What I care passionately about is educating for the future, not education for education's sake but education to enable youth to craft their personal lives and our collective future. Having successfully gone through the loops of starving artist to art director to successful freelance computer artist, I am compelled to help others find their personal path.
GIV IT teens learning together
Applying this philosophy, my practical experience and primary research interest is in the intersection of computing technologies and their impact on education, communication, and culture. Of particular interest to me is the question of how technology, games, and media can influence learning and spark real-world positive social action. It is this interest upon which I have built and direct the Emergent Media Center at Champlain College, the MFA in Emergent Media, the Governor's Institute of Vermont in Information Technology, and other key Champlain programs.

GIV IT girls speaking about their dreams for the future.

At the EMC I work alongside dedicated colleagues Sarah Jerger, Ken Howell, Jen Adrian, and Adam Walker. As a Principle Investigator, I’ve been a top faculty grant recipient at Champlain College. Through public and non-profit partnerships, I’ve led projects that build instances and explore the impact of communication technologies and emergent media on learning, communication and decision-making. The Emergent Media Center can be found at
EMC students creating the art for BREAKAWAY
My most dear project is BREAKAWAY, an episodic global game to end violent behavior against women, sponsored by the United Nations’ Population Fund and under the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s UNiTE campaign banner. This project engaged over 100 Champlain College students in its design, production, and marketing. Senator Patrick Leahy is a supporter of the project and has spoken and written on its behalf. The game can be found at http://www.breakawaygame.comThe project's current initiatives and impact can be found att , to learn about the start of the project a reflective account from students, staff, and faculty can be found at

Early interview at the Montreal Game Summit on BREAKAWAY

Our first creative lead Heather Kelley during the research phase in a township outside South Africa
Outlined below are grants and partnerships with corporations, non-profits and other academic institutions that I have been the recipient of: 
  1. Eden, gift-funded narrative virtual reality project utilizing scent, 2017
  2. Stern Center Building Blocks for Literacy Online, gift-funded adaptation of the Stern Center's curriculum for pre-K educators on building pre-literacy and reading skills in children, 2017-2018.
  3. UNESCO "Wealth Generator", a web-based game, exploring sustainable economic systems. August 2015.
  4. BREAKAWAY partnership with H.O.P.E. Works, grant provided by the Laura K. Winterbottom Fund to launch BREAKAWAY facilitator training for youth programs in Chittenden County, Vermont. July 2015-present. (grant: $8,000)
  5. BREAKAWAY Youth Camps in El Salvador 2014, invited by the UNDP and the Municipalities of El Salvador, led fundraising campaign, planning, and training towards returning to El Salvador to complete follow-up study, support new youth camps, and create self-sustaining Facilitator training. October-December 2014. 
  6. Champlain College President's Cabinet, "Assessment of an Educational Game BREAKAWAY at Youth Camps in El Salvador", funding to launch youth camps and facilitator training in Sonsonate, El Salvador and to conduct research on the impact of the game and the facilitated experience.  October 2013-July 1, 2014. 
  7. Institute of Museum and Library Services grant, partnership with ECHO Lake and Science Center, created a fellowship program, enabling graduate and undergraduate students to identify and build interactive experiences for the science center. 2012.
  8. Ford Foundation, in partnership with Yellow Wood Associates to create "WealthWorks" a web-based game wherein users create value chains that expand livelihood opportunities for low-income individuals in regions of persistent poverty. To help the students conceptualize the project, received a sub-grant to attend the 2011 Games for Change festival in New York City. June 2011-July 2014.
  9. "WealthWorks" Mandarin version, translation and localization of Ford Foundation game for Chinese market. 2013/2014.
  10. United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Sub-grantee with Population Media Center to create a game to address violence against women targeted at young boys in developing nations. “BREAKAWAY” —team students, faculty and staff at Champlain College are applying the Sabido Methodology (a video and radio methodology for behavior change) to the electronic game format and developing support materials and outreach, Phase One, Two and Three funding: August 2008—present.
  11. IBM Faculty Award, for work on “BREAKAWAY”, June 2011. 
  12. Ford Foundation, in partnership with Yellow Wood Associates to create web-gamed game, currently in pre-production phase, to allow users to learn how to create value chains that expand livelihood opportunities for low income individuals in regions of persistent poverty. To help the students conceptualize the project, received a sub-grant to attend the 2011 Games for Change festival in New York City. June 2011-present.
  13. State of Vermont, Agency of Commerce and Community Development, working with NEH grantee, State Archeologist Giovanna Peebles, on a project wherein students developed a working prototype for a web browser-based virtual archeology museum utilizing social networking features, June—December 2009.
  14. Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Games for Health, Sub-grantee with Peter Bingham of University of Vermont. Student and faculty teams created games for Cystic Fibrosis patients as part of a research project into efficacy of games to motivation in treatment, August 2008—March 2009.
  15. IBM Faculty Award, received award to enable student and faculty team to work with IBM researchers in virtual worlds, November—February 2008.
  16. U.S. Army Aviation and Missile, Research, Development and Engineering Center (AMRDEC), Secured a 3 year CRADA enabling student teams to work with America’s Army (AA) professional development teams on a variety of projects to include level map design and implementation, 3D modeling, and creating assets and code for the Unreal3 game engine, June 2008—June 2011.
  17. Google Maps Burlington 3D, City of Burlington, Vermont and the Champlain College Finance office, student teams are creating 3D accurately textured models of the city of Burlington for launch on Google 3D maps, January 2008—present.
  18. Massachusetts General’s Center for Integration of Medicine, Innovative Medicine’s (CIMIT), Sub-grantee with Ryan Scott Bardsley of the on a project wherein students design an electronic game experience to be used as part of an Emergency Response training simulation, January 2008—February 2009.
  19. Information Literacy, Internal to Champlain College, student teams are creating games with the college library on teaching Information Literacy skills and thinking through game environments, September 2007—March 2009.
  20. “Games Today”. Working with IBM researcher John Cohn, led students in project to create an interactive program with a goal of encouraging high school students to explore and enter science and technology careers through their love of video games, December 2008—March 2009.
  21. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Supplemental Environmental Project, “Mercury Project”. Received grant with Karen Knaebel of the State Department of Environmental Conservation from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Supplemental Environmental Project supporting 2 teams of students creating games to educate young teens on the hazards of mercury, January-September 2005.
The first EMC student team to craft games at Elliot Masie's Learning conference.


  1. Helen Bishop SantelliJune 23, 2012 at 3:20 PM

    The interview at the Montreal summit was so interesting. How exciting to be using technology, games and fun to change the world views for needed change, i am so impressed! How these pieces all feel into place must seem like a miracle to you all!

  2. It does - takes me back to our graduate school days - who knew then what we would all accomplish with those beginning pieces?