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Faculty

Leadership

Paul Cotnoir

Paul David Cotnoir, Ph.D., PE, CMfgE
Dean of the Becker School of Design & Technology at Clark University

Paul David Cotnoir, Ph.D., PE, CMfGE, joined Clark University in 2021 as dean of the Becker School of Design & Technology.

Prior to Clark, Dr. Cotnoir served in various capacities at Becker College from 2002 to 2021: associate dean of the Centers for Learning and Career Advancement, dean of New Initiatives, and leader of the interactive media program as director of design programs and associate dean of the School of Design & Technology.

Dr. Cotnoir’s leadership at Clark and Becker builds upon his undergraduate and graduate mechanical engineering degrees from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and his various administrative roles in higher education, industry, and the public sector in the areas of automation, robotics, fiber optics, economic development, workforce training,  and manufacturing design. 

Dr. Cotnoir has many achievements, including his role in leading the development and launch of several new Becker College degree programs: game design (interactive media), the accelerated bachelor of arts in liberal arts, the elementary education concentration, the accelerated RN-to-BSN program, equine studies and management concentrations, social business, eSports management, MFA in Interactive Media, and others.  

Under his leadership, the Becker College interactive media program grew from 12 to 600 students in a few short years and garnered constant national recognition by the Princeton Review, reaching a ranking of No. 2 in the world in 2021. He has also been instrumental in the development of the statewide Mass DiGI initiative and the development of summer STEM-based game design programs for high-school-age students and middle-school-age, underserved girls. 

Dr. Cotnoir earned a doctoral degree in manufacturing engineering from WPI in 2010.

Amanda Theinert

Amanda L. Theinert, MFA
Director of the MFA Program
Assistant Teaching Professor

Amanda Theinert is an interactive media artist and game designer who has worked in the fields of digital art and higher education for 12 years. Theinert teaches in the areas of game design and development, the psychology of games, traditional and digital art, as well as production and team management. She has previously held the title of director of the Master of Fine Arts program and assistant professor at Becker College, where she helped develop and lead a brand-new MFA in Interactive Media and build community-focused STEM outreach programs. Her personal work focuses on creating interactive installation art and games that investigate new ways of combining digital and physical media blurring the lines between the tangible and virtual. Theinert holds a B.A. in interactive media from Becker College and an MFA in computer art from the School of Visual Arts.

Faculty

Kathleen Andler

Kathleen Andler, MFA
Associate Teaching Professor

Kat Andler is an award-winning designer, creative director, and marketing executive specializing in web design, UI/UX, motion graphics, and interactive media working with top corporations, start-up companies, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations. She has been a featured speaker at numerous industry, technology, and educational conferences speaking on various topics including printing innovations, database-driven design, and design education. Her published work includes collegiate and high school online design courses and countless websites. With over 20 years of teaching experience, Kat has taught courses in all areas of graphic design, web design, interactive media, animation, and motion graphics. She integrates her marketing experience into each course so that students better understand the motivations and objectives behind the design. Her passion is inspiring students to create meaningful, impactful designs that move beyond visual communication into action.

Ezra Cove

Ezra M. Cove, MFA
Professor of the Practice

Ezra Cove has worked in game development for the past ten years, creating 3D art assets including characters, environments, and props for titles such as Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, Lord of the Rings Online, and Infinite Crisis. Additionally, he creates experimental time-based work using techniques borrowed from commercial game art production.

Cove has taught at Becker College, Emerson College, MassArt, and Mount Ida College. He has a B.A. in Studio Art from Bard College and an MFA in Electronic Visualization from Mississippi State University.

Nevin Flanagan

Nevin Flanagan, M.S.
Assistant Teaching Professor

A long-time fantasy reader and tabletop gamer who gravitated towards digital RPGs and Japanese media (manga and anime) during college, Nevin Flanagan is interested in games as a form of immersive storytelling as well as creating new systems of strategy and mental exercise. His focus is on programming and other technical development skills with a particular interest in user interfaces, but he also serves as the program’s advocate for physical and table-top game development. He holds an MFA in interactive media from Becker College as well as an M.S. in interactive media & game development from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Most interesting games include Odin Sphere, Alundra, the Grandia franchise, and Return to Dark Castle, as well as the Cortex Prime system.

Pronouns are he/him/his.

Ilir Mborja

Ilir Mborja, MFA
Assistant Teaching Professor

Biography to come soon.

Scott Niemi

Scott T. Niemi, MFA
Teaching Professor

Scott Niemi is an award-winning fine artist/illustrator who completed his formal education at Florida Atlantic University where he earned an MFA in visual art.

He has participated in many shows both on the national as well as the local level. His work is in the collections of Children’s Hospital of Boston (Peabody, Mass.), Clinton Hospital (Clinton, Mass.), The Essex Inn (Chicago), North Shore Children’s Hospital (Salem, Mass.), Oak Brook Bank (Oak Brook, Ill.), The Schacknow Museum of Fine Arts (Plantation, Fla.), and in the UMass Medical Center, Ambulatory Center (Massachusetts). He has work in hundreds of private collections, ranging from Beverly Hills to Australia.

Before joining Clark, he was a professor of interactive media at Becker College where he has taught in the Game Design program since 2005. In the past, he worked as an adjunct professor at Franklin Pierce University and at Florida Atlantic University. Scott has also worked as the interim coordinator of the Thoreau Gallery from 2007-2008 (Rindge, N.H.), for The Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art (Lake Worth, Fla.), The Florida Atlantic University Galleries (Boca Raton, Fla.) and Galerie 624 (West Palm Beach, Fla.). In 2017, he was awarded the 2016-2017 Award for “Excellence in Teaching” from Becker College.

Jonathan Rudder

Jonathan Rudder, MFA
Associate Teaching Professor

 

Jonathan Rudder graduated with a B.A. in English from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and an MFA in creative writing from Full Sail University in Winter Park, Fla. He and his brother, Douglas, are co-founders of RudderHaven Publishing Group PBC, a creative studio dedicated to providing valuable and relevant commercial experience to current students, recent graduates, and unemployed professionals in book publishing, game development, and other creative industries. Inspired at an early age by the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, Jonathan became an avid reader — and later writer — of fantasy and science fiction, including The Milhavior Chronicles, RHU: Origins Vol I, and more. He served for almost nine years as the copyeditor, writer, and official Tolkien lore-expert for the award-winning MMO The Lord of the Rings Online by Turbine, finishing his career there as a content designer. Currently, Jonathan dedicates most of his time to his family, RudderHaven, and teaching in one of the highest-rated game design degree programs in the world: the Becker School of Design and Technology at Clark University.

Teressa Ulm

Terrasa Ulm, MFA
 Professor of the Practice

Terrasa Ulm has been an emergent media artist, game developer, and professor of interactive media for over 15 years. Her work and practice focuses on games for change, the impact of artificial intelligence on new media, and XR development. She has developed a number of game titles, working as both designer and software developer, in the ‘serious’ and experimental games space for pc, mobile, and virtual reality. Her most recent personal art centers on interactive, fictive, live-action installations. As a computer science major at Smith College, Ulm began developing her first electronic experiences, and upon completing graduate studies in interactive programming at Parsons, the New School, she helped launch one of the first undergraduate degrees in game development, consistently recognized in the top five globally. She received her MFA from Lesley University and maintains her studio at a local maker-space, believing that practice and purpose intersect at the community level.

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Becker School of Design & Technology at Clark University

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