Hunter Ian Hart, a student at UCF’s graduate game-development program, the Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy (FIEA), is one of four national recipients of The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences (AIAS) annual scholarship. The AIAS is a professional video game organization advancing the artistic values of the interactive entertainment community and Hart will receive a total of $2,500 through the Randy Pausch scholarship fund.

Hart, who is in the art track at FIEA, also got his undergraduate degree from UCF in graphic design. He is one of 66 new student producers, programmers and artists that started FIEA on Aug. 22.

“What an honor to have been selected by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences to receive the Randy Pausch Scholarship award,” said Hart.  “His legacy to ‘dream big’ has left an indelible footprint on the interactive entertainment community for the next generation of game makers to create games that not only entertain, but stimulate young minds to pursue their own dreams.  My childhood dream to become a video game 3D artist will soon be a reality.”

Other winners include UCF alumnus Melissa Kronenberger (Savannah College of Art & Design), Logan McEwan (Florida State University, College of Law) and Joshua Cain (Duke University, Fuqua School of Business).

“There is an incredible amount of young, creative talent in the interactive entertainment industry who will be building and driving the next evolution of video games,” said Martin Rae, president, Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences.  “We are honored to be able to contribute to these talented individuals’ educational pursuits.  There is no doubt in my mind that we will see their work within the interactive entertainment community in the near future.”

The Randy Pausch Scholarship was established by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences in 2008 to honor the memory of Computer Science Professor and Co-Founder of the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University, Dr. Randy Pausch. The scholarship has been established to support students who are pursuing careers specializing in the development of interactive entertainment.