PORTSMOUTH- Prepared for his career in ways he could have never imagined, Shawnee State University alumnus Dalton Fox knew he wanted to pursue game programming.
“I started game development and engineering as an elementary school student, building computers and programming small games for most of my youth,” he said. “I knew that I needed to do anything in my power to build my own company, lead my own team, to make it into the gaming industry – and Shawnee State was my first stepping stone toward that vision.”
Choosing SSU for its nationally-ranked game design program and its computer engineering courses, Fox was first uneasy starting college because he came from a small town and was not sure how he would fit in. He quickly found himself flourishing on campus while building relationships with his classmates and professors.
“I made friends outside of my typical circles, and got involved in athletics, as well as on-campus activities,” he said.
Graduating in 2019, Fox is now a Chief Software Architect for Boeing HFDT. In his role he leads a team of 20+ remote software engineers, game developers, and 3D artists.
“Our team focuses on the development of digital twin technologies and virtual simulation – a framework built on top of Unreal Engine,” he said. “We support national and international programs across the enterprise. Not only did my education prepare me technically for my career – through its materials, practical applications, and internships –, Shawnee State prepared me as a young adult.”
SSU’s gaming programs – featuring two areas of study in game arts and game programming – were nationally ranked in 2023 for the thirteenth consecutive year by The Princeton Review. The programs allow students to develop their skills through hands-on courses and one-on-one connections between faculty and students.
To students considering a career path similar to his, Fox encourages students to push themselves past any self-doubts, failures, or challenges they may face to reach their goals. In his own career, he has had to get through struggles that made him want to stop, but he now realizes how those instances helped him build his career into what it is.
“It’s fairly common advice to hear someone state that you should never give up on your dreams,” he said. “Achieving our dreams takes the utmost tenacity, hunger, and willingness to accept pain – to push through challenges even when those around us are advising us to give up. So, take a chance on yourself, and trust yourself even when you think you can’t go any further. We can always go further.”
Fox has many great memories on campus, but his favorite is meeting his fiancé and fellow alumna Brianna Buchholz on campus. They have been together for six years and will be getting married in the next year.
To learn more about gaming at Shawnee State University, visit www.shawnee.edu/gaming.