The Grads in Games Awards Judges 2021
It’s been a huge year for the Grads in Games Awards! We’ve had some unique and fantastic nominations, which means that we needed top-tier games industry professionals to preside over the judging period.
We put out the call and these lovely people (that you can see below) stepped up to make a difference, by recognising those working incredibly hard in games industry education. From Lecturers working at a grass-roots level to instil vital skills to students, to studios innovating placement practices, bridging the gap between education and employment for the next generation; the Grads in Games Awards shine a light on those going above and beyond.
After the nominations close on the 7th March, our judges will review the shortlist of nominations for all categories and their work will decide the winners for this year’s awards. The winners of the Grads in Games Awards will be announced on March 31st 2021, as part of this year’s Games Careers Week.
Our Judges for the
2021 Grads In Games Awards
As a founding Computing At School Board Member Shahneila helped develop the national curriculum Computing Programmes of Study. In 2014 Shahneila joined Ukie (UK Interactive Entertainment Association) to become Head of Education and Director for the nationwide Digital Schoolhouse programme; that has supported over 100k children across the UK with inspirational play-based computing and immersive careers education. She is the author of Hacking the Curriculum: Creative Computing and the Power of Play, a book that uses play-based learning to teach computing. Her latest book, How to Raise a Tech Genius: Develop Your Child’s Computing Skills Without Spending Any Money; introduces computer science concepts using only household objects.
Armed with a wealth of games industry experience, with a strong background in strategic marketing and commercial sales. She has held key positions at various companies such as PlayStation, Warner Bros, and Curve Digital. She has worked on a number of ground-breaking software and hardware campaigns including Batman Arkham City, LEGO Batman, Human: Fall Flat, The Last Of Us and PlayStation hardware launches. She currently works as the Xbox Games Category Lead at Microsoft.
Dr Jake Habgood
Jake’s career straddles the games industry and education, having cut his development teeth as a PlayStation Programmer for Gremlin Interactive in the ’90s. He spent ten years in academia and was Reader in Game Development at Sheffield Hallam University, where he was the founder and director of The Steel Minions Game Studio. He has a PhD in the psychology of learning, having published a range of academic papers in the field of serious games, and has written two hobbyist books on game programming. Jake is now back in the games industry, applying his passion for the industry’s talent pipeline as Director of Education Partnerships for the Sumo Digital Group.
Into Games run the National Videogames Ambassador network of industry staff and Games Careers Week, a hugely successful digital mentorship network and the most extensive collection of games careers information available online at intogames.org. Declan has previously worked in education, technology and events, spanning a 15-year career in cutting edge creative education.
Mark started his professional life as an architect in Ireland, his winding career path has led him to work with Codemasters games. A move to Australia led from a role as a Technical Art Manager with Transmission Games, then becoming a lecturer in Melbourne’s leading universities including RMIT, Kangan, NMT, and Victoria University. In recent years he has contributed materials to Pixar’s RenderMan group and Pluralsight. He moved to Vancouver as a trainer with DNeg, on projects such as Bladerunner 2049. Then back to the UK for a similar role in ILM, on projects including Star Wars and Marvel Franchises. His Education Partner Manager role at Epic allows him to bring together his previous experience in empowering educators to prepare their students for the future of interactive media.
Aurore is the Director of Real-Time Learning at Unity, leading multiple teams responsible for Unity’s learning platform (learn.unity.com) that enables millions across the world to learn skills for careers in real-time development. Aurore began her career at Unity 8 years ago as Community Manager, an advocate for users and the voice of Unity on forums and social media. She swiftly moved into a Production and leadership role for demos and learning projects, utilizing her expertise from her degree in Game Development.
A huge thank you to all of our judges this year, and we look forward to seeing their decisions when we announce the winners of the Grads In Games Awards 2021 on March 31st.