Hi there, I’m Kelli.

If your curious and want to know more about me, you’re in the right spot. If you’re looking for my CV, you can find it here.

I’m a psychologist, game designer, and researcher. I study the way humans interact with games and how games can impact humans. My first research project in this area was my undergraduate thesis wherein I hypothesized my university would buy me video games for a psychological study. They did; hypothesis confirmed.

I integrated my passion for video games into my doctoral studies and quickly became known as “you’re that person who likes games, right?” For my dissertation, I designed an experiment that combined psychological measures with gaming habits and concluded that no, playing video games does not turn people into mindless killing machines or sad, lonely misfits (which was the theory at the time!)

After graduating with my doctorate in clinical psychology, I applied for and was awarded a fellowship at American University to pursue a Masters in game design. I brought my expertise in psychology into my classes and integrated psych concepts into my games. I developed skills in coding, game engines, and photoshop which all came together for my master’s capstone project – Ellie Beagle: Therapy Dog.


Ellie Beagle: Therapy Dog was featured at the 2017 Games for Change Civics Salon. I’m very proud of that.

I currently work at the non-profit iThrive Games Foundation and serve as the Director of Mental Health Research and Design.