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 Eugene Jarvis Scholars


Kelsey Choe, Em Erce, and Anna Ma.

Read more here.


Victor Tze and Winnona Li!

Read more here.


Ashley Reed is an American and Media Studies major with a minor in Education. Ashley's thesis explores how media consumption has glorified, gentrified, racialized, feminized, and commodified the Chihuahua in the early 2000s. "As a low-income student, I would have been unable to commit to a demanding course load, partake in a thesis, and undergo an extracurricular certification without sacrificing stress on my financial demands. I am honored to have been chosen for this scholarship and am looking forward to carrying out what I have learned about New Media into the world post-graduation."

Choyang Ponsar is an interdisciplinary studies major interested in innovative design practices. "I am forever grateful to the Berkeley Center for New Media for providing me with my first opportunity to conduct dissertation-level research and the encouragement that I’ve been given by the staff and faculty here to enroll in graduate classes for my certificate has hands down been one of the most memorable academic experiences of my time at this university.

Read more here.


Emily Xia Que is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture in the College of Environmental Design, with a minor in Sustainable Design. With a passion for creative work, Emily is involved in graphic design, photography, and video production in addition to new media prototyping and engineering.


Fionce Siow

Fionce is a Media Studies major and a communications assistant at the Center. Fionce has taken a suite of new media classes, including our graduate level Questioning New Media, and has been involved in every major BCNM lecture and conference for the past three years.

"I am currently a junior majoring in media studies, in addition to possessing Certificates of Entrepreneurship & Technology and New Media. I have always been fascinated by people -- who they are, what they do and the driving force behind it all. That is why I aspire to enter the tech industry for brand storytelling. This passion has translated across my experiences as an assistant for BCNM, a social media media marketing consultant for UC Berkeley, an employee branding intern for PayPal and a public relations intern for Tesla. I am incredibly grateful for this scholarship as a low-income, first-generation student, especially since I have historically struggled to prioritize either my finances or my academics. The Eugene Jarvis Scholarship offers me the privilege of time: taking less hours to work and more time to study, socialize and even sleep. It is truly an honor to be among a long line of distinguished recipients!"


Howe Cui

Howe is a Film and Linguistics double major, with a minor in Computer Science, who has spearheaded advances in storytelling in 360 film as an officer at VR@Berkeley. He is currently working on converting several student animated shorts from traditional 3D into 360 narrative film. He has taken numerous new media courses and has also served as a student assistant at the Berkeley Institute for Data Science.

"I am very thankful to receive this scholarship. It is encouraging to know that my work to synthesize knowledge from various fields has not gone unnoticed. The aid that the Eugene Jarvis scholarship provides will enable me to continue combining my studies and producing New Media content with emerging technologies. Presently, my work has largely been focused on VR@Berkeley's Immersive Cinema teams. I encourage people who are interested in Virtual Reality to check out the club and to reach out to me if they have any questions," Howe wrote.

Kojin Glick

Kojin is a Political Science and Media Studies double major, primarily interested in the intersection of organizational politics and online communications and media. Through his new media coursework, which include classes on Videogame and Culture and Civic Tech, Kojin has emphasized research into online community organizing. He's since been working on research projects about human behavior, helping to write the world of the games used in these studies.

"I’m incredibly grateful for the support the Eugene Jarvis Scholarship for Design (Media) Innovation has provided me," Kojin wrote. "Not only did it enable me to seek out another cultural perspective from which to understand media, it has motivated me to continue my studies and give back to the Design (Media) community!”


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!