About Us

Contact Us

Email: ubmegaacademy@gmail.com
Facebook: facebook.com/UBMeGa

Find out a little bit more about our research team.


Deb head shot 2014Deborah Moore-Russo – Assistant Professor – Director of the Gifted Math Program – Chair of Learning and Instruction – Graduate School of Education – Director of the Meaningful Gamification Academy

Dr. Deborah Moore-Russo is an Associate Professor and the Chair in the Department of Learning and Instruction in the Graduate School of Education at the University at Buffalo, SUNY.

She is interested in learner’s digital experiences and the use of digital tools in learning and teaching. This includes studying how digital games are incorporated in learning environments as well as the investigating the use of gamified elements in online learning spaces, especially in postsecondary education.

Graduate Students

Jeremiah3-3074Jeremiah Grabowski – PhD Student – Graduate School of Education

Jeremiah is a doctoral student in the Curriculum, Instruction, and the Science of Learning program offered through the Graduate School of Education at UB. He previously earned his M.Ed. from the University of Georgia in Instructional Design and Development.

His research interests include integrating gamification, which is the use of game design elements in non-game settings, into the classroom. More specifically, how gamification can be used to alleviate perceived weaknesses in online courses.

1234Yiren Kong – PhD Student – Graduate School of Education

Yiren is a doctoral student in the Foreign and Second Language Education program. His research interests include educational technology, gamification, digital reading, and sociocultural theory in a second language context.



AnneAnne Reed – Instructional Designer – Graduate School of Education

Anne is an instructional designer at the Graduate School of Education (GSE) , University at Buffalo (UB). She is also an adjunct instructor in the department of Learning and Instruction at UB. She holds a certificate in instructional design, an M.S in Education and an MA and BA in Art History. Anne has eight years of experience in teaching online and designing online curriculum.

Her research interests include the use of Open Educational Resources (OERs) for faculty development as well as gamification in online education. She currently serves as Co-PI on two grant funded projects relating to the application of meaningful gamification. Anne is committed to high quality online course design and, at her position with GSE, devotes her time to faculty development through providing online courses, workshops, and resources pertaining to course development and effective online teaching strategies.

RyanBioPicRyan Sturm – PhD Student – Graduate School of Education

Ryan is a doctoral student at the University at Buffalo and an elementary school teacher with over ten years of experience. Ryan is a game enthusiast and designer. Throughout his career Ryan has worked on designing classroom-based games to engage and motivate students to meet objectives in the classroom.

He is currently researching the effects of game-based learning in the elementary classroom. He also is known in the board game industry as a host of the “How to Play” and “Ludology” podcasts.

Andrew Wiss – PhD Student – Graduate School of Education


Ling ZhaiLing Zhai – PhD Student – Graduate School of Education

Ling Zhai is currently pursuing her Ph.D. at University at Buffalo in Foreign and Second Language Education. Ling’s research interests are language teacher development, second language acquisition, and gamification on language curriculum design.