VRARA), International Game Developers Association (IGDA), Women Who Code, Women Techmakers, and Oculus Start. Her most recent efforts include starting Beazle Bee, a small independent game studio with a mission to bring diverse gaming content to the VR market.


Laura Baker

Laura is a digital artist who currently resides in Washington, DC. She is a graduate of George Mason University, where she studied Art & Visual Technology and Game Design. She has a passion for animation and illustration, and an affinity for creating cute and colorful stories. At 7 years old she played her first video game, which inspired her to become an artist - now she hopes to create games as a way to inspire others. As a woman in game design, she is very passionate about uplifting young women and readying them for the video game industry. She looks forward to meeting & working with the next generation of game designers!


Leah Bernstein

Hi, I'm Leah. This is my first year with GMG as a camp counselor, and boi am I excited! Little about me: I was born on the West Coast but have known the East Coast as home for most of my life, I'm currently a sophomore at Rochester Institute of Technology as a Game Design and Development major, and one of my earliest memories is playing LoZ Ocarina of Time on the Nintendo 64. Gaming is my passion and I can't wait to help others make it their's!


Lina Chung

I will be a third year student at Seattle University, pursuing a major in Computer Science with a minor in Japanese. I am passionate about technology as well as helping people, and find great joy in the idea of creating systems that can benefit others.


Maria Li

Hello! My name is Maria Li I’m a concept artist and illustrator from San Jose, California. After graduating from Otis College of Art and Design, I’m excited to have applied my skills as an artist and storyteller by contributing to media that has inspired me since I was young, namely games and comics. I'm drawn to games that are rich in world-building and character exploration and some of my favorites include Mass Effect, Dishonored, and Transistor. As I continue growing as an artist, I hope to highlight stories from underrepresented voices and work on a game about sea monsters someday. If you’d like to see my work or say hello, you can find me at my site mariayli.com or on Twitter as @rowannox.


Mark Savage

I'm Mark Savage, a student at Northeastern University currently working towards my BFA in Games. I've been passionate about games since I was a child, and I've known since then that I wanted to make them. I'm primarily a designer, although I also have interest and experience in management and development. My goal is to create games that allow the players to understand the experiences of others in meaningful ways.


Maureen Wang

Maureen "Momo" Wang is a game developer, programmer, artist, and dancer studying Computer Science & Game Development at the University of Southern California. In her free time, Momo loves volunteering. She's volunteered at a few hackathons teaching kids how to make games, worked as a CA at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) a couple of times, and also both volunteered and exhibited at IndieCade. In the past, she's worked on various games as a QA Tester, Concept Artist, Writer, Designer, and Programmer, and last summer she interned at Microsoft. Momo is currently Artistic Director & Producer on the narrative adventure game As It Is, which will soon be showing at a number of festivals! When she's not doing any of the above, she enjoys playing with dogs, analyzing anime and video games (like the Zero Escape series), and following competitive figure skating.


Megan Gao

Megan Gao is a student at Seattle University studying Computer Science and Studio Art. In the past, she helped organize Seattle University's Hackathon, HackSU, and assisted in teaching a middle school Scratch class. Megan is interested in exploring the ways in which technology and art interact with one another, with a main focus in gaming and fashion. She especially loves Nintendo games. Her favorite series include Animal Crossing and Style Savvy. When Megan's not coding or drawing, you can probably find her knitting or eating sweets!


Melissa Coleman

Melissa is a 3D character artist from Dallas finishing her last year at UTD. Currently, she is marketing for House Pixel, a local Dallas indie studio. She has worked at Microsoft teaching classes, including ones to kids about how to code. With Microsoft, she has also hosted various esports gaming events in the Dallas area including at the Lets Play Expo in Las Colinas. Her love for games started young with a copy of Pokemon for her Gameboy and grew exponentially from there. When she's not playing games she is usually crafting something, playing with her dog Guvnah Pickles, travelling, or trying new foods.


Nathan Xa

Nathan is an illustrator and designer based in Garden Grove, CA. He started his education at California State University, Long Beach immediately after getting out of high school. He is currently working towards getting a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Illustration. When he is not making art for his classes, Nathan is making art for his school club called the 'Video Game Development Association'. Every semester he works on creating and polishing a video game with 20 or more people. He has, so far, contributed to two games from the club. He works mainly as one of the leading environmental artists and one of two producers for the club, making sure that the development keeps on schedule and giving everyone something to do. Beyond school, he also enjoys getting multiple groups together to work on as many indie projects as possible and making plenty of art pieces.


Naia Subedar

Hi I'm Naia and I studied Game Development at UT Austin. I graduated with a degree in Art and Entertainment Technology. I’m a digital artist, both 2D and 3D. I love drawing and art in general but I especially like to draw cute things. I also really like making and working on games and being able to create new worlds in games though my art. I've worked on many different game projects while in school, from PC games, VR games, and even AR games on mobile. I've also worked on games that have been or will be published soon. I am currently doing 3D Art as a contractor for a game studio. I hope to continue working on games because I've had so much fun doing it so far! I am really excited to start working with everyone and hopefully encourage the students to enjoy making games as much as I do!


Nupur Yadav

Recent graduate with a Masters in Computer Science from University of Texas at Dallas, she is a VR/AR and gaming enthusiast. She has worked as a programmer for the Public Interactives Research Lab, UT Dallas and currently interning with Future Sight AR. She enjoys attending conferences & networking with amazing people in the industry. She is also an environment enthusiast and promotes zero-waste, plastic-free lifestyle.


Ojus Rao

Ojus Rao is a recent graduate of Computer Science and Engineering from SCU university. She has always loved playing games but only recently got into creating them herself. Her love for animation and game engineering started after taking a class in 3d modeling where she greatly enjoyed the creative process of making realistic models. She also enjoys storyboarding and character development and hopes to be able to help others also discover their passion in game making.


