VSGI Team

Scott Martin

Scott Martin

Founding Director Computer Game Design Program & Virginia Serious Game Institute (VSGI), Associate Professor, CVPA Visiting Fellow, SGI/University of Conventry, UK Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Computer Games and Communication

2020 Art and Design Building MSN: 1C3
Email: smartin4@gmu.edu
Phone: 703-993-4574

Dr. Scott M. Martin is an inventor, mentor, educator, entrepreneur, intrepreneur, and is currently Founding Director of the Computer Game Design Program, and the Virginia Serious Game Institute (VSGI) at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, U.S.A. In the last 30 years, Dr. Martin has taught courses in business entrepreneurship and management, art philosophy, theory, and criticism, music composition, acoustics, physics, and political theory. Dr. Martin received his B.M. (1988) and M.M. (1989) from Johns Hopkins University, with additional studies in Audio and Electrical Engineering. He received his Doctorate from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2000. In addition, Dr. Martin has founded multiple businesses, institutes, academics programs, research centers, schools, and colleges, and he holds several patent inventions in educational pedagogy and learning sciences. Dr. Martin and is the Founder and Chairman of PSTH LLC, a business consultancy, and Scriyb LLC, a machine-learning/AI education company.

Nolan Bushnell

Nolan Bushnell

Game Pioneer in Residence

Founded both Atari, Inc. and the Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza-Time Theaters chain. Bushnell has been inducted into the Video Game Hall of Fame and the Consumer Electronics Association Hall of Fame, received the BAFTA Fellowship and the Nations Restaurant News “Innovator of the Year” award, and was named one of Newsweek’s “50 Men Who Changed America.” Bushnell has started more than twenty companies and is one of the founding fathers of the video game industry.

James Casey

James Casey

VSGI Assistant Director, and Assistant Professor Computer Game Design

Mason Enterprise Hall 10890
George Mason Circle Bull Run Hall,
Room 147 Manassas, VA 20110

Email: jcasey9@gmu.edu

James has over 12 years of experience developing video games. He has extensive knowledge in the production and live management of games working on titles from Mythic Entertainment, Bioware, EA, and EA Mobile. James worked in a number of roles including customer service, design, content lead, and producer. The majority of his tenure in the industry was in the producer role with production experience on Live and in-development titles. His portfolio of work includes such PC titles as Dark Age of Camelot, Ultima Online, Imperator Online, Warhammer Online: Age of Chaos, Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes as well as the mobile titles Ultima Forever and Dungeon Keeper. As well, James worked on a number of prototype projects and co-development titles for the studio and helped to lead the transition to mobile for the studio. He’s earned his Master and Bachelor degrees in Business Administration as well as a creative writing minor.

Stephanie Kane

Stephanie Kane

Administrative Assistant Computer Game Design

10900 University Blvd, Bull Run Hall, Suite 147, Manassas, VA  20110

Email: skane5@gmu.edu

Phone: 703-993-7033

Stephanie Kane, Administrative Assistant, Operations and Finance at SGI, started at George Mason University as a Student Instructor in the Student Technology and Resource Labs. She began as a full time staff member three years ago in the Dean’s Office, College of Humanities and Social Sciences. Stephanie earned a Bachelor of Arts in History in 2008, focusing on the Cold War, and is currently earning her Master of Arts in European History with a concentration in New Media and Technology; she plans on studying the symbolism and visual choices in historical video games.

Rizza L Villacorte

Rizza L Villacorte

Client Services Coordinator

10900 University Blvd, Bull Run Hall, Suite 147, Manassas, VA  20110

Email: rvillac2@gmu.edu

Phone: 703-993-9415

Rizza Villacorte is the Client Services Coordinator for VSGI.  She started at GMU at the Mason Enterprise Center which is also a small business incubator so it was a natural transition to her current role.  She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Operations Management and Information Systems from Northern Illinois University and worked as a Project Manager at United Airlines and Alexian Health Systems – both based in the Chicagoland area.  She is also one of the organizers of 1 Million Cups Prince William, an all-volunteer national program designed to educate, engage, and connect entrepreneurs.

