Conference 2024

Featured Presenters


View the full list of scheduled presenters for the 2024 Board Game Academics conference taking place on July 4, 2024.

Want to attend? Learn how to register for the virtual conference from the link below:


Dex Lite and Virtual Attendance Options

We are excited to be partnering with Dex Lite this year to present our annual conference in Morristown, NJ on July 4. 

If you are planning to attend in person, please register directly with Dex Lite for a conference attendee badge. 

For virtual tickets, click the registration button on the left and follow the directions there. Digital presentations will occur throughout the day, and will be recorded for registered attendees. 


Keynote Speaker

Emerson Matsuuchi

Formerly a software developer and architect of 15 years, Emerson Matsuuchi is now an award-winning game designer.  Best known for the Century series of games from Plan B, his most recent title, Foundations of Rome, has raised more than $2 million on Kickstarter.  He has worked with many established publishers in the industry such as Plaid Hat Games, Plan B, Next Move, Arcane Wonders, HeidelBAER, IDW, Pandasaurus, Underdog, and Trick or Treat Studios with several licensed products coming out soon such as Halloween (1978) The Board Game, Persona 5 Royal Card Game, and Metal Gear Solid: The Board Game.  He also hosts game design workshops at nearby conventions, as well as teaches game design courses at the NYU Game Center.  


Becca Bennett
University of Lancaster

Hello! I am currently a final year trainee clinical psychologist, studying at Lancaster University in England. My doctoral thesis is on board games and autism which I will be sharing at the conference. When I qualify, I am due to start working in a children’s psychology service, and I hope that I can apply learning from my research to my work in this field.

Stephen Hall
Computer Science and Engineering Librarian
Penn Libraries, University of Pennsylvania

Stephen was a tabletop gamer before he was a programmer, and he is excited to share how board games can be used as teaching tools for computer science.

In the early 2000s, Stephen cut his teeth on tabletop classics like Cribbage, SET, and Stratego, before discovering hobby strategy games in 2008. He has played well over 1,000 different games in his life, and his favorites include Cosmic Encounter, Nexus Ops, and Viticulture.

In addition to his master’s in Library & Information Science, Stephen holds bachelor’s degrees in Art History and Applied Computing. Today, he serves as Computer Science & Engineering Librarian at the University of Pennsylvania, where he frequently codes in Python and LaTeX. In the past, he has worked as a video game archivist and as the Director of the Coit Museum of Pharmacy & Health Sciences at the University of Arizona. His first book, A Spoonful of Sugar: The Story of the Upjohn Pharmacy in Disneyland, will be published in 2025.

Andrew Harrison Volk
Liberty University
Mississippi State University

Andrew H. Volk is a Ph.D. candidate in the James Worth Bagley College of Engineering at Mississippi State University. He obtained a BS in Mathematics and a BA in Spanish from Liberty University. He spent 9 years teaching math and computer science at various secondary schools while earning an MEd in Instructional Design from WGU and an MS in Mathematics from Central Methodist University. He currently teaches as an Assistant Professor of Mathematics and Physics at Liberty University. His research focuses on supporting learners in STEM fields at all levels, creating growth-centered learning environments using pedagogical best practices, and applying mathematics to fun and recreational environments.

Raegan Harvey
Texas Woman’s University

Raegan Harvey is pursuing her MA in Rhetoric and Composition at Texas Woman’s University, where she works as a writing consultant at the university’s writing center. Her research centers on disability justice and accessibility in academia, and she is fascinated by opportunities to learn from and through collaborative play. As an queer and autistic scholar, student, and player, she is deeply passionate about the ways games can be designed to welcome many ways of being/playing. Her current research in preparation for her thesis focuses on egalitarian and liberatory play as seen through unfacilitated, “GM-less” games. 

Tori Smurthwaite
Kutztown University

Victoria Smurthwaite is a graduate student attending Kutztown University for a Masters degree in English. She currently serves as both an English teacher and a reading specialist at the high school level. Her continuing research delves into popular culture, game studies, Victorian studies and the Early Medieval period. Past conference appearances include studies of the treatment of female characters in Joss Whedon’s works as well as the use of anglo-saxon culture in Tolkien’s dwarvish civilizations that will be published in chapter form next year. 

