AIAS Foundation Scholars at #DICE2024

2023-2024 AIAS Foundation Scholar Experience: Mentorships, Workshops, and the D.I.C.E. Summit/Awards

With the announcement of our 2024-2025 scholarship application opening, we wanted to share what the 2023-2024 AIAS Foundation scholar cohort experience looked like these past seven months that included but were not limited to creating long-lasting connections, learning from industry professionals, and engaging in pertinent discussions and learnings.  

The journey began with scholars being matched with a specialized mentor, filling out an in-depth form on the type of goals and experiences they were looking to get from their potential adviser. Reviewing these documents, the AIAS Foundation staff looked through both our extensive Foundation mentor database as well as conducting individualized research for more specific mentor requests. Mentors were then introduced to their mentee which kicked off their virtual mentorship sessions to share contact information, discuss career goals, and create a personalized plan before eventually meeting at the D.I.C.E. Summit.  

During this leadup to D.I.C.E., scholars were also able to participate in several virtual workshop sessions that included: an introduction with the scholar coordinators; resume/hiring best practices; networking tips 101; and a Q&A panel discussing AAA vs. Indie with several senior industry professionals.  

The scholars then attended the 2024 D.I.C.E. Summit for an all-expense paid trip to the annual executive leadership conference. Before the start of the conference, the scholars were provided a day of in-person professional workshop training from industry experts on workshops such as Game Production 101: the Lifecycle of a Game; Soft Skills: Tips and Tricks for Leveling Up; and Development Mindset: How to Build Game Worlds Virtually and IRL in addition to meeting up with their mentors in-person. 

Scholars were able to utilize their learnings and participate in specially scheduled breakfast and lunch Q&As with industry leaders, evening networking events, a speed networking session, workshops, and roundtables. Scholars also had the option to take headshots with our professional photographer. Additional highlights included attending the speaker programming in person as well as attending the 27th Annual D.I.C.E. Awards, the premier peer-based industry Awards Show. Two of our scholars, Dotun Oseni-Adegbite and Selina Liu, were also featured on stage during the ceremony to assist winners and present trophies. 

The 2023-2024 Scholars who attended this year's D.I.C.E. Summit included:

  • AIAS Foundation Scholar: Masato Lin, University of Southern California
  • AIAS Foundation Scholar: Dotun Oseni-Adegbite, Software Engineer, Xbox PEP (Player Experiences & Platform)
  • AIAS Foundation Scholar: Michael Wahba, University of Southern California
  • AIAS Foundation Scholar: Shannon Xie, ArtCenter, College of Design
  • WomenIn Scholar: Noor Amin, Game Designer, Riot Games
  • WomenIn Scholar: Nikki Ashaka, University of Southern California
  • WomenIn Scholar: Katharine Doescher, California Institute of the Arts
  • WomenIn Scholar: Courtney Manbeck, Game Director, Whitethorn Games
  • WomenIn Scholar: Kayi Ng, Carnegie Mellon University
  • WomenIn Scholar: Elaine Tanaka, University of Utah
  • Girls for Gaming Scholar: Selina Liu, Game Producer, Riot Games 

A special thank you goes out to all of our coordinators, speakers, and mentors for taking time out of their busy schedule to enrich our scholar experience including:

  • Rachel Hwang, Liminal Experiences, Inc. (Scholar Coordinator)
  • Jenny Xu, Talofa Games (Scholar Coordinator)
  • Justin Altman, Visual Development Artist (Mentor)
  • Mariel Kinuko Cartwright, Future Club (Mentor)
  • Chandana Ekanayake, Outerloop Games (Mentor)
  • Mike Fitzgerald, Insomniac Games (Mentor)
  • Ricardo Graham, ZeniMax Online Studios (Mentor)
  • Nat Loh, Game Designer (Mentor)
  • Brianne Lovett, Wizards of the Coast (Mentor)
  • Lis Moberly, Lightspeed LA (Mentor)
  • Mike O'Connor, Iron Galaxy Studios (Mentor)
  • Stephen Oyarijivbie, Santa Monica Studio (Mentor)
  • Sunni Pavlovic, Windflower Games (Mentor)
  • Alexa Ray Corriea, Cliffhanger Games (Mentor)
  • Jennifer Schneidereit, Nyamyam (Mentor)
  • Reika Yoshino, thatgamecompany (Mentor)
  • Fiona Cherbak, Xbox Game Studios (Speaker)
  • Leanne Loombe, Netflix (Speaker)
  • Beth Llewelyn, Zebra PR (Speaker)
  • Xalavier Nelson Jr., Strange Scaffold (Speaker)
  • Connie Owens, Zebra PR (Speaker)
  • Eric Monacelli, Marvel Entertainment (Speaker)
  • Johner Riehl, Zebra PR (Speaker)
  • Anna Sweet, Bad Robot Games (Speaker)
  • Victoria Tran, Innersloth (Speaker) 

Click here for more information on the AIAS Foundation, WomenIn, and Girls for Gaming scholarships.
Click here to learn more on how you can help be a mentor.
Click here to donate to the AIAS Foundation to help fund our scholarship program.