Get to Know Us

Get to know our world-class staff and see why we’re one of the top arts universities in the country.
Want to get in touch with us? Visit the Directories.
David Goodwine

Executive Director, School of Game Development

David Goodwine is an Animation & Visual Effects graduate of Academy of Art University. He has been in the industry for 17 years, including 13 years in games. David has worked for companies such as Double Fusion, Eidos/Crystal Dynamics, Electronic Arts, and PDI/Dreamworks in the positions of studio creative director, senior producer, and art production manager. His credits include projects such as 25 to Life, Legacy of Kain: Defiance, Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Project: Snowblind, Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, and Tomb Raider: Legend.

David Graham

Director of Game Programming , School of Game Development

David “Rez” Graham is currently Director, Game Programming at the Academy of Art University’s School of Game Development. Most recently, he was the Lead Artificial Intelligence Programmer at Electronic Arts. He has worked in the gaming industry as an engineer since 2005 spending most of that time working on various kinds of AI, from platform enemy AI to full simulation games. Prior to working at EA, he was at PlayFirst, Slipgate Ironworks, and Planet Moon Studios. He is the co-author of Game Coding Complete, 4th Edition and regularly speaks at The Game Developers Conference as well as various colleges and high schools. Rez spends his free time performing improv and running tabletop RPGs.

Charles Huenergardt

Online Director, School of Game Development

Charles started in the Games Industry in 1996 at Sega as a Quality Assurance Analyst (Tester). Over the years Charles worked his way up to become a Game Designer and Project Lead. Charles has worked on such PlayStation games as God of War, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Project: Snowblind, Shrek the Third, 25 to Life, Army Men, Pictonary for Wii and SpiderMan: Web of Shadows for the XBOX 360.

Pryce Jones

Graduate Director, School of Game Development

After receiving his Bachelor of Architecture from Syracuse University and working in that field for several years, Pryce realized that 1. making entertainment art looks more fun, and 2. many of the techniques he’d learned for designing real buildings would work for virtual worlds. He then embarked on a career in video games and has spent the past 11 years as an environment artist, concept painter, and art director. He’s worked on games such as Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Legacy of Kain: Defiance, Tomb Raider: Legend and the next-gen version of Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings.

Brian Hess

Associate Director, School of Game Development

Brian Hess received his BS in Media Arts & Animation from the Art Institute of California. He also is a freelance artist for Beneville Studios where he creates commissioned artwork and one of a kind objects for exclusive clientele. Additionally previous employment includes Thrasher Magazine, Atlantis Resorts, Zynga, TinyCo., and most currently Action Lab Comics.

Scott Berkenkotter

Programming Lead, School of Game Development

After earning a BA degree in Linguistics at UC Davis, Scott Berkenkotter realized his true passion for game design and returned to his home town of Fremont, CA to earn a Certificate in Game Design at Ohlone College. Scott was the Founding President of the Ohlone Game Developers Club for two years, and led a team of five to build an interactive educational experience in Second Life. He has since worked his way up from a tester at Electronic Arts to working as Lead Engineer at independent studios such as Millionants Productions and Foam Robot, Inc. Prior to joining Academy of Art University, he developed the English-learning app Idiom Power for web, iOS, and Android. Scott has been teaching game scripting, programming, and mobile development courses, writing online courses, and developing tools that help form the backbone of the Game Design program at Academy of Art University. In 2013, Scott helped launch the School of Game Design @ Academy of Art University, the Academy's first mobile game brand.

Michael Buffington

Concept Art Lead, School of Game Development

Michael Buffington is a graduate of Academy of Art University where he majored in Illustration. He works as a freelance illustrator producing storyboards and concept art for video games, animation, and film. In 2008, Michael worked as the In-house designer and Props supervisor on a high profile CG animated feature film entitled Alpha & Omega. Michael also worked as a Designer for Lucas Film Animation on the Third season of The Clone Wars television series which airs on Cartoon Network.

Gregory Eichholzer

UI/UX Lead, School of Game Development

Greg Eichholzer most recently was Associate Art Director at RockYou, Inc. and previously was a Lead Artist at Kabam, Inc. He has animated game elements, illustrated, and designed UI for PC, web games, and mobile games. Notable games Greg has worked on include Dragons of Atlantis, The Godfather: Five Families, Kingdoms of Camelot, Marvel: United, The Fairly OddParents: Shadow Showdown, and Scooby-Doo! Case File #2: The Scary Stone Dragon. Greg is an MFA candidate at Academy of Art University and holds a BFA in Visual Communications from Cazenovia College, NY.

Steven Goodale

Game Design Lead, School of Game Development

Steven’s long career began in 1992 at Sega. His first design work was at Electronic Arts working on Road Rash3D where he shipped multiple titles in both Design and Production capacities. While at 3DO he helped ship some of their more successful products including WDL Thunder Tanks and Sarge's War. Steven moved into AAA development when he was both Lead Systems Designer and Creative Director for Crystal Dynamics popular Tomb Raider (Underworld).

Philip Kauffold

Technical Lead, School of Game Development

Phillip Kauffold studied animation at the Art Institute of California-San Francisco, then got his start in games working on Tomb Raider: Anniversary at Crystal Dynamics. While animating the Tomb Raider games, he also started rigging characters and props, and eventually managed the cinematics pipeline. Following that, he worked on a variety of mobile games at DeNA - San Francisco such as We Rule, We City, and Dreamtopia. He also worked freelance on other projects, such as an avatar system designed to help people with hospital discharge instructions. Phil started teaching character and creature rigging at Academy of Art University in 2012, and has developed curriculum for technical animation, animation, and virtual reality.

Patrick Kenney

Online Coordinator, School of Game Development

Patrick has created 2D and 3D art and animation for video games since 1995 – most notably for Activision and Acclaim Entertainment. His freelance work includes Forge and a Virtual Congress project for the Library of Congress. He is credited on more than 20 published titles, including Spiderman: Web of Shadows, Shrek Super Slam, well as several titles within the Tony Hawk franchise. Before joining Academy of Art University, Patrick was an instructor at the Columbus College of Art and Design.

Michael Witzel

Technology Coordinator, School of Game Development

Michael Witzel is a graduate of Academy of Art University where he majored in Game Design. In 2016 Michael established the Urban Knight Esports program at Academy of Art University. He also works as a game designer, scripter, and UX designer, particularly for mobile games. Michael is a veteran of the U.S. Marines, where he worked as a technical controller; designing, building, and maintaining communication networks from the ground up. He has been working with the latest technology and in IT since 2004.

Miles Horak

Full-Time Faculty, School of Game Development

Miles has been programming and scripting video games for over ten years at the 3DO Company, Page 44 Studios, and Zynga. Miles scripted gameplay on Army Men Air Attack 2, Sarge's War, Dragon Rage, and Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. In addition, he scripted menus and gameplay on two Tony Hawk ports. He also scripted mini-games on the Spin it Rich casino slot game. Miles programmed the UI system that Page 44 used in four Disney games and Party Place. He also programmed the UI on Solstice Arena. Miles is a huge Nintendo fan, and he figured out the remote controls and programmed gesture recognition for two Wii games.

Filip Krstevski

Full-Time Faculty, School of Game Development

Filip Krstevski received his B.Sc. in Computer Science with Honors from Ryerson University in Toronto Canada. Since 2007, Filip has worked at various studios throughout North America as a Software Engineer. Some notable companies include Midway Games and Phosphor Games. He's worked on games such as NBA Ballers: Chosen One, Blitz the League II, Tony Hawk: Shred, Gears of War 3, The Dark Meadow and the Infinity Blade series.

Jamin Shoulet

Full-Time Faculty, School of Game Development

Jamin Shoulet has worked in the gaming and multi-media industry for over 15 years. As a veteran game artist, he has worked with heavy hitting companies such as Blizzard Entertainment, Trion, Gazillion, Ubisoft, Perpetual Entertainment, and One Thumb Mobile. He was a key core artist for the immensely popular online game World of Warcraft. Other titles include Star Trek Online, RIFT, Warcraft 3 and Rocksmith. Previous years of experience includes working with Toyota, United States Airforce, US Dept. of State, Toshiba, Nissan and Honeywell on various multi-media projects for CD-ROM and Web based training. His experience has also brought him overseas to Taiwan as a consultant for games such as Holy Beast Online, and now currently freelances his skills for smaller mobile companies.

Jason Weesner

Full Time Faculty, School of Game Development

Jason Weesner is a senior game designer with over 25 years of experience in the game industry. He’s a professional nerd who was raised on Dungeons & Dragons, pinball machines, Doctor Who, and Boy Scouts and somehow found a way to turn all of that into a career. Jason has worked on games like Sly Cooper, Pac-Man, Jurassic Park, and Tomb Raider which have sold millions of copies and other games like Seablade and Ninja Golf which you may find buried in a landfill in New Mexico.