Who We Are

Advisory Board


Joe Bisz is a part-time educational games designer and an Associate Professor of English at CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College. Not so long ago, he received a Ph.D. in Creative Writing and English Literature from Binghamton University. Since then he has sailed his theoretical ship into a few ports of the world, including gender & sexuality studies, Popular Culture & Sci-fi, and games-based learning. His critical work has been published in Reconstruction: Studies in Contemporary Culture, Transformative Works and Cultures, and his creative writing in a dozen journals and anthologies including Diagram. His free time is mostly taken up revising a novel titled World Without End, set in New York City in 1982, and developing a game-based learning management system (LMS) called College Quest. “In teaching, we would call it scaffolding. In game-based learning, we would call it a game.” (See Joe’s website at http://joebisz.com)

julieJulie A. S. Cassidy earned a Ph.D. in English with a specialty in children’s and young adult literature and culture from the University of Florida. (Go Gators!) Prior to living in Florida, Cassidy roamed the wheat fields and prairies of Kansas, ate at Taco Tico regularly, earned a B.S. in secondary education, and helped her grandmother bake chocolate chip cookies. Her publications include essays on nostalgia, popular culture, Little Golden Books, and gaming pedagogy.

Francesco Crocco is an Assistant Professor at the Borough of Manhattan Community College of the City University of New York. He received a Ph.D. in English Literature at the CUNY Graduate Center. He has delivered over two-dozen presentations and workshops on game-based learning and has been a principal investigator for several games-based research projects, including most recently a project to create College Quest, a game-based learning management system and academic social network for CUNY.  He has published on the use of games for critical thinking and on British Romanticism. He is a founding member of the CUNY Games Network and maintains a blog on its website.  His interests include game-based learning, utopian literature, social justice, and British Romanticism.

RobertDuncan_VR2_150Robert Duncan is an Assistant Professor of Behavioral Sciences at York College, with joint appointments in Biology (Neuroscience subdivision) and Psychology (Cognitive Neuroscience subdivision) at the CUNY Graduate Center. Robert is also a Visiting Scholar at New York University in the Center for Brain Imaging. Research interests include cognitive neuroscience, functional magnetic resonance imaging, glaucoma, neurodegenerative disorders, attention, learning, memory, educational technology, pedagogy, and developing games for education.

carlosweb210Carlos Hernandez (Borough of Manhattan Community College) is a writer and professor living in Queens, New York. He is Associate Professor of English at BMCC (a CUNY school) and a member of the Science Fiction Writers of America with work forthcoming or appearing in Exotic Gothic V, Interfictions II, You Don’t Have a Clue, Interzone, The Tangled Bank, Bewere the Night, and other anthologies, magazines and journals. He co-wrote Abecedarium with The Nervous Breakdown contributor Davis Schneiderman in 2007. He is presently on sabbatical where he is working on his first solo novel and Meriwether, an epic video game about Lewis and Clark.

Bruce-HomerBruce Homer is an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology in the Learning, Development and Instruction subprogram. He is the director of the Child Interactive Learning and Development (CHILD) Lab at the Graduate Center. He is also training director for the Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Research Training program at the Graduate Center (IPoRT). His research examines how children acquire and use “cultural tools” to store and transmit knowledge (e.g., language, literacy, and information technologies), and how these tools transform developmental and learning processes. Of particular interest is how development and learning affect the ways in which mental representations are formed.

picture of K. OffenholleyKathleen Offenholley is an Associate Professor of Mathematics at BMCC (Borough of Manhattan Community College). She is passionate about using all different modes of learning in these classes, from traditional lecture to data collection and experimentation, to games. Her research interests include online learning, equity issues, and game-based learning. She was recently featured on the pages of the CUNY math blog, talking about quilting, karate, and games: https://cunymathblog.commons.gc.cuny.edu/.

Maura Smale is Chief Librarian and Chair of the Library Department at New York City College of Technology. Her research interests include the scholarly and information-seeking habits of college students, using games in teaching and learning, open access publishing and new models of scholarly communication, critical information literacy, and emerging instructional technologies.

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Deborah Sturm is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the College of Staten Island, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses. She designed and teaches two gaming electives and introduced an area concentration in game development. Dr. Sturm is the faculty coordinator for the Faculty Interest Group in Gaming and Pedagogy under the auspices of the Faculty Center for Professional Development. She was the Co-PI and a Project Director on a NSF-STEM grant, “Science and Technology Expansion via Applied Mathematics (STEAM),” an NSF-funded program to expand undergraduate STEM education. Through this and other grants, she collaborates with members of the Psychology Department to design and develop research apps for children on the Autism spectrum.