Archie Fields III
University of Calgary

Archie Fields III (he/him) is a sessional instructor at the University of Calgary and an editor at Broadview Press. He has been teaching for over a decade and playing D&D for more than twice that. His teaching focuses on fostering discussion with game-based pedagogical strategies, while his research and writing spans the philosophy of science (especially biology and cognitive science) and philosophy of games. He received his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Calgary in 2021.

Maryanne Cullinan
Lesley University

Maryanne Cullinan is a middle school teacher in NH, an RPG researcher, a PhD student at Lesley University and a mom of four teens and tweens. She studies the use of RPGs as pedagogy in the middle school classroom, especially for non-traditional learners. Maryanne’s most recently published article, Surveying the Perspectives of Middle and High School Educators Who Use Role-playing Games as Pedagogy, can be found in International Journal of Role-Playing 15. Maryanne is a founding member of Table-Top Edu, and will be co-authoring a book later in 2024 titled Adventures in Teaching and Learning with TTRPGs. Although she loves to play wild magic type sorcerers in game, in real life, Maryanne multiclasses as a cat-herding bard/cleric. You can find more about her work at her website,

Jeffrey Peter Kesselman
Purdue Polytechnic

Jeff Kesselman holds an MS in emergent media and an MFA in Digital Entertainment. He is a 25 year game industry veteran and has been an Assistant professor of Game Design and Development for 3 years at Purdue Polytechnic. He has contributed code to games such as GEX, Titan, The Horde, Blazing Dragons, Duke Nukem 3D and Darksun Online. He created Project Darkstar at Sun Microsystems Laboratories,  co-wrote Java Platform Peformance: Strategies and Tactics, and has spoken at more than 20 conferences and invited talks. He is listed as an inventor on 3 Java related patents.  At Purdue he runs the New Game Technology Laboratory which explores and evaluates new programming and production technologies for their suitability as game development tools.

Katherine Dickey

Joshua Coslar

Sean Milligan
Academic Success Advisor
Adjunct Instructor, English and Creative Writing
SUNY Oswego

Sean Thomas Milligan is an Academic Success Advisor and Adjunct Instructor in the English & Creative Writing department at the State University of New York at Oswego where he has taught courses in composition, literature, and pop cultural studies. Recently, he designed and taught a course for first-year students focused on comics and representations of illness and disability. He also teaches success courses for students on academic probation. His research interests include a wide variety of pop culture media such as comics, film, and tabletop and video games, as well as genres including science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Theoretical areas of interest include disability studies, fandom studies, and class, race, and gender in literature. Some of Sean’s recent publications include chapters on the Joker and Batman mythos in regards to disability and conspiracy theories and conspiratorial thinking in Marvel comics.

Andrew Buchmann
Senior Academic Success Advisor
SUNY Oswego

Andrew Buchmann is a Senior Academic Success Advisor in the Advisement Center at the State University of New York at Oswego, serving students from Communication Studies and Cinema and Screen Studies. Having earned both his B.A. and M.S from SUNY Oswego, Andrew is a lifelong learner dedicated to student success. In addition to advising a caseload of students, Andrew is the Starfish App Admin for the campus and the co-facilitator for the SUNY Early Alerts Community of Practice. Outside of his vocation, he enjoys all things Star Wars, LoL Esports, and adventures with his partner Leslie.

David Runge, M.S. Ed.
Academic Success Advisor
SUNY Oswego – Advisement Center

Andrew Parks
Rutgers University

Andrew Parks is the president of Quixotic Games, a game design studio that has developed more than 30 published games over the past 20 years. Andrew also teaches Game Design Methodology at Rutgers University. Andrew’s games have won several industry awards, including the Origins Board Game of the Year and the Dice Tower’s Best Game Expansion of the Year. Andrew’s latest design, Tales of the Arthurian Knights, will be released worldwide in November.

Interested in attending? 


Learn more about the Dex Lite event and the live virtual conference taking place on July 4, 2024.