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Project Partners and Members

Associated Partner

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Project members

University of Göttingen

Photo of Hiltraud Casper-Hehne

Hiltraud Casper-Hehne (Project Lead), Professor of Intercultural German Studies, has been Vice President for International Affairs at Göttingen University for 12 years. She currently serves as member of the Executive Committee of the European University ENLIGHT and as a member of the Board of the German Academic Exchange Service. Her work experience encompasses internationalization of institutions, research as well as teaching and learning and intercultural communication. She held a variety of positions: e.g. member of the HERA-Board, member of the Board of the European Network COIMBRA, chair of the Association of German as a Foreign Language, and member of the Language Advisory Board of the Goethe Institute.

Philipp Freyer (Project Manager), is a project coordinator and doctoral student at the University of Goettingen (UGOE). He specializes in the field of Virtual Exchange and Global Citizenship Education (GCE), examining their impact on the Internationalisation of the Curricula and their capacities to create learning environments that address and critically reflect upon existing power dynamics and oppressive structures of inequality. Additionally, Philipp Freyer is an advisor regarding the development of international teaching and learning formats within ENLIGHT. In 2021, Philipp coordinated the International Virtual Academic Collaboration (IVAC) project ‘Change of Perspective’ at the UGOE and as a part of the European University Network ENLIGHT, he contributed towards a more inclusive and sustainable implementation of Virtual Exchange. Currently, one of his main research interests lies in the interplay between GCE and Virtual Exchange.

Photo of Alexandra Schreiber

Alexandra Schreiber (Curriculum and Game Designer, Facilitator) is a Lecturer for Intercultural Learning at the University of Göttingen. She obtained a Master´s Degree in Intercultural Studies at Danube University Krems in Austria. Schreiber has been teaching in Virtual Exchange programs since 2017, including the Erasmus+ program NICE, DAAD IVAC and the ENLIGHT Global Engagement Module. She has presented at IVEC conference, the Transformative Play Initiative at Uppsala University, and within the ENLIGHT consortium. Schreiber completed the Transformative Game Design certificate program and is currently pursuing a PhD program on role-playing games and intercultural learning. She is inspired by space exploration and life on the International Space Station.

Cora Övermann (Project Manager, Facilitator) has recently submitted her PhD thesis at Bremen University and is currently employed as a research associate at the University of Göttingen. She has long been interested in feminist theory as well as literary and cultural research with an anglophone angle. Additional areas of Cora’s expertise include risk theory and the Western world of natural science. In ROCKET, she applies her knowledge to issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the context of European Higher Education.

Photo of Riccarda Valentina Fulda

Riccarda Valentina Fulda (Student Assistant) is an Intercultural Trainer at the University of Göttingen. In childhood, Riccarda was introduced to China through literature and documentaries. A transformative year in Shenzhen solidified her academic passion for Chinese studies. Pursuing Sinology became a cherished aspiration, leading her to complete her Master’s degree in 2023. Promptly thereafter, Riccarda secured a position as a research assistant at the Georg August University of Göttingen. She first became active as an intercultural trainer after her exchange year in Shenzhen. Initially, Riccarda worked with student exchange organizations, and later transitioned to the field of Chinese-German educational exchange. Currently gearing up to embark on her doctoral journey, Riccarda eagerly anticipates the unfolding opportunities and challenges that lie ahead in her academic future.

Leoni Schweiger (Student Assistant) has recently completed her masters in Intercultural German Studies and is currently emloyed as a research assistant at the University of Göttingen. During her studies and a year abroad in Hangzhou (China), she deepened her interests in topics such as cultural diversity, internationalisation and intercultural communication. Her tasks in the ROCKET project include supporting the project management as well as co-designing and updating the website.

Uppsala University

Sarah Lynne Bowman (Project Manager, Curriculum and Game Designer, Safety Committee) is a scholar, game designer, and event organizer. She received her B.A. and M.A. from the University of Texas at Austin in Radio-Television-Film and her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Dallas in Arts and Humanities. Bowman has taught in the Humanities, English, and Communication. Currently, she is an Associate Professor in Game Design at Uppsala University Campus Gotland. She formerly served as Coordinator for the Peace & Conflict Studies program at Austin Community College, where she teaches Humanities. Bowman is a founding member of the Transformative Play Initiative, who research analog role-playing games as vehicles for personal and social change. She co-edited The Wyrd Con Companion Book (2012-2015) and currently edits for the International Journal of Role-Playing and Bowman has co-organized several conferences, including Living Games (2014, 2016, 2018), Role-playing and Simulation and Education (2016, 2018), and the Transformative Play Initiative Seminar (2022). More information at

Josephine Baird (Curriculum and Game Designer, Safety Committee) is a lecturer at the Uppsala University’s Game Design Department and a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Vienna in Education. She is a game designer and game design consultant, as well as a writer and visual artist. Her work often relates the intersection between games, identity, gender, and sexualities. Her research and recent publications present the theoretical and methodological basis for her thesis that role-playing games might provide a potent opportunity for people to explore their gender subjectivity in safer environments. Her current research will conclude with the design of a live action role-playing game that puts this theoretical work into practice. She is also an actor, public speaker, and co-host of the podcast It Is Complicated. More information can be found at

Kjell Hedgard Hugaas (Project Manager, Curriculum and Game Designer, Safety Committee) is a Northern Norwegian game designer, organizer, writer, theorist, and trained actor. In particular, he is engaged within the Nordic larp tradition, where he has been active for a bit over two decades. The last few years he has explored the transformative potential of games, and has proposed specific intentional game design practices that facilitate transformative effects. Hugaas has theorized how ideas impact players through the processes of memetic bleed, procedural bleed, and identity bleed, culminating in his 2022 Master’s thesis in Game Design at Uppsala University. In 2023, he completed a second thesis for UU on the impacts of larp on participants’ attitudes and anxieties around death. In addition to his project assistant work on ROCKET and the Erasmus+ Cooperation Partnership EDGE, he works as a project manager for Region Gotland.

Josefin Westborg (Project Manager, Curriculum and Game Designer, Safety Committee) is one of the world’s leading designers in edu-larps. She has a background in game design and pedagogy and is one of the founders of Lajvbyrån (previously LajvVerkstaden Väst). Josefin has worked as a research assistant and teacher at Uppsala University’s Department of Game Design where she was a founding member of the Transformative Play Initiative with focus on analog role-playing games. Westborg co-designed curriculum for Uppsala’s Master’s in Transformative Game Design and has worked as a teacher in its introductory courses. She has also been a teacher in game design at both Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg. She recently published an article for the International Journal of Role-playing entitled “The Educational Role-Playing Game Design Matrix: Mapping Design Components onto Types of Education.” In addition to ROCKET, she also works as a project assistant in the Erasmus+ Cooperation Partnership EDGE. Throughout her career Josefin has met thousands of students of all ages, and run and designed larps for them. She is passionate about designing for interaction, storytelling and learning