Selected Publications

  1. Smale, M. A. (2015). Play a game, make a game: Getting creative with professional development for library instruction. The Journal of Creative Library Practice. Retrieved from http://creativelibrarypractice.org/2015/05/18/play-a-game-make-a-game/
  2. Homer, B. D., Kinzer, C. K., Plass, J. L., Letourneau, S. M., Hoffman, D., Bromley, M., … & Kornak, Y. (2014). Moved to learn: The effects of interactivity in a Kinect-based literacy game for beginning readers. Computers & Education, 74, 37-49.
  3. Homer, B. D., & Plass, J. L. (2014). Level of interactivity and executive functions as predictors of learning in computer-based chemistry simulations. Computers in Human Behavior, 36, 365-375.
  4. O’Keefe, P. A., Letourneau, S. M., Homer, B. D., Schwartz, R. N., & Plass, J. L. (2014). Learning from multiple representations: An examination of fixation patterns in a science simulation. Computers in Human Behavior, 35, 234-242.
  5. Offenholley, K. (2014). Online Tutoring Research Study for Remedial Algebra. The Community College Journal for Research and Practice, Vol. 38 (9). Retrieved from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10668926.2013.803941#.VAzSzvldWSo
  6. Offenholley, K., Wladis, C, George, M. (2014). Leveraging Technology to Improve Developmental Mathematics Course Completion: Evaluation of a Large-Scale Intervention, The Community College Journal for Research and Practice, Vol. 38 (12). Retreived from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/.U3DmnygXLcU#.VAzQk_ldWSo
  7. Plass, J.L., Heidig, S., Hayward, E. O., Homer, B. D., & Um, E. (2014). Emotional design in multimedia learning: Effects of shape and color on affect and learning. Learning and Instruction, 29, 128-140.
  8. Plass , J.L., O’Keefe, P.A., Homer, B.D., Case, J., Hayward, E.O., Stein, M., Perlin , K. (2013). The impact of individual, competitive, and collaborative mathematics game play on learning, performance, and motivation. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105(4), 1050-1066 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0032688.
  9. Bai, X., Duncan, R.O., Horowitz, B., Glodstein, S., Graffeo, J., Lavin, J. (2012). The added value of 3D simulations in healthcare education. Journal of Nursing Education. 4(2): 67-72.
  10. Bai, X., Lavin, J., Duncan, R.O. (2012). Are we there yet? Lessons learned through promoting 3D learning in higher education. The International Journal of Learning. 4(2): 67-72.
  11. Bisz, Joe. (2012). Composition Games for the Classroom. Computers and Composition Online. Retrieved from http://www.bgsu.edu/departments/english/cconline/cconline_Sp_2012/Composition_Games/compositiongames/Composition_Games_for_the  _Classroom.html
  12. Homer, B.D., Hayward, E.O., Frye, J. & Plass, J.L. (2012). Gender and Player Characteristics in Video Game Play of Preadolescents. Computers in Human Behavior, 25(5), 1782-1789.
  13. Offenholley, K. (2012). Gaming your Mathematics Course: The Theory and Practice of Games for Learning, The Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, Vol. 2 (2). Retrieved from http://scholarship.claremont.edu/jhm/vol2/iss2/
  14. Offenholley, K. (2012). A Discourse Analysis of the Online Mathematics Classroom. The American Journal of Distance Education, Vol. 26 (4), 236-248
  15. Plass, J.L., Milne, C., Homer, B.D., Schwartz, R.N., Hayward, E.O., Jordan, T., Verkuilen, J., Ng, F., Wang, Y. & Barrientos, J. (2012). Investigating the Effectiveness of Computer Simulations for Chemistry Learning. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 49, 394-419.
  16. Smale, M. A. (2012). Get in the game: Developing an information literacy classroom game. Journal of Library Innovation, 3(1), 126-147. Retrieved from http://www.libraryinnovation.org/article/view/182
  17. Um, E., Plass, J.L., Hayward, E.O. & Homer, B.D. (2012). Emotional Design in Multimedia Learning. Journal of Educational Psychology, 104, 485-498.
  18. Bai, X., Horowitz, B., Duncan, R.O., Glodstein, S., Graffeo, J., Lavin, J. (2011). Designing Case Studies through 3D Simulations for the Health Professions. Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications. AACE.
  19. Crocco, F. (2011). Critical Gaming Pedagogy. Radical Teacher: A Socialist, Feminist, and Anti-Racist Journal on the Theory and Practice of Teaching 91: 26-41.
  20. Crocco, F. (2011). Contesting the Manufactured Crisis of Public Higher Education at CUNY.  Qui Parle: Critical Humanities and Social Sciences 20.1: 218-32. Print.
  21. Offenholley, K. (2011). Toward an analysis of video games. Journal of Mathematics Education at Teachers College (JMETC), 2. Retrieved from http://journals.tc-library.org/index.php/matheducation/article/view/716
  22. Smale, M. A. (2011). Learning through quests and contests: Games in information literacy instruction. Journal of Library Innovation, 2(2), 36-55. Retrieved from http://www.libraryinnovation.org/article/view/148
  23. Crocco, F. (2010). The Colonial Subtext of Barbauld’s ‘Eighteen Hundred and Eleven.’ The Wordsworth Circle 41.2: 91-4.
  24. Homer, B.D.  & Plass, J.L. (2010). Expertise Reversal for Iconic Representations in Science Visualizations. Instructional Science, 38, 259-276.
  25. Bisz, J. (2009). The birth of a community, the death of the win: player production of the ‘Middle-earth collectible card game.’ Transformative Works and Cultures No. 2.
  26. Plass, J.L., Homer, B.D., & Hayward, E. (2009). Design Factors for Educationally Effective Animations and Simulations. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 31-61.
  27. Homer, B.D., Plass, J.L., & Blake, L. (2008). The effects of video on cognitive load and social presence in computer-based multimedia-learning. Computers in Human Behavior, 24(3), 786-797.
  28. Crocco, F. (2006). The Ruins of Empire: Nationalism, Art, and Empire in Hemans’ “Modern Greece.” Romantic Circles Praxis Series. Retrieved from  http://www.rc.umd.edu/praxis/patriotism.
  29. Lee, H., Plass, J.L., & Homer, B.D. (2006). Optimizing cognitive load for learning from computer-based science simulations. Journal of Educational Psychology. 902-913.

Complete curricula vitae

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