WASHINGTON, DC – November 17, 2017 – The Higher Education Video Game Alliance (HEVGA), a professional association of video game scholars and programs at universities, announced today Andy Phelps as President. Phelps is the founder and Director of the RIT Center for Media, Arts, Games, Interaction and Creativity (MAGIC), founder and former Director of the School of Interactive Games & Media at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and holds the rank of Professor at the Institute. Phelps brings decades of experience in games programming education to the Alliance and has been an essential leader in legitimizing and professionalizing the field. He was a founding member of the Alliance’s Board of Directors and has been integral in ensuring its success.
“Andy has a proven record of leadership and has demonstrated mastery in moving initiatives and organizations forward in truly impactful ways. His current and former work at RIT, collaboration with state and local government at MAGIC, and commitment to academics makes Andy the person best suited to next lead the Alliance,” said Drew Davidson, HEVGA’s Secretary.
Phelps succeeds Constance Steinkuehler, who served as president from the Alliance’s inception. “We owe Constance a deep debt, not just for championing the establishment of HEVGA, but for her fearless dedication to games in higher education from the very beginning, both within academics and at the federal level in the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) during the Obama administration,” said Phelps. Steinkuehler currently holds the rank of Professor at the University of California, Irvine and will continue to serve the Alliance as one of its founding fellows.
Phelps will build off the work of Steinkuehler and the other founding members of the Alliance’s Board of Directors, Drew Davidson, Katherine Isbister, and Tracy Fullerton, to expand member-driven processes and its role and service to the field. Jonathan Elmergreen, HEVGA’s Executive Director, said of Phelps’ plans, “In the near term, Andy and I will focus on filling two vacant seats on the Board of Directors, with a particular emphasis on candidates who can represent the field beyond the border of the United States and at two-year programs, community colleges, teaching universities, and trade programs. In addition, we plan to expand the Board of Directors, advisory board, membership, and establish councils composed of members to advise the executive committee on the unique needs of educations across the world. Research is an integral facet of our members’ daily lives, so Andy and I will also continue to grow the Alliance’s role in scholarly work through our surveys and supporting our members’ research, with a particular focus on gaining greater understanding of industry, its impacts, and important crossover with academics.”
“We are very excited to have Andy as the Alliance’s next president. His background, devotion, and integrity will serve our field well and continue to push us forward. HEVGA, the executive committee, and our members are lucky to have him. We look forward to serving under his leadership,” said Katherine Isbister, Communications & Outreach.
HEVGA’s mission is to create a platform for higher education leaders which will underscore the cultural, scientific, and economic importance of video game programs in colleges and universities. The key is to create a robust network of resources – including unified advocacy, policymaker engagement, media coverage, and external funding – in order to incubate and harness the impact of this community in a 21st century learning environment. For more information, visit hevga.org, like HEVGA on Facebook, or follow @theHEVGA on Twitter.