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Each year, DigiPen Institute of Technology’s Student Senate hosts the Student Life Excellence Awards (formerly known as “the Gordies”) to celebrate students, staff, and faculty who go above and beyond to contribute to the DigiPen community and make our school what it is today.

Over 60 individuals were nominated for Student Life Excellence Awards this year, and we’re very happy to announce the following winners along with excerpts from their nominations. Congratulations, Dragons!

Student of the Year: Douglas Zwick

“Doug has left a significant impact on many of the members of the freshman cohort. He is always happy to lend an ear and he gives really genuine advice.”

“An incredible person that made me feel right at home when I first started at DigiPen. He’s always willing to help and is a great example of how to be a video game designer.”

Faculty of the Year: Jeremy Holcomb

“Jeremy is a fantastic individual who makes you feel proud to be a student at DigiPen. He works you hard, but it is clear that he is giving you all the best tools to be successful as a game designer.”

Staff of the Year: Wes Young

“Wes always seems to be working hard and is always there when people need him. He does a lot for the school and a lot for the students.”

“The best.”

Club of the Year: Wellness Club

“The entire Wellness Club rests on helping others and helping yourself. The members are very proactive about making DigiPen a better place, and I think that definitely needs to be recognized above any other club.”

“Wellness Club is something I hold dear to me because I believe in the mentality that it is trying to bring to the school. Though I do not attend this club on a regular basis, I always hear about how much it has accomplished just in terms of improving individual student lives.”

Gordon Dutrisac Student Life Award: Vanessa Hemovich

“Professor Hemovich is committed to her students’ success not only in her classes, but in the industry and beyond. With her help, many of us have landed a job and for that we are forever grateful.”

“Professor Hemovich is an amazing asset to not only the school but the game industry in general. All of her classes are well-taught and put together. Her experiments help students understand a gamer’s mentality and other aspects or traits that are shared amongst our community. I believe she is a great force for developers and gamers alike.”

“Goes above and beyond, provides super feedback, and cares about every student.”