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Horizons Faculty of Excellence Awards

Although Horizons was created to highlight student work, none of it would be possible without the support and leadership of phenomenal faculty and instructors.

This year we’re announcing a new award series to honor their work called the Horizons Faculty of Excellence Award.

Awardees are selected for Excellence in one of three categories: teaching, innovation, and service. Faculty were eligible to be nominated by a peer or self-nominated and was open to any faculty or instructor working in games, regardless of whether their school participated in Horizons. Awardees were selected by the Horizons Executive Committee after careful consideration of each nominee. They will be announced live on the Showcase June 4th on Twitch.

    Chris Totten is an Assistant Professor of Game Design at Kent State University and the founder of Pie For Breakfast Studios. With a background as an artist, animator, designer, and project manager, the goal of Chris’s work is to build a wider appreciation of games in the context of other arts. Through multiple books, articles, games, and curated events, Chris has been an innovative force in the field by bringing game making, curation, and publications into a symbiotic relationship, breaking down barriers between traditionally disparate fields. 

    Sharon Tolani-Sage is an inspirational educator, researcher, and coordinator for the Women in Games Educational Ambassador Programme which works to support institutions and educators in championing diversity and increasing the numbers of women and girls engaging with their curriculum. She has inspired countless women through her work as a lecturer at Norwich University of the Arts. Through her service, she has made the games industry a better place, for those in it and those about to join it.

    Redelia is a Professor of Communications & Media Studies at Santa Monica College and the Founder and CEO of Life Media Projects, a nonprofit dedicated to producing, promoting, and inspiring meaningful storytelling for and about marginalized communities. Redelia has been teaching at Santa Monica for over a decade and is widely recognized as an outstanding teacher and educator on campus. Redelia secured several grants and stipends to create Santa Monica College’s Esports Production Team and support their student esports team team. She has been a longstanding shepard and provider of work-based learning opportunities for her students.

    Colleen Macklin is a game designer and Associate Professor in the school of Art, Media and Technology at Parsons School of Design. In 2006 she founded and co-directs PETLab (Prototyping Education and Technology Lab), a lab that develops games for experimental learning and social engagement. She was inducted as an inaugural HEVGA Fellow in 2017, recognizing her as an important scholar that has helped shape the field since its infancy. They are a member of the game design collective Local No. 12, makers of many award winning games including, The Metagame (2015) and Dear Reader (2019). She co-authored with John Sharp Games, Design and Play: A detailed look at iterative game design (2016) and Iterate: Ten Lessons in Design and Failure (2019).



    American University
    Bradley University
    Falmouth University
    Miami University
    UC Santa Cruz
    UC Irvine
    University of Canterbury
    University of Miami
    University of Southern California


    DePaul University
    The University of Tulsa
    George Mason University
    Sheridan College
    Kent State University
    NYU Game Center


    Western University
    Art Center College of Design
    Columbus College of Art and Design


    Emmanuel College

    Horizons is possible in part from support from the Knight Foundation

    Horizons is a partnership of HEVGA and IndieCade

    The Higher Education Video Game Alliance is the leading academic association advocating for the critical role video game programs play in higher education, industry, and government. Our 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.

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