These Aspiring Video Game Creators Just Received Academic Grants from the AIAS Foundation's WomenIn Program


Eleven female students from across the US have each been awarded $2,500 to advance their academic careers, all thanks to the AIAS Foundation. This philanthropic arm of the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences established the WomenIn program in 2016, with the goal of supporting inclusion of more women in the interactive entertainment industry. 


In addition to the grant, each winner will be supported by a year-long mentorship program with a gaming industry professional.

"These eleven AIAS Foundation WomenIn scholars are great examples of how and by whom the games industry will continue to grow and diversify in the future," said Don Daglow, President, AIAS Foundation. "We are proud to support their education, and to welcome them to the 2017 D.I.C.E. Conference and pair them with experienced industry mentors."

Winners were evaluated by by the AIAS Foundation Scholarship Committee based on their GPA, financial need, letters of recommendation, and willingness to create change for the games industry. Here are the recipients for the 2016-2017 academic school year:


  • Sydney Adams, studying English at Stony Brook University
  • Stephanie Chen, studying Computer Science at Columbia University
  • Martha Monica, studying Computer Science (Game Development) at University of Southern California
  • Sarah Belhumeur, studying Digital Media at Maine College of Art
  • Franzi Wischmann, studying Film and Media Arts at University of Utah
  • Sydnie Ritchie, studying Entertainment Arts and Engineering at University of Utah
  • Maya DeJesus, studying Creative Arts and Technology (Game Development) at Bloomfield College
  • Allison Cole, studying Game Design at New York University
  • Jing Shu, studying Entertainment Technology at Carnegie Mellon University
  • Ciarra Matthews, studying Design at University of California, Davis
  • Rachel Hwang, studying Computer Graphics and Game Technology at the University of Pennsylvania

For more information, or to get details about the AIAS Foundation's Randy Pausch and Mark Beaumont scholarships opening for submissions in Spring 2017, visit


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