EAE's Founding Director Honored
Bob Kessler, Ph.D., EAE's co-founder and founding director, will be posthumously inducted as a HEVGA Fellow during a ceremony to be held at the Game Developers' Conference in San Francisco, CA, the week of March 20th, 2023. Kessler was a towering figure in the history of EAE, serving to co-found the program in 2008 and lead it as its first Director from 2010 through 2018. As a professor of Computer Science and EAE's Director at the University of Utah, he spent his entire career advocating for students and their success. His life-long commitment to education was driven by his passion for helping his students develop the skills and knowledge they needed to succeed, and his insight and wisdom provided the foundations for EAE's success as a leader in the academic games community.
Throughout his career, Bob made significant contributions to the U's academic standing, first in research on programming languages and on software engineering through his work within the U's School of Computing. Then his impact extended to games as he developed the foundation of EAE as a teaching program and the courses and degrees that would soon be acknowledged by students, employers, and ranking organizations as providing world-leading education. He was a respected academic, an innovative educator, and a mentor to countless students, staff, and faculty who looked up to him as a role model and an inspiration.
"This honor is so well-deserved for Bob, and is a reflection of the truly remarkable and enduring impact he made on the field of games in higher education," said Michael Young, EAE's Director. "Bob was the most selfless leader I have ever known. His experience, wisdom, and guidance has impacted the lives of thousands of people."
Established in 2017, HEVGA’s Fellows Program recognizes senior scholars in the games domain who have made significant contributions to the field in design, theory, or research. HEVGA Fellows are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to games-based research and design in higher education. The HEVGA Fellows induction is a fitting tribute to Bob Kessler's life and career. He was a true visionary, a pioneer in the world of video games, and a beloved mentor to generations of students. His contributions to the field will never be forgotten, and his impact will continue to be felt for many years to come.