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Two Guildhall at SMU students receive national video game scholarships

Grant Kao, left, and Justin Nesbit
Grant Kao, left, and Justin Nesbit

November 22, 2010

DALLAS (SMU) – Two Guildhall at SMU students are recipients of national scholarships presented annually by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences, which promotes the artistic value of interactive video entertainment.

Grant Kao and Justin Nesbit will receive $2,500 each through the Randy Pausch and Mark Beaumont scholarship funds, respectively. The scholarships were awarded by the AIAS Foundation, the philanthropic arm of AIAS.

Kao said, “Immediately following my undergraduate education I went into finance, but I found I had no passion for it. I decided to take a risk and explore my passion, and am now pursuing my graduate degree in video game design.  I am honored to be selected for this scholarship.”

Nesbit said, “I now feel a renewed motivation to forge ahead in my thesis and coursework.  And as my time at The Guildhall at Southern Methodist University comes to a close, I look forward to joining the video game industry as a level designer and further refining my craft."

Kao is in Guildhall's Cohort 14 and graduates in December 2011.  Nesbit graduates in December 2010 as part of Cohort 13.

“Young creative talent has always been the life stream of the interactive arts,” said Joseph Olin, president emeritus, Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. “The Academy is looking forward to being able to continue supporting the academic achievements of those students pursuing an interactive entertainment career. Randy Pausch and Mark Beaumont exemplified the highest standards of achievement in their respective fields in interactive entertainment, and the Academy is happy to do its part in supporting the next generation of game makers.”

The Randy Pausch Scholarship was established by AIAS in 2008 to honor the memory of Computer Science Professor and Co-Founder of the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University, Randy Pausch. The Mark Beaumont Scholarship was established by AIAS in 2010 to honor the memory of COO of Capcom North America and Europe, Mark Beaumont.  These scholarships were established to support students who are pursuing careers specializing in the business of interactive entertainment.

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