Vera Lichtenberg

Vera Lichtenberg

Founding Director, Mason Game & Technology Academ

10900 University Blvd, Bull Run Hall, Suite 147, Manassas, VA  20110

Email: vlichten@gmu.edu

Phone: 703-285-9952

Vera Lichtenberg is the co-founder and Director of the Mason Game and Technology Academy (MGTA). She works closely with Mason Game Design Program faculty to develop courses and curriculum for K-12 students, community programs, and industry professionals.

Olivia Blackmon

Olivia Blackmon

Director of Corporate Outreach and Faculty

10900 University Blvd, Bull Run Hall, Suite 147, Manassas, VA  20110

Email: oblackmo@gmu.edu

Phone: 571-205-9467

Olivia M. Blackmon has her Ph.D. in Sociology with a concentration in Education Policy, and advanced quantitative methods. Dr. Blackmon recently received a Fulbright, where she will work with local NGOs in Ghana to conduct an impact evaluation of education, technology and women health programs throughout rural areas.  She currently is the Director of Corporate Outreach and Special Projects at the George Mason University – Virginia Serious Game Institute (VSGI). At VSGI, Dr. Blackmon is the chair of the VA-Alliance for Cyber, Technology and Computer Science Training, a consortium of public school districts, community colleges, four-year universities, and industry leaders. She is also on the board of directors for the Virginia Community College System supporting Cyber Security and Technology partnerships across the Commonwealth. In addition, she works on Veteran programs to establish a pathway for Cyber, Computer Science and Technology, workforce development. 

Formerly, she was the Asst. Program Director at The George Washington University school of Integrated, Information Science & Technology Program, and teaches courses in Political Data Analytics, Advanced Research Methods, and Education. Dr. Blackmon previously served as a Senior Education Advisor and Sr. Business Development Officer where she oversaw evaluations of K-12 STEM and reading literacy programs in Central America, East Africa and Southeast Asia. During her tenure at Devtech, she was the Senior Advisor to the United Nations Global Impact forum for West Africa to support equal educational opportunities for children and women. Previously she has served as the Director of Research at Thurgood Marshall College Fund and conducted research on STEM initiatives at Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) across the U.S., and collaborations with STEM projects in Brazil. She has consulted with USAID, World Vision, the United Nations, and UNICEF to design, implement and measure high impact STEM, reading literacy and humanitarian programs.

Matt Nolan

Matt Nolan

Assistant Professor of Game Music and Sound Design

2023 Art and Design Building MSN: 1C3

Email: mnolan4@gmu.edu

Phone: 703-993-9591

Matt Nolan, Adjunct Faculty and Technical Director as Administrative Faculty for the Computer Game Design Program, has 7 years experience developing and designing interactive computer systems using game engines and gaming theories. As a specialist in digital audio and programming for interactivity, Nolan has given national lectures and presentations on interactive controller systems for game systems and has been the lead designer on multiple game-related software applications. He earned a Bachelor of Music with a concentration in Music Synthesis from Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts and is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Music Composition at GMU.

Tara Collingwoode-Williams

Tara Collingwoode-Williams

Visiting Research Lecturer

As one of the youngest PhD students to have ever been accepted onto the IGGI (Intelligent Games and Games Intelligence) program, Tara has specialised in immersive Virtual Reality and is fascinated by the incredible opportunities that these new technologies provide. Tara Collingwoode-Williams received a BSc in Creative Computing (1st) at Goldsmiths, University of London in 2014. She then went on to take a gap year from studying, working at Decoded, a start-up company that teaches different companies how to code. Here she worked within the product team to teach, as well as creating 3D models, creating online content for BBC and providing a prototype virtual environment for facilitating. Following this, she took part in smaller work experiences, working within the BBC(redBee) Digital team before then deciding to continue her research on her dissertation work on Interaction with Virtual Reality in 2015.