What is the weirdest job you’ve ever held?
I was the receptionist at a salon and spa all throughout high school and part of college. I swept a lot of hair, answered a lot of calls, and washed a lot of towels, but I mostly served as the go-to guinea pig for new hair colors and spa services. Usually, this part was great! However, the day that management received the new airbrush tan system and turned me a bright Oompa-Loompa orange was not the best.
What is your favorite all-time game?
Super Mario Bros. and Duck Hunt for the original Nintendo Entertainment System, for both their past innovation and current nostalgia factor. Oh, and my brother and I spent an entire summer playing things like the original SimCity and 3D Pinball Space Cadet when we got our very first PC. Good times.
What games are you playing right now?
My current go-to games are the card game Hanabi when feeling cooperative and the board games Carcassonne or Cacao when feeling competitive. My husband and I really like Settlers of Catan, as well, but we get a little too competitive to play it super often.
What motivated you to begin working in the game industry?
I was working on my dissertation in which we used incentives (in the form of prizes) to encourage children to eat their fruits and vegetables (FV) in school. The program was effective but expensive for schools to implement. My advisor and I decided to turn the program into a school-wide game and use in-game incentives instead of out-of-game incentives for FV consumption. It was much more cost-effective, and the kids and teachers really liked it! I discovered hands-on the power of games for behavior change. They have the potential to impact so many different individuals and situations, and I knew that I wanted to be involved in more of these transformations.
What inspires you?
I truly enjoy those “restore your faith in humanity”-type stories that often circulate around online. Most typically, I love the ones about pets and their heart-warming relationships with their owners. We adopted a senior-age dog because of inspirational stories like those, and we’re glad every day that we did.
What is your proudest achievement?
I finished 23rd grade (aka my last graduate degree), got married, and moved across the country with my husband and pups within a 3-month timespan. It’s a year later and we still can’t believe we survived (but are proud that we did).
What piques your curiosity?
I am really interested in the self-correcting nature of science. Objectively measured phenomena are affected in predictable ways based on objective evidence. If the objective evidence changes, the theories and predictions change, too. The whole process hinges on our ability to collect good data, and I am always curious about the best ways to collect, analyze, and interpret good data in different situations.
What is your hidden talent?
I have a borderline unhealthy amount of knowledge about navigating and enjoying Disney World. Back entrances, best places to park, traversing between resorts and parks, fireworks views, special events like the Food and Wine Festival, etc. Spending my teenage years living in Orlando definitely had its benefits.
What is the best thing about working at Schell Games?
The talented and passionate people. Everyone at Schell Games has a commitment to making the best possible player experiences while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. It’s certainly the best environment in which I can imagine working!
What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Giraffes and other long-necked or disproportionate things really, REALLY freak me out. A lot.
How long have you worked at Schell Games?
Almost a year! I started in October 2014.