Celeste McWhorter is recognized as a female gamer. She is a German-Scottish Cherokee mix and the other half is Dominican. She commonly likes to say that she has the mind of a German, body of a Dominican, intuition of a Cherokee and the face of a Scott Has experience in both the gaming and entertainment industry. Is a senior at USC. She is the youngest of three. A lover of animals (especially cats) she enjoys collecting (hording random things), conventions, anime, cosplay, comics and videogames. Favorites include Dragon Ball Z, Spawn, Mortal Kombat and Tetris. Is a fan of Jesus, Daft Punk, South Park and Conan O’Brien.
Jean Hendrik holds a graduate degree in Computer Science from USC, specializing in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. He has been involved in various projects ranging from developing a recommender system, implementing a stock market information system, to building control systems for robots. In the meantime, he enjoys pursuing his passion in visual design and photography, designing websites and directing photo shoots for various independent projects. He has also assisted the production of several graduate student thesis films at USC. His other interests are non-mainstream movies, sea food, gypsy jazz, the beach, teaching, and interacting with different cultures. He is thrilled to take part in the richly stimulating multidisciplinary Gamedar project.
Rob Ukropina joined Chris Lucas, founder of Black Diamond Ventures, a venture capital firm, as his partner heading up their Newport Beach office. In 1992, Rob founded and was CEO of Overnite Express. In 2008, Overnite Express was sold to Norco Corporation. Rob sits on various entrepreneurial advisory boards, including C2 Reprographics, Allyance Communications, United Document Storage, MoGreet, GameDar, Rapioli and e-recycling Inc. Rob is an active member of the USC Marshall Alumni Board, USC Marshall Partners board, USC Marshall Greif Entrepreneur Board, the USC Board of Counselors Athletics and the USC Board of Governors. In 2007, Rob was selected by the SBA as “Small Business Person of the Year – California”. In 2008 Rob was featured in several business articles including, Forbes Magazine, Smart Business, the Orange County Register and the Los Angeles Times. Rob is a guest lecture at USC, UCLA, LMU, Chapman, UCI, The Young Entrepreneurs Organization, The Christian Entrepreneur Organization, The Entrepreneurship Institute and the Orange County Business Forum. Rob was the keynote speaker at the Harvard Business School Annual Entrepreneur Conference in 2008. Rob is a graduate from the USC Marshall School of Business.
Bush Akleh co-founder of Ragstarr Sourcing a private label apparel sourcing company and fashion design instructor at The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (F.I.D.M.) has been a designer and manufacturer in the fashion industry since 1989, Bush has worked with numerous garment industry majors ranging from Rocawear® to Christian Audigier®. In addition, Bush is an industry photographer with work featured in magazines such Vibe, Source, Dub and DNR for periodicals and numerous catalogs and look books. Bush holds a BA in Business from CSULB and a fashion degree from F.I.D.M. Bush’s interests are in photography, Radio controlled Helicopters and gadgets.
Yiraldi Dirocie graduated from Howard University School of Law. She is an entertainment attorney licensed in the state of New York. She has represented companies like Sony BMG, No LImit Records home to Master P and Slip N Slide Records home to artists such as Rick Ross and Trina. Ms. Dirocie currently works as in house counsel for Geneon Entertainment (USA) Inc., a leading producer of Japanese Anime. She handles the company’s day to day business and legal affairs and negotiates licenses with various networks worldwide.
Devin Presbury is an artist and gamer who is currently pursuing a degree in Interactive Entertainment at the University of Southern California. Relying on a growing repertoire of both traditional and digital art techniques, she enjoys working on a number of academic and extracurricular projects. She is fond of experimental cooking and watching late night t.v. with her dogs.
Kathleen Meek holds a degree in Graphic Design from the USC Roski School of Fine Arts, but she doesn’t limit herself to one medium. She enjoys using a mix of various media in order to communicate effectively and tell the best stories possible with her art. Kathleen was a finalist in the 2007 Walt Disney Imagineering ImagiNations competition, has interned in the Show Development Department at Disneyland, and was the Production Designer for several independent projects, including “The O.R.,” a short-film which garnered praise at six film festivals.
I’m Yinlerthai Chan (everyone just calls me Yin), a simple-minded Malaysian-Thai girl born and raised in New York City, and one who has loved playing video games since the age of 6, which was when I stole the SNES controller from my Dad while he was playing Super Metroid, and I have been addicted to games ever since. Besides my passion for video games, I also enjoy drawing very much, and have spent whatever time I had in childhood either penciling pictures or playing video games. Furthermore, I traveled to other countries every summer as a child, and so I also like learning about new cultures and seeing new sights. As I grew up and later entered USC as a Computer Science (Games) major, I became a little more fashion-conscious, and thus I now enjoy shopping to a certain extent (though my favorite stores will always be electronic giants and game stores).
