INI Alumnus Jesse Schell, CEO of Schell Games, To Speak at Diploma Ceremony

April 14, 2014

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INI graduates can do anything imaginable, from starting a company, becoming a professor, or writing a book—or even, designing for Disney's theme parks and online games. Although it may sound impossible, one INI alumnus has traveled down all four of these career paths and more, which is why the INI was pleased to invite him to speak at the 2014 diploma ceremony. Jesse Schell (MS4) will join the INI community at graduation in May to address the INI's graduating students.

Schell is the CEO of Schell Games, a place where he sparks the inspiration of numerous game designers and developers. In recent years, Schell Games designed and produced Lionel Battle Train iPad app, the interactive website for the PBS series Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, and Disney's Pixie Hollow Online massively multiplayer online game. Based in Pittsburgh, Schell Games has approximately 95 employees and is the largest video game studio in Pennsylvania.

Schell is also a faculty member at Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center. In 2010, Schell made waves in the video game industry with his "Beyond Facebook" talk at the DICE conference. Influenced by trends in mobility and connectedness, Schell challenged his peers to the "gamification" of everyday life in an eye-opening presentation that has since inspired product designers, game designers, programmers and mobile developers across industries to build an entertainment value into commonplace tools and apps. He has since been a sought-after speaker at major game design conferences.
Early in his career, Schell was an Imagineer for Disney, where he applied a potion of technical and creative skills to develop, design and direct projects for Disney theme park rides. He played a role in experimental projects, some of which became the earliest online games for kids. 
As an entrepreneur, game designer and professor, Schell is a great example of the interdisplinary strengths and interests that are represented among the INI's alumni. But before he achieved his career accomplishments, Schell earned an Master of Science in Information Networking in 1994 on a scholarship from Bellcore, where he went to work as a programmer after graduation. The INI looks forward to hearing him speak as the next class of graduates leaves to pursue their dreams. It's amazing to imagine all that an engineer can do.