Industry Veteran Monty Sharma Joins Massachusetts Digital Games Institute
Leadership to build a new institute for industry/academic collaboration
WORCESTER, Mass., Dec. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDiGI), based at Becker College, announces the appointment of Monty Sharma as managing director. Until recently, Vivox, Inc. co-founder Sharma was the general manager for the integrated voice chat firm, which primarily services the video game market.
Sharma will employ his extensive experience to accelerate MassDiGI’s capacity to form creative relationships between higher education and the digital games industry. He will take the lead on MassDiGI’s first projects: the Reverse Sabbatical Program and the Virtual Production Laboratory directly connect students and senior game professionals to create real game production experiences.
“MassDiGI represents a change in the relationship between industry and academia,” said Sharma. “Together we can produce graduates who are better prepared for their careers and solve problems for industry. This is a unique collaboration between the Commonwealth, academia and gaming professionals.”
“We are excited to have Monty on the MassDiGI team,” said MassDiGI Executive Director Tim Loew. “He will drive key initiatives by adding talent–developers, designers, and producers, students and faculty, entrepreneurs, and industry veterans–into the MassDiGI equation.”
“Monty Sharma has been a leader and a visionary in the industry,” said James Hursthouse, CEO of Roadhouse Interactive of Vancouver, B.C. “The ideas he has brought to MassDiGI are exciting and innovative; they will help industry by solving real problems today, and by providing great graduates tomorrow.”
Chair of the MassDiGI advisory board, Becker College President Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D., said, “MassDiGI is an aggressive solution for changing the way academia and industry work together. With the rapid growth and change in the gaming sector, it is critical to have an industry leader as part of the team to drive fresh initiatives.”
MassDiGI is a statewide center, designated by the Commonwealth, for academic cooperation, economic development, and job creation in the Massachusetts digital games cluster. Based at Becker College in Worcester, MassDiGI is the result of innovative collaboration among academia, state government and industry, aimed at fostering the growth of the creative economy in Massachusetts. In addition, MassDiGI is a US Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) University Center. Since starting up, MassDiGI has launched the Reverse Sabbatical Program and the Virtual Production Lab that support entrepreneurship and enhance the talent pipeline between higher education and the digital games industry.
Sandy Lashin-Curewitz, Director of Media Relations and Public Affairs