Jeeyoon Na is a current animation major in the School of Cinematic arts at USC. She is also majoring in East Asian Languages and Cultures along with a minor in drawing. She was born in Korea, and was raised mostly in Oklahoma and Texas. She is experienced with both digital and traditional mediums including most of the adobe master suite. Jeeyoon has been influenced as a child by her older brother who is a big fan of video games. Her favorite games are countless, but the list includes Harvest Moon series, Zelda Ocarina of Time, Final Fantasy VII, and Ace Attorney series. She has worked for Shojo Beat as an illustrator after winning Design a Beat Girl contest out of nearly 1000 contestants. She also loves music and won grand prize at DICU’s animation singing contest which she entered on a whim. Jeeyoon also shops too much for her own good due to her love of fashion and cute things. Her room is now a giant closet.
Rita Yeung is currently a Fine Arts student at USC. She has lived in Texas all her life. Her hobbies are drawing comics, playing videogames, and wasting away in front of the computer. Her favorite food is spaghetti. She likes cats. She doesn’t like bugs or children, but for some unknown reason they all gravitate to her.
Leander Kung is an Applied Mechanics major with an emphasis in energy generation in the Viterbi School of Engineering at the University of Southern California, and is double minoring in Occupational Science and Digital Media Studies. Leander founded UCBS Productions to combine his interests in engineering and aptitude for creative design. The organization started by taking commissions for image manipulation and video production, and has branched into web design services as well, specializing in Flash Actionscript 3.0 projects. Leander spends his spare time doing ballroom dancing, archery, Shinkendo, swimming, marathon running, snowboarding, and enjoying long walks on the beach.
Greg Lieberman is a video game programmer and enthusiast majoring in Computer Science (Games) and minoring in 2D Art for Games at the University of Southern California. Greg grew up playing Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64 games, and by high school began developing his own titles for the interactive medium. He has been programming Flash games since 2005, and was recently hired to develop Flash titles for Konami. Greg’s enjoys drawing, playing the Cello, and building remarkably strong shelving structures out of an innocent plastic construction toy called K’NEX.
Jon Driegert recently completed his Masters in Computer Science at USC, and has an undergraduate EECS degree from UC Berkeley. Jon enjoyed his time designing and creating student games in the USC Gamepipe laboratories. He also made sure to spend valuable study time engaged in hands on study of a variety of games. Jon enjoys learning about game design and theory, as well as hiking, skiing, the ocean, lakes, parks, and a variety of outdoor activities. You may visit Jon at driegert.com.
Andrea Chang has a dual B.A. degree in Music Composition and Music Education from UCLA and is an alumni of USC’s Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television Program. While at USC, she was able to collaborate with many of the game students from Mike Zyda’s Gamepipe Lab as well as interactive media grad thesis students to do the music for games such as AquariYum!, Pluff, Artemis Chronicle, Slice, Tommy Trojan, Cast Away, Poultry Wars, Codename Life, Runesinger, Us versus Them, and many others. In addition to scoring numerous video games, films, and animations, Andrea has also had the opportunity to intern at 20th Century Fox TV Music, where she assisted the VP of TV Music in the scoring sessions for the Simpson’s, The Family Guy, King of the Hill, and American Dad. She has also interned at Sony Pictures in the Music Creative Affairs department, acting as a liaison between the music and legal departments and providing assistance to the Music Coordinator in the creative process as well as in the business aspects of film scoring.
[I] (Joshua Conroy) grew up in the community of West Portuguese Bend, a costal community in the town of Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. I have traveled to every inhabitable continent and I aim to visit all the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. I will be enrolling in an undetermined post-baccalaureate university (UCLA or CSUDH) in hopes of becoming a college level Anthropology instructor. Additionally, I work on expanding a family-established real estate management/development business, Conroy Development. In regards to video games, I opt for the NES console. My favorite games are Legend of Zelda, Bubble Bobble, and Mega Man. I believe in the vision of GAMEDAR and I am proud to lend my services to this extraordinary company.
Steven Soroushian was born in Tehran, Iran. At age 3 he moved to San Clemente and has been living there ever since. During his years in elementary school he discovered his talent in art. Throughout high school he got in involved in doing murals and numerous works of art. His interests also include filmmaking and designing which became his primary field of interest when he was accepted to USC. Today he is a working designer and has also been interest in creature designing, an aspect which few people dwell into. Currently working on getting a B.A. in Fine Arts with an emphasis in drawing.
Melissa Frank grew up in Australia, Scotland and England, but is now back in Los Angeles California studying Acting at the University of Southern California. She is truly happy and wants to give God the glory for all the brilliant things in her life!
Born and raised in California for half my life; lived a quarter in Taiwan, and another quarter in Florida. Currently a fourth year student in USC majoring in Business. Developed a car fetish in high school and have since been all out into cars and car mods. With that said, the diva status car in my mind is the Lancer Evolution IX. I met Celeste at a Chinese Student Association event, and am very honored to have been able to contribute to the start of her business.
Amrita Mahesh is a student at the University of Southern California. She is majoring in Biological Science, with aspirations to become a doctor. She enjoys reading, writing, music and spur of the moment adventures with good friends.
Leilani Dimond is an animal lover and aspiring doctor who obtained her bachelor’s degree in biology at USC in 2009. She grew up in Captain Cook, Hawai’i with ten cats, a dog, a chicken, three rabbits, myriad mice and fish, two parents, and a younger brother who always beat her at Nintendo. She enjoys running, water polo, crossword puzzles, crocheting, and vegan baking. She also can’t resist kittens and anything that has to do with Hello Kitty.