About Me

Hi, I'm Kirk.

I'm a scholar, web developer, and game designer currently completing my PhD (as a Presidential Doctoral Fellow) in Texts & Technology (with a focus in Games and Interactive Media) at UCF. I'm interested in learning, particularly learning via games. My research addresses historical games and how students learn history using these games. But, maybe you already know all that.

If you made it here, you're probably interested in learning more about me and my work in one of these areas. Click on any of the icons on the toolbar to filter this website by one of the following:

  • Scholarly works, including: teaching philosophy & portfolio, published works, and my Curriculum Vitae
  • Developer projects, including: open-source project contributions, web development portfolio, and my Resume
  • Designer stuff, including: current game projects and my resume.
I've been working in these spaces for a while, and all of these areas overlap, so you'll see items crop up in multiple places. Sorry about that, but I promise it'll make sense in a bit.

As I said, I've been working in all three of these areas for a while now; I designed my first tabletop game over a decade ago, around the same time I: conducted research on processor design at Texas A&M, coded my first public website, and regularly attempted to drink my weight in Dr. Pepper.

My research touches all of these spaces (except the Dr. Pepper); I'm interested in how games can be used to facilitate learning, particularly a form of learning that focuses on metacognitive proficiency and literacy within a given domain. For me, the chosen domain of study is history. Basically, I'm interested in how playing history games (both in a classroom and not) can help students develop an understanding of history itself as a process. Along with this, I'm looking into how alt-right communities use game mods to inculcate models of history and how climate change is represented and understood in games. Research in these areas rely somewhat on my previously-established skills as a code monkey (developer), amateur game designer, and semi-professional strategy gamer. So, you know, it's a good thing I did all that stuff.

Beyond research, I currently teach Server-Side Scripting for UCF's Games and Interactive Media department and am the Applications Programmer for the RICHES program in UCF's History department. For both of these roles I spend time teaching—everything from how to use digital tools for historians to how to implement a PHP form. As the Applications Programmer I'm also responsible for the development of our RICHES Mosaic Inteface project. I can't talk much about it now, but stay tuned :) In my spare time, I play games (that I turn around and research), run online roleplaying game sessions (again, research), and contribute to open-source projects online (which I...yeah. Sensing a theme yet?). Also, sometimes I juggle and try to hug alligators (take that, theme!). Anyways; welcome!

Projects

These are the major projects that I've completed (somewhat) recently. If you're looking for something in particular, make sure to filter by the desired category.

RICHES
Auburn OUW site
Mosaic Interface
Roll20 Script
Character Sheets
Tio Pelon
MTPC Portfolio

Curriculum Vitae & Résumé

View below, or download the PDF CV and résumé here (if that's more your thing).

Education

Ph.D. in Texts and Technology (in progress)
The University of Central Florida, 2017–Present, Orlando, FL
  • Received prestigious Presidential Fellowship, an $80k stipend covering 4 years of research and study
  • Concentration in Interactive Media
  • GPA: 4.00/4.00
Master of Technical and Professional Communication
Auburn University, 2012–2014, Auburn, AL
  • Coordinated minor in Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Received full tuition assistantship
  • Granted the Department of English Fellowship for Technical and Professional Communication
  • GPA: 3.92/4.00 (Overall) 4.0/4.0 (Major)
B. S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering
Baylor University, 2007–2011, Waco, TX
  • Minors in Economics and Mathematics
  • Completed the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core program (Honors College)
  • GPA: 3.64/4.00 (Overall) 3.76/4.0 (Major)

