Published Jan 26, 2024
Announcing the 14th Annual Hall of Fame Induction Class
Full Sail’s Hall of Fame ceremony is an annual event where we recognize a select group of graduates who have shown unique focus and dedication to their professional careers and serve as continuing inspiration to our student body.
Full Sail University is proud to announce the 14th Annual Full Sail University Hall of Fame induction class, comprised of six graduates recognized for outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment media and emerging technologies. The induction of this new class of honorees will occur during Full Sail’s 14th Annual Hall of Fame Week, scheduled to be held May 19-24, 2024.
Full Sail’s Hall of Fame is a weeklong series of virtual and campus-wide events including:
- Guest lectures, panels, workshops, and hands-on technology demonstrations from leading industry influencers, experts, and companies.
- Career networking events focused on employment and mentoring for students and graduates.
- Technology Expo showcasing the latest in emerging technology trends and interactive experiences.
- Live musical performances featuring a variety of artists and genres.
- Interactive Creative Challenges for students and alumni.
- Gaming tournaments, film screenings, and more.
Several events will be made available to the public via online streaming. The week will include an induction ceremony to celebrate and recognize this latest class of inductees.
The inductees to be honored during the 14th Annual Hall of Fame Week are:
- Senior Prop Artist at NetherRealm Studios
- Natalie Asport is a video game developer, artist, writer, educator, songwriter, and musician.
- Prior to moving to NetherRealm Studios (home of the Mortal Kombat franchise) where she now serves in her current role as a Senior Prop Artist working on Mortal Kombat 1, Natalie worked on AAA titles including Just Cause 3, Just Cause 4, RAGE 2: TerrorMania DLC, and Contraband as an Environment Artist and a Vehicles and Weapons Artist at Avalanche Studios.
- She has also worked as a primary 3D artist for Visuals for Law, creating CG medical models of human anatomy to use in court cases, and as a freelance VFX artist on various creative projects
- Natalie serves as an adjunct professor at NYU Game Center teaching 3D Modeling for Games, a course she co-designed.
- She co-authored the technical book Beginning 3D Game Assets Development Pipeline (Apress, 2022).
- Natalie has been selected as a speaker at various game development events including Playcrafting: Women in Games and NYC ACM SIGGRAPH.
- 2013 Graduate (Computer Animation)
- Lead Gameplay Programmer at Insomniac Games
- Mark is responsible for direct technical contributions and team management, balancing programming work with managing, mentoring, and caring for the well-being of his team members.
- Navy veteran, Petty Officer 2nd class, performed physical security, telecommunications installation, and direct support for submarines out of Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) Hawaii.
- Landed his first industry job as a Gameplay Programmer at id Software where he worked for eight years on the award-winning titles DOOM, DOOM VF, DOOM Eternal, and The Ancient Gods – Part One DLC and The Ancient Gods – Part Two DLC.
- Traveled the country working conventions such as E3, PAX, and QuakeCon in support of ZeniMax/Bethesda's VR development initiatives.
- Joined Insomniac Games as a Lead Gameplay Programmer in February 2022 where he shipped Marvel's Spider-Man 2 and is currently working on Marvel's Wolverine.
- 2014 Graduate (Game Development)
Michael La Plante
- Vice President of Technology at Proforma
- With more than 14 years of experience across the technology sector, web designer, front-end developer, and entrepreneur Michael La Plante has worked with companies of all sizes, from social media giants and trillion-dollar search engines to government agencies.
- Michael runs his own company called LaPlante Web Development where he handles everything from software development to cybersecurity for a variety of tech projects, including the development of a phone app that has garnered more than a million dollars in sales to date.
- Currently, he serves as VP of Technology at Proforma and is the Chief Technology Officer for Ferguson, Santoro and Georgetti Postsecondary Educational Consultants.
- Michael is a motivational and conference speaker, presenting on topics ranging from technology to finance and personal coaching.
- 2010 Graduate (Web Design & Development)
- Nina recently directed two critically acclaimed period pieces for HBO, Perry Mason and The Nevers. Nina was also the producing director on ABC’s hit television show A Million Little Things. On her slate for 2024, Nina will be directing Mayor of Kingstown for Paramount+; Netflix’s number-one show, The Night Agent; and the final episode of HBO’s hit series The Last of Us.
- Her directorial debut short film, Mindfield, garnered Nina the Best New Director Award at the 2012 Madrid International Film Festival, the Best Short Film Award at the Chinese American Film Festival, and both the Best Director and Best Short Film Award at the Lewiston Auburn Film Festival.
- As a founding partner at Broken Toy Works Inc., Nina is currently developing two feature films, three one-hour dramas, a half-hour comedy, and a DIY reality series based on her sister and brother-in-law’s popular YouTube Channel, Sail Life.
- Nina is an alumni member of the WBTV Directors Workshop and has directed episodes of The Last of Us, Night Agent, Mayor of Kingstown, Perry Mason, The Nevers, A Million Little Things, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Mentalist, Supernatural, S.W.A.T., Manifest, Once Upon a Time, Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, NCIS: New Orleans, FBI: International, Big Sky, Bull, The Purge, The Gifted, The Runaways, and The Flash, to name a few.
- 2007 Graduate (Film)
- Producer, Songwriter, Vocal Producer, Mixer, Engineer
- Benjamin Rice is a Grammy-winning record producer, songwriter, vocal producer, mix engineer, and musician.
- He started his career at Record Plant Studios in Hollywood, California in 2012 as an assistant engineer and quickly turned the relationships he cultivated there into a career with Top 40 credits, including artists like Lady Gaga, Selena Gomez, Julia Michaels, Britney Spears, Becky G, Nick Jonas, John Legend, and more.
- In 2017 Lady Gaga brought Benjamin in to work on her film A Star is Born, where he engineered and vocal produced the entire soundtrack, as well as co-producing several of the songs and serving as one of the soundtrack’s overall album producers. Benjamin co-produced (with Lady Gaga) the single Shallow, landing him a 2019 Grammy nomination for Record of The Year, as well as his first Billboard #1 song as a producer. Shallow went on to win multiple awards including two Grammys, a Golden Globe, and an Oscar. At the 2020 Grammys, the A Star is Born soundtrack won the Grammy for Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media, giving Benjamin his first Grammy win.
- In 2019, Benjamin continued working with Lady Gaga on her album Chromatica, where he served once again as her engineer, vocal producer, and mixer for the entire album. He landed another Grammy nomination for Best Pop Vocal Production and a second Billboard #1 song with the album’s single, Rain On Me, featuring Ariana Grande.
- His most recent collaboration with Lady Gaga was co-producing and co-mixing Hold My Hand from the Top Gun: Maverick soundtrack, where he received his first Golden Globe nomination for Best Original Song. Hold My Hand was also Oscar-nominated for Best Original Song.
- Benjamin’s most recent work was teaming up with multi-platinum, Grammy-nominated artist and songwriter Julia Michaels, with whom he co-wrote, co-produced, vocal produced, engineered, and co-mixed all the original songs for Disney’s 100th anniversary animated feature film Wish, which was released November 22, 2023. Benjamin was also a featured musician and vocalist, contributing drums, guitars, keys, programming, and background vocals for the film.
- Benjamin is a veteran of the Army and joined in 2008. It was his dream to be in the Army Special Forces, Green Berets. His Army career first started at Fort Benning, Georgia, where he successfully completed both Infantry and Airborne training, becoming an Infantry Airborne Paratrooper. Transferring immediately to Fort Bragg, North Carolina to begin the Special Forces selection process, Benjamin was successful in being selected into the Special Forces Green Beret program where he began training as an 18D, Special Forces Medic. In 2010, Benjamin suffered a career-ending injury and received an honorable medical discharge.
- In the fall of 2010, following his medical discharge, Benjamin decided to study recording arts at Full Sail and later graduated as valedictorian in 2012.
- 2012 Graduate (Recording Arts)
- Vice President of Programming & Artist Relations at Music Choice
- Nadine Santos is an accomplished music executive who began her career at iHeart and CBS Radio, excelling as an Assistant Program Director and Music Director for both companies with a talent for curating captivating music experiences.
- Nadine currently oversees all music curation and artist partnerships for a music service available in more than 40 million homes across the US.
- Her visionary leadership has helped to elevate Music Choice as one of the premier destinations for breaking new artists and exposing new music to vast audiences across the country
- Nadine played a pivotal role in expanding Music Choice's portfolio of services. She spearheaded programming the launch of several new products such as a karaoke service, an ambient music service (MC Relax), and a DSP music streaming service (MC Plus). Leading a skilled programming team, she shapes and drives the music curation for each service, ensuring immersive experiences tailored to unique audiences.
- In 2023, Nadine served as one of the key driving forces behind Music Choice’s successful expansion into the commercial business, developing highly effective music strategies that have helped to secure accounts with many renowned brands.
- She successfully forged impactful partnerships with industry giants such as Mediabase and Billboard, solidifying Music Choice as one of the most influential music platforms in existence today.
- Her adept relationship-building extends to major record labels such as Republic Records, Disney Music/Hollywood Records, Interscope, RCA, and Warner Records, where she’s effectively leveraged partnerships into valuable artist collaborations and promotional opportunities with music icons like Mariah Carey, Taylor Swift, Meghan Trainor, and many more.
- 2001 Graduate (Recording Arts)
Since 2009, Full Sail University has celebrated the now time-honored tradition that is the Full Sail University Hall of Fame. Its purpose is to acknowledge those graduates who have made outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment media and emerging technologies throughout the university’s 40-plus-year history.
This honor serves as a tribute to the creative inspiration, technical brilliance, and determination of each inductee, their unyielding dedication to more than a decade of excellence in their professional career, and their heartfelt commitment to the students, faculty, staff, and alumni of Full Sail University.
Additional information regarding events and special guests will be announced closer to Hall of Fame Week.