Becker College students to attend GDC

Published on Thursday, March 8th, 2018

Six awarded prestigious scholarships for the Game Developers Conference.

Top Row (L to R): Ju Howe, Emily Ryan, Tyler Haddad Bottom (L to R): Manny Mallea, Neal Spellman


Several Becker College students were given scholarships to attend the Game Developers Conference. Pictured are Top Row (L to R): Ju Howe, Emily Ryan, Tyler Haddad and
Bottom (L to R): Manny Mallea, Neal Spellman.

A dozen students from Becker’s Interactive Media Design program will attend the Game Developers Conference (GDC), the world’s largest professional game industry event, later this month in San Francisco. Six of them received prestigious industry scholarships to attend GDC.

Tyler Haddad, a senior in the Game Production and Programming concentration, was awarded the highly coveted International Game Developers Association (IGDA) Foundation scholarship. Only 18 IGDA GDC scholars were selected worldwide. Game Arts student, Ju Howe, received Xbox’s Women in Gaming Game Changer scholarship, which is awarded to passionate women who are starting out in the games industry. Meanwhile, Manny Mallea, Emily Ryan, Tung Thanh Vu and Neal Spellman were selected by game engine software company, Unity Technologies, for the Unity Student Scholarships. They were among fifty game development students worldwide with outstanding bodies of work to receive this highly competitive award.

“I was just one applicant out of thousands. But, seeing the email telling me I won was an amazing moment,” said Spellman, A third-year student in Becker’s Game Development and Programming concentration. “Attending GDC has been a dream of mine.  I’ve always wanted to attend the talks from developers in the field, as there’s so much I can learn from them.”

GDC attracts over 26,000 programmers, game designers, artists, producers, and other professionals involved in the development of interactive games and virtual reality. The event serves as a forum to exchange ideas and shape the future of the industry.  For student participants, it is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to learn from and network with some of the most influential developers in the field. Becker College is providing stipends to six other outstanding Interactive Media Design students to attend this year’s GDC, which will take place from March 19 to 23 in the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco.

“We are ecstatic that these students have won these coveted awards at the national level,” said Alan Ritacco, Dean of the School of Design and Technology.  “These students exemplify the unrivaled talent that our Game Design program offers.”