Selected Projects

Roll20 Dynamic Initiative Script
In Progress (started 2017)
  • Designed and am further developing a JavaScript tool for managing a key roleplaying game statistic across a variety of game systems. Script is currently being alpha tested by gaming groups, and will be submitted to the official roll20 script repository upon release of version 1.0.
Tio Pelon's Salsita Website
Completed 2016
  • Designed and administered the website for the award-winning San Antonio-based salsa company, Tio Pelon’s Salsita. Site design included HTML, CSS, JS, PHP, MySQL, and a Wordpress installation. Also managed the WooCommerce e-commerce extension and prepared the company for online ordering, billing, and shipping.
RPG Character Sheet and Scripts
In Progress (started 2015)
  • Designed and administered the website for the award-winning San Antonio-based salsa company, Tio Pelon’s Salsita. Site design included HTML, CSS, JS, PHP, MySQL, and a Wordpress installation. Also managed the WooCommerce e-commerce extension and prepared the company for online ordering, billing, and shipping.
NI DIAdem/Fitbit Tracking Application
Completed 2015
  • Developed LabVIEW and DIAdem code designed to interact with the FitBit API; this software registered users and then periodically acquired their real-time fitbit data for graphical analysis in DIAdem. Coordinated a small team (myself and two others) for this project and maintained scheduled project deadlines with the marketing department. Demonstrated the fully functional tool in its own booth at the NIWeek Expo in August of 2015.
Auburn Office of University Writing Website
Completed 2014
  • Developed a new website for the OUW using PHP, HTML, CSS, and Javascript; this site was designed to be maintained and updated by nontechnical staff using the WordPress platform. Coordinated a small team (myself and two others) as well as set up content/design meetings with Auburn staff; the design process included design prototype presentations, concept sketches, wireframe mockups, WordPress template development, server configuration, and full-stack web development.

Technical Skills

Programming Languages
  • Scripting: JavaScript (jQuery, NodeJS, Express, Sails), VBScript, PHP(Laravel, WordPress), Ruby(RoR)
  • Compiled: C# (ASP.NET MVC), C++
  • Embedded/Hardware: C, VHDL, Assembly(MIPS), LabVIEW, TestStand
Markup Languages
  • HTML, XML, CSS(LESS, SASS)
Database Environments and ORMs
  • MongoDB, MySQL(Eloquent)
Selected Tools
  • Git, Gulp, Grunt.js, Eslint, Webpack, npm
Hardware
  • Communications: GPIB, Serial, CAN, I2C, SPI
  • Platform: cRIO, cDAQ, PXI
  • Other: Xilinx FPGA
Software
  • Design & Usability: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premier, Morae
  • Development: Visual Studio(NI Measurement Studio), Visual Studio Code, LabWindows/CVI, NP++
  • Data Visualization: DIAdem, ArcGIS, D3
  • Computation: MATLAB, SPICE, LabVIEW, TestStand
  • Other: Windows OS, MS Office Suite

Certifications

  • Software: NI Certified LabVIEW Associate Developer (2015–2016), NI Certified TestStand Developer (2016–Present)

Honors & Awards

  • Fellowships & Grants: University of Central Florida Presidential Fellowship ($80,000-2017), Auburn Department of English Fellowship for Technical and Professional Communication ($1,000-2012), Texas A&M Undergraduate Summer Research Grant ($5,000-2011)
  • Undergraduate Distinctions: Dean’s List (fall 2007, fall 2010, fall 2011), Baylor Interdisciplinary Core honors graduate (2011)
  • Memberships: Alpha Lambda Delta, Delta Epsilon Iota, Gamma Beta Phi