Rashad Khan

Rashad is a Computer Engineering/Computer Science student at Northeastern University in Boston. He is an undergraduate research assistant at the Robotics and Intelligent Vehicles Research Laboratory at Northeastern, and is passionate about robotics, virtual reality, video games and how those areas meet each other. He is a also a member of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space and The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Northeastern University. Rashad has loved playing competitive video games throughout his life and loves Counter-Strike and League of Legends. He is still trying to figure out how to become an astronaut.


Ruben Sanchez Velasco

A life-long gamer, Ruben Sanchez got his start in video game development when he joined the Video Game Development Association at Cal State Long Beach. Since then, he’s had the honor of serving as the lead programmer for their team of software engineers, ensuring they reach their potential in creating the most immersive and interactive games possible. He is also a founding member of the indie development studio Monument Games. Their debut release, "Reinvent the Wheel" (available on Google Play and the App Store), has earned awards such as:
IEEE GameSig 2018 2nd Place
IEEE GameSig 2018 People's Choice
GitHub/Itch.io 5th Annual Game Off Game Jam 2nd Place
GitHub/Itch.io 5th Annual Game Off Game Jam Staff Pick
Contributing to multiple development teams, he has also published solo projects such as Stack Supreme to Google Play, reaching thousands of downloads from around the world.


Shaina Chen

Shaina is a student at UC Berkeley who is majoring in Computer Science (Class of 2022!!). When she was younger, she spent so much time secretly playing video games with her sister before her parents would get home from work that she could barely finish her homework in time. Although her time management skills have now improved, video games haven't gotten any less addicting! When she's not glued to the computer, Shaina enjoys petting cute doggies.


Synali Parker

Synali Parker is a Computer Science major at Mills College. She has always had a love and passion for the way that video games can transport you to another world. Synali aspires to one day create those worlds for other people. At the same time she hopes to be a role model for other young, brown girls pursuing careers in technology and the gaming industry. She has dedicated her time to mentoring and supporting youth interested in technology. Synali believes that anyone can do whatever they wish as long as they set their mind to it and she hopes for a world where everyone can have access to technology. Some of her favorite games include Destiny, Life is Strange, and Super Mario Odyssey.


Vera Limani

I'm an aspiring Game Designer born and raised in Brooklyn. I'm currently studying Game Design, Programming, and Mathematics at NYU! I love playing sports, Smash Bros, and yes, I still play Pokemon Go.


Wendy Beumel

Born and raised in South Florida, Wendy is currently a mixed reality programmer for a small indie game development studio based in Orlando, where she resides with her fiancé and their two cats. She recently graduated from the University of Central Florida with a BA in Game Design. Wendy has been playing video games for most of her life. She was only 12 when she discovered that games were her passion and made it a goal to work in the games industry. Some of her favorites are The Sims, Animal Crossing, and just about any rhythm game you can think of (particularly Guitar Hero/Rock Band, or, more recently, Beat Saber). Outside of games, some of her other hobbies include cooking and studying Japanese. Wendy’s dream is to develop games that advocate for mental health issues.


Zoe Morgan

Zoe Morgan is an aspiring 3D Artist with a passion for video games. She recently graduated with a BFA in Animation from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2017. She then returned to SCAD and is a current Graduate student studying Interactive Design and Game Development. She focuses on environment and prop art while also finding joy in conceptualizing original video game ideas. She loves a variety of games all ranging from indie to AAA. She hopes to inspire young girls interested in video games and game design to pursue their dreams and make the industry a more diverse and welcoming place for women.


Allison Kim

Hello! I'm Allison Kim, and I'm a rising freshman at the University of Pennsylvania studying Digital Media Design. I grew up in the suburbs in SoCal and learned how to code in ninth grade when I took AP Computer Science. Since then, coding has been a fun past time and soon to be part of what I study in college. I've played games for as long as I can remember ranging from online Barbie flash games to Pokemon to my current obsession Celeste on the new Nintendo Switch! I'm really excited to share that love for video games and help other girls bring to life their own games.


Alyssa Vargas

I am a college student who hopes to pursue a career in the game development world. I plan to open up my own video game studio where I can make games that blend the world of psychology with video game tech to create innovative and creative games. My favorite games are Psychonauts, Life is Strange, and plenty others! I come from a long line of strong fearless women and plan to do them proud in an industry that has been heavily male dominated. I am so grateful to Girls Make Games for having me at camp as a student and now to have me as an advisor. This is certainly the start of my bright future!


Kyra Cruse

Kyra is currently studying Game Design and Development at Rochester Institute of Technology. As she grew up Kyra developed a love for stories and different forms of storytelling, including telling stories in the form of video games. She started taking coding classes in high school and can’t wait to learn more during her time in college. During her free time Kyra enjoys seeking out a good story in several different forms including video games, books, tv shows, or her most recent favorite pastime playing Dungeons and Dragons with her friends. D&D has opened her mind to even more possibilities as to what games can do and she often will start sketching out ideas for games whenever an idea pops into her mind. When away from games and stories, Kyra loves spending time with animals of all shapes and sizes.


Olivia Kurland

I've been a gamer for as long as I can remember and have been fascinated by the industry for years. I have used games not only as a way to have fun, but to also de-stress and cope with things in my life. The games I play range from The Legend of Zelda series and Yoshi's Story to Destiny and Overwatch, and plenty of indie games. I was born in Texas, but I lived in Iowa for over half of my life. My family and I moved back to Texas about 7 years ago. I'm currently working full-time at an Amazon Fulfillment Center, and through their Career Choice Program I am hoping to get a 2 year degree in Computer Science. After that I plan to make my way into the Marine Biology field.