SIMAGES 2014.1 – New NASAGA Board Members

This year, the board of directors gained five new members to fill the large shoes left behind by so many of our most illustrious NASAGAns. They bring a wide range of experiences to the board, from author to instructional designer, from video producer to undergraduate mentor and trainer. They are passionate about NASAGA and are already moving us forward. We’d like to introduce your new board members:


Kalynn Brower is an instructional designer for GP Strategies in Bloomington, Indiana, as well as an author and former screenwriting professor. She first attended the 2012 conference in Columbus, Ohio, and says that her overarching impression was the joyful and high-spirited nature of attendees and of the collective message of the sessions. The core philosophy, that play supports learning and learning can be playful, perfectly aligns with her world view. She was part of the group who designed the conference alternate reality game in 2013, and looks forward to taking on more responsibility for the future of NASAGA.

Christy Cavanaugh is an Online Instructional Designer for the Learning Technologies division of Indiana University. Prior to this role Christy was a Senior Designer for GP Strategies corporation. She attended her first conference in 2012, where she says she was pulled out of her comfort zone, learned a new comfort zone, had great fun, and regained a critical piece to her human makeup. She brought NASAGA back to her organization in both activities and spirit. The conference inspired her to volunteer to make greater contributions to NASAGA and become an integral collaborator as Secretary of the Board.

Samantha Knight is an instructional designer in Baltimore, Maryland. Prior to her role as an instructional designer, Samantha worked as a television and video producer for regional networks and production companies. She is interested in creating engaging learning experiences for people of all ages. Samantha earned a Masters of Science in Instructional Technology- Instructional Design and Development from Towson University. She attended her first conference on scholarship in 2012, where she immediately joined in the fun and volunteered to help with the 2013 conference, quickly becoming an essential part of the team.

Linda Slack has been in the training/instructional design/OD world for over 25 years and says that it truly is her passion. She is continually trying to learn new and more creative ways to engage participants in all types of venues. She was introduced to NASAGA by Chuck Needlman, and attended her first NASAGA conference as a volunteer helping to register and working the registration table and welcome area at Pentagon City.  As a volunteer at her first conference, she was able to meet enthusiastic people who love games and training and attend some sessions where she learned a lot.  Engaging with our community inspired her to become a regular conference volunteer and now a member of the board of directors.

Bret Staudt Willet serves as the Area Director for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA in South Central Pennsylvania, where he leads a team of staff working with undergraduates on 7 different college campuses.   He is an experienced trainer, from speaking to facilitating interactive learning, and he has designed 3 board and card games for learning.  He has directed 11 intercollegiate conferences and 6 six-week urban immersion learning simulations.  He is working to complete a Master’s Certificate in Serious Game Design in May 2014 and a Master of Arts Degree in Educational Technology in Summer 2015, both through Michigan State University. He attended his first conference in 2012, an experience that he says felt like a homecoming. He hopes to keep deepening his ties to NASAGA.

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