Work Experience

Applications Programmer
The University of Central Florida, August 2019–Present
  • Design a new front-end and back-end for the history department's RICHES Mosaic Interface project
  • Maintain existing web servers and program data
  • Teach and interface with history department personnel on technical, web-related issues pertinent to their work
  • Conduct usability testing to assess efficacy of intended future design changes
Adjunct Instructor
The University of Central Florida, August 2019–Present
  • Teach the Games and Interactive Media department's Server-Side Scripting course
  • Design course content to conform to pedagogical standards and effectively communicate core concepts
  • Assess student progress and provide clear and effective feedback
Information Architect
Orange County Clerk of Courts, February 2018–Present
  • Architect the internal KnowledgeBase (KB) system used by all Orange County Clerk of Court employees
  • Write clear, concise, and effective documentation for 4 divisions based on a wide array of source materials
  • Consult with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to ensure the accuracy of all content
  • Provide stylistic guidelines for other content writers based on professional editing standards
Graduate Teaching Assistant
The University of Central Florida, August 2017–August 2019
  • Taught the ENC 3241 Technical and Professional Writing course
  • Designed course content to conform to pedagogical standards and effectively communicate core concepts
  • Worked with other departments to create personalized teaching strategies for struggling students
  • Assessed student progress and provide clear and effective feedback on their writing process
Web Developer
Self-Employed, October 2016–Present
  • Research marketing strategies to better create brand awareness and drive revenue for e-commerce
  • Develop websites using PHP- and .NET-based frameworks
  • Manage client designs and expectations for fully-functioning e-commerce applications
  • Write marketing and other commercial material for customer websites
Applications Engineer
National Instruments, January 2015–October 2016
  • Wrote and edited technical articles on hardware/software troubleshooting and concepts
  • Assisted in managing the institutional knowledgebase (KB) system as a Gatekeeper
  • Supported scientists and engineers using test and measurement hardware, such as cDAQ, cRIO, and PXI platforms as well as Serial, GPIB, CAN, I2C, and SPI communication protocols
  • Assisted NI customers in architecting, designing, and debugging C, C#, LabVIEW, and TestStand applications
  • Taught programming and software customer education classes in CVI, TestStand, DIAdem and C/C
  • Developed a LabVIEW and DIAdem demo for NIWeek 2015
  • Contributed to coworkers' technical development by teaching internal classes, presenting information on various technical topics, and serving as a technical expert for DIAdem, TestStand, Visual Studio/Measurement Studio, and CVI
  • Managed small internal teams working to complete extremely high-priority customer issues as well as tightly-scheduled marketing demos
  • Designed, developed, and tested internal applications for office use
Webmaster
Auburn University, August–May 2014
  • Redesigned the OUW website to meet design standards and best practices
  • Streamlined the content management system to enable easy updates by non-technical staff
  • Wrote staff guides for independently updating web content
Graduate Assistant for Web Development
Auburn University, August 2012–May 2014
  • Assisted in teaching the English Department's ENGL 7060 Web Development course
  • Managed the English Department's IDEA Lab for usability testing
Technical Writing Intern
Johnson Controls, May–August 2013
  • Edited quality standards documentation for automotive assembly processes
  • Researched quality assessment methods and procedures
Media Intern
College of Engineering Office of Communications and Marketing, January–May 2013
  • Edited web and print media published by the College of Engineering
  • Researched web design for upcoming website overhaul
  • Wrote engineering news pieces on the college website
Field Engineering Intern
TexStar Midstream Services LP, May–August 2012
  • Assisted engineers in field operations throughout south Texas
  • Researched and compiled data on GIS software for potential company use
Summer Researcher
Texas A&M University, May–August 2011
  • Received an undergraduate summer research grant (USRG) from Texas A&M
  • Researched hardware-based sorting and hashing algorithms for microprocessor systems
  • Delivered a poster presentation and wrote a journal-style technical paper over summer research

Education

The University of Central Florida
Ph.D. in Texts and Technology (Area of Emphasis: Games and Interactive Media)
Orlando, FL
Expected May 2021
Auburn University
M.T.P.C., Technical and Professional Communication
Auburn, AL
May 2014
Defense: A Tale of Two Cultures: Accommodation, Expertise, and the Modern Technical Communicator Graduate Minor in computer engineering.
Baylor University
B.S.E.C.E., Electrical & Computer Engineering
Waco, TX
December 2011
Minors in mathematics and economics. Graduate of the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core honors program. Dean’s List (2007, 2010, 2011).

