Andrew Bertino, a production student in UCF’s graduate game development program, the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy, recently was awarded a scholarship by the International Game Developers Association (IGDA).

The scholarship, one of only 25 given, includes an All-Access pass to the 2011 Game Developer’s Conference (GDC) in San Francisco — a value of about $2,000 — as well as an on-site game-industry mentor while at GDC and a tour of a San Francisco game-development studio.

Bertino will use his scholarship to network at GDC and to hopefully land a job in the game industry when he graduates from FIEA this fall.

To qualify, Bertino submitted an essay that was judged by a panel of professional game developers on relevance, engagement, initiative and communication.

GDC will be held Feb. 28 through March 4. It is the world’s largest professionals-only game industry event, attracting more than 18,000 game industry professionals a year.

IGDA is the largest non-profit membership organization serving individuals that create video games.

About FIEA: Part of the University of Central Florida, the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy (FIEA) offers an industry-based graduate gaming education in a world-class facility in downtown Orlando. Work on the latest game engines and software and be mentored by faculty with decades of game-making experience. In 16 months, learn to be a producer, programmer or artist as you earn a Master’s degree in Interactive Entertainment. Financial assistance is available. Learn more at