The start of an academic year means the arrival of eager Dragons starting their studies, but our first-year students aren’t the only new faces on campus. This semester also brings new full-time faculty members. To welcome their arrivals and new teaching roles at DigiPen, here’s a rundown on their unique backgrounds and fields of study in the world of games, education, technology, and more.
Rounding out our introduction of new full-time faculty, we also have a handful of promotions and department chair updates to acknowledge. Please give these faculty members a celebratory shout if you see them on campus!
New Full-Time Faculty and Academic Affairs Staff
Taylor Aberasturi joined DigiPen this past summer as the new full-time librarian and director of the Learning Resource Center. While completing both her Master of Library and Information Science and her Doctor of Law at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Aberasturi worked at a variety of libraries and institutions spearheading various library-wide projects and initiatives. Today, you’ll likely find her in the DigiPen Library eagerly assisting students with a book in hand.
Doug Zwick is no stranger to DigiPen, having graduated with a BA in Game Design in 2016. A familiar face to students, Zwick has hosted a variety of live content and campus events, ranging from The DigiPen Show on Twitch to the yearly Student Game Showcase. Prior to his transition to assistant professor, Zwick worked as a designer on DigiPen’s Research and Development team. He currently co-teaches the junior-level game project classes through the Department of Game Development and Production. If you catch him on campus, don’t be afraid to challenge him to a match of Tetris — he is always up for the game!
Ethan Hall, an MS in Computer Science graduate from DigiPen, brought his expertise to the Department of Computer Science when he started teaching at DigiPen during the Spring 2023 semester. As an assistant professor, Hall teaches introductory programming to computer science and game design students. His return to DigiPen comes with an ample amount of experience he gained through his seven years in the video game industry, working on popular games like Middle-earth: Shadow of War and Minecraft.
Eddy Ortega has worked as a gameplay programmer, 3D artist, game designer, video editor, and creative producer throughout his decade of experience in the video game and technology industries. After completing his Bachelor of Game Art & Design in 2013 from Ringling College of Art and Design, Ortega provided creative direction and team leadership at indie studios like Polymath Lab and Funomena, the former of which he co-founded. In his new role as assistant professor at DigiPen, Ortega blends his passion for digital art, education, and culture with his desire to support the success of artists from all backgrounds.
Michelle Lu is another familiar face around campus and a cherished colleague to many longtime DigiPen staff and faculty. After graduating from one of DigiPen’s earliest certificate programs, Lu joined DigiPen as a 3D animator in 1996 before joining on as a founding member of the Nintendo Software Technology development team in 1998. After working on games like Mario vs. Donkey Kong and Pokémon Puzzle League, Lu rejoined DigiPen as a principal artist on DigiPen’s Research and Development team. Starting this semester, Lu began a new role as assistant professor.
Priyamvada Singh began teaching at DigiPen last fall as an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science, teaching introductory classes in software and computer engineering. Singh holds a doctorate in electronics and communication engineering from Visvesvaraya Technological University, where she researched video and image processing and scalable personalized video summarization. She also comes to DigiPen with 16 years of university-level teaching experience in both the U.S. and India.