Teaching Positions

Adjunct Instructor, University of Central Florida
"Server-Side Scripting"
Orlando, FL
Fall 2019
Teaching course covering back-end web architecture and design patterns using PHP.
Graduate Teaching Assistant, University of Central Florida
"Writing for the Technical Professional"
Orlando, FL
Spring 2019; Fall, Spring 2018; Fall 2017
Taught course covering professionalization for technical fields of study, emphasizing résumé and cover letter design, communication between experts and non-experts, proposal writing, and the design of technical reports.
Graduate Assistant for Web Development, Auburn University
"Web Development"
Auburn, AL
Spring 2013, 2014
Coordinated course logistics for Dr. Whittemore and Dr. Youngblood; course covered front-end web design, from HTML and CSS to basic JavaScript, culminating in a website design project for public clients. Assisted with in-class exercise guidance and tutoring. Aided students in scoping design projects and managing communications with clients. Held weekly office hours.
Instructor, National Instruments
"NI Hardware Software Training"
Austin, TX
2015–2016
Taught weeklong training seminars at customer sites across the country, as well as internal courses aimed at educating new engineers. Assisted customers with integration of course material into existing industry projects and workflow. Coordinated with sales team to address future hardware, software, and training needs. Courses taught include: Developing Applications with TestStand, Architecting Frameworks with TestStand, TestStand Core 1, TestStand Core 2, DIAdem Basics, DIAdem Advanced, CVI Core 1.

Industry Positions

Applications Programmer, University of Central Florida
2019–Present
Currently serving as the web developer and general programmer for the history department's RICHES program. Responsible for maintenance of existing systems as well as design, testing, and deployment of the 2.0 phase of the RICHES Mosaic Interface project (built using PHP, the Laravel framework, and Vuex).
Web Developer, Self-Employed
2016–Present
Developed websites using PHP- and Ruby-based frameworks. Managed client designs and expectations for fully-functioning e-commerce applications. Wrote marketing and other commercial material for customer websites.
Information Architect, Orange County Clerk of Courts
2018
Architected the internal KnowledgeBase (KB) system used by all OCCC employees. Wrote clear, concise, and effective documentation for 4 divisions based on a wide array of source materials. Consulted with Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to ensure the accuracy of all content. Provided stylistic guidelines for other content writers based on professional editing standards.
Web Developer, Auburn University Office of University Writing
2014
Redesigned the OUW website to meet design standards and best practices. Streamlined the content management system to enable easy updates by non-technical staff. Wrote staff guides for independently updating web content.
Technical Writing Intern, Johnson Controls
2013
Edited quality standards documentation for automotive assembly processes. Researched quality assessment methods and procedures.
Field Engineering Intern, TexStar Midstream Services LP
2012
Assisted engineers in field operations throughout south Texas. Researched and compiled data on GIS software for potential company use.
Tutor, Paul L Foster Student Success Center
2010–2011
Tutored students in mathematics, physics, economics, engineering, English, and computer science courses. Worked with success center staff to develop new teaching pedagogies for struggling students.

Research Positions

RICHES Web Design Intern, University of Central Florida
2018–2019
Designed a new interface for the Regional Initiative for Collecting the History, Experiences, and Stories (RICHES) of Central Florida’s Mosaic Interface project. Developed back-end architecture for the redesign. Augmented redesign with Digital Humanities research centered around remediation and interface concerns.
LUCIA Assistant, Auburn University
2013–2014
Managed the Lab for Usability, Communication, Interaction, and Accessibility (LUCIA). Developed a usability test plan for a comprehensive accessibility study. Recorded data for focus groups. Performed basic IT work in the lab.
IDEA Lab Assistant, Auburn University
2012–2013
Managed the Instruction in Design, Evaluation, and Accessibility (IDEA) lab. Conducted usability studies on websites. Assisted undergraduates with performing their own usability tests. Performed equipment demonstrations for university personnel.
Researcher (Undergraduate Summer Research Grant), Texas A&M University
2011
Researched hardware sorting and hashing algorithms for microprocessor systems under the direction of Dr. Khatri.

Courses Prepared to Teach

Front-End Web Design, Web Design Workshop I, Web Design Workshop II, Server-Side Scripting, Client-Side Scripting, Tools for the Digital Humanities, Rapid Application Web Development, Design for Accessibility and Engagement, Writing for Digital Media, Physical Computing

Additional Teaching

Guest Lecturer, University of Central Florida
"Server-Side Scripting"
Orlando, FL
Fall 2018
Delivered guest lecture to Dr. Fanfarelli’s class covering the use of tools and frameworks such as git, gulp, and SASS in professional web design.
Guest Lecturer, University of Central Florida
"Rapid Application Development"
Orlando, FL
Fall 2018
Delivered guest lecture to Dr. Fanfarelli’s class covering unit, integration, and acceptance testing for web developers.

Notable Creative Works

Roll20 Dynamic Initiative Script
2017–Present
Designed and am further developing a JavaScript tool for managing a key roleplaying game statistic across a variety of game systems. Script is currently being alpha tested by gaming groups, and will be submitted to the official roll20 script repository upon release of version 1.0.
Tio Pelon's Salsita Website
2016–2018
Designed and administered the website for the award-winning San Antonio-based salsa company, Tio Pelon’s Salsita. Site design included HTML, CSS, JS, PHP, MySQL, and a Wordpress installation. Also managed the WooCommerce e-commerce extension and prepared the company for online ordering, billing, and shipping.
RPG Character Sheet and Scripts
2015–Present
Designed an HTML/CSS/JS form for use as a character sheet in the popular online tabletop gaming platform roll20. Currently developing further updates to improve the functionality of this tool. This sheet is designed to support players of Fantasy Flight Games’ Warhammer 40k line of tabletop roleplaying games. Also designed a series of JavaScript tools to automate various computational tasks specific to the game system.
NI DIAdem/Fitbit Tracking Application
2015
Developed DIAdem code (and integrated LabVIEW code) designed to interact with the FitBit API; this software registered users and then periodically acquired their real-time fitbit data for graphical analysis in DIAdem. Coordinated a small team (myself and two others) for this project and maintained scheduled project deadlines with the marketing department. Demonstrated the fully functional tool in its own booth at the NIWeek Expo in August of 2015.
Auburn Office of University Writing Website
2014
Developed a new website for the OUW using PHP, HTML, CSS, and Javascript; this site was designed to be maintained and updated by nontechnical staff using the WordPress platform. Coordinated a small team (myself and two others) as well as set up content/design meetings with Auburn staff; the design process included design prototype presentations, concept sketches, wireframe mockups, WordPress template development, server configuration, and full-stack web development.

Grants and Fellowships

Presidential Doctoral Fellowship, University of Central Florida ($80,000)
2017–2021
Fellowship for Technical and Professional Communication, Auburn University ($1,000)
2012–2013
Undergraduate Summer Research Grant, Texas A&M ($5,000)
2011

Presentations and Demonstrations

“No Flag, No Country: the Procedural Rhetoric of Colonialism in Europa Universalis IV,” Computers and Writing
2019
“DIAdem and Fitbit,” National Instruments NIweek Expo
2016
“Hardware Accl. of Sort Ops. in a Modern Microprocessor,” TAMU Summer Research Colloquium
2011

Technical Skills

Programming Languages
Scripting: JavaScript (jQuery, NodeJS, Express, Sails), VBScript, PHP(Laravel, WordPress), Ruby(RoR)
Compiled: C# (ASP.NET MVC), C++
Embedded/Hardware: C, VHDL, Assembly(MIPS), LabVIEW, TestStand
Markup Languages
HTML, XML, CSS(LESS, SASS)
Database Environments and ORMs
MongoDB, MySQL/MariaDB (Eloquent)
Selected Tools
Git, Gulp, Grunt.js, eslint, Webpack, npm
Hardware
Communications: GPIB, Serial, CAN, I2C, SPI
Platforms: cRIO, cDAQ, PXI
Other: Xilinx FPGA
Software
Design & Usability: Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Premier, Morae
Development: Visual Studio(NI Measurement Studio), Visual Studio Code, LabWindows/CVI, NP++
Data Visualization: DIAdem, ArcGIS, D3
Computation: MATLAB, SPICE, LabVIEW, TestStand
Other: Windows OS, MS Office Suite

Technical Certifications

NI Certified TestStand Developer (NI CTD)
2016–Present
NI Certified LabVIEW Associate Developer (NI CLAD)
2015–2016