Shawnee State gaming program opens doors for students


A senior this year at Shawnee State University, Derek Peterson (Hometown: Pleasant Point, Illinois) is looking forward to graduating this coming spring after seeing how many doors have been opened for him with his degree. Majoring in Game & Simulation Arts, Peterson was first interested in the university after learning he qualified for in-state tuition and seeing the opportunities within the nationally-ranked gaming program.

“I have learned so many new skills – I never could have anticipated how much went into this degree,” he said.

While at SSU, Peterson has been able to become involved in several student clubs and organizations and gain a valuable set of skills in communication and leadership.

“I have been a part of the Zombie Educational Defense Club and have helped with Circle K International, the Student Programming Board, and I was a Resident Assistant for one year,” he said.

Currently, Peterson is a member of Rotaract and is the Treasurer and Secretary of the university’s Dungeon Crawlers.

“I am in charge of managing funding, setting up events, scheduling rooms, going to the Student Government Association meetings to learn more about things happening on campus, and relating all of these new events to members of my club,” he said.

In his major, Peterson is grateful for the number of skills the gaming program has been able to provide to him as he prepares for his future.

“I have really enjoyed doing things like motion capture, animation, and high-definition modeling,” he said.

SSU’s gaming program is divided into two majors – Game & Simulation Arts and Digital Simulation & Game Engineering Technology. These two separate but coordinated programs teach students how to work individually and as a team, while developing the skills they need to create the career path best suited for them. The program has been nationally-ranked on The Princeton Review’s Top Gaming Programs in the U.S. & Canada for twelve consecutive years.

To learn more about Shawnee State University’s gaming programs, visit

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