Eugene Jarvis Scholarship for New Media Innovation

Eugene Jarvis Scholarship for New Media Innovation

The Eugene Jarvis scholarship hopes to promote fearless innovation at UC Berkeley. Recognizing that education has become increasingly expensive and that students as a result are motivated to make educational decisions based on future job prospects, the Silicon Valley game designer and entrepreneur seeks to promote intellectual exploration through a scholarship that supports students with innovative design projects at the Center for New Media who show financial need.

“The undergraduate experience is the most formative in education. It’s the one time in your life you have an open mind and are absorbing knowledge while trying to find your mission on earth […] College is the ultimate kickstarter. I want to give students the freedom to learn the tools that will allow them to make something of their lives.”

Jarvis chose to work with the Center for New Media on the scholarship, because of its role as an “innovative incubator.”

“There’s all this cross-pollination going on there. To make something new you have to take two different things and combine them to see what happens.”

Jarvis worked for Atari before moving to Williams Electronics, where he created the arcade landmark Defender. He formed his own company Vid Kiz, through which he developed the critically acclaimed Stargate and Robotron 2084. Jarvis pioneered 3D photorealistic texture mapping for the 1990s Cruis'n series of driving games at Midway. He now owns and operates Raw Thrills, Inc., producing such hits as The Fast and the Furious and Target: Terror. Jarvis has been honored with the IGDA Game Developers Choice Award for Lifetime Achievement and the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Pioneer Award.


The Eugene Jarvis Scholarship is supported by the Ruth Johnson Scholarship Match Program, which provides a dollar for dollar match for gifts to new endowed scholarships. This match was made possible through the bequest of Ruth Johnson, who graduate with honors from UC Berkeley in 1938. She completed graduate work and obtained her teaching credential the following year. She taught French and Spanish in public high schools for 30 years. Ruth survived her husband Milton, a U.S. Army Veteran. During their marriage the Johnsons lived in a number of places in the US and Japan. Ruth was motivated to benefit undergraduate students with scholarships when she learned about the increasing difficulty many students had paying for their Berkeley education – something she treasured throughout her life.

Previous Euegne Jarvis Scholars


Carmen Zheng

I am so grateful to be this year’s recipient of the Jarvis Scholarship. Born and raised in a low-income East Oakland neighborhood, I am not only honored to receive this scholarship, but so grateful for the financial support it provides me as first-generation college student. As a Business Administration and Media Studies double major, I am extremely passionate about communication technologies and exploring changing media environments through an academic lens. My ultimate vision is to revolutionize the way companies and organizations relay powerful positioning statements to mass audiences in today’s digital-centered environment. I currently assist UC Berkeley’s Social Media Director in managing the university’s official social media accounts. Behind a computer, our student team represents the #1 public university in the world to a global online audience of over 400,000. Working in social media has helped keep my finger on the pulse of Internet innovation, and I am extremely excited to be conducting research at the Haas School of Business involving the role of technology in communications as well as finishing up my Undergraduate Certificate in New Media this semester. After graduation, I plan to further achieve my aspirations of becoming a changemaker and leader in the media field by signing with Ford Motor Company as a Marketing & Sales Manager. Thank you so much to the Berkeley Center for New Media and Eugene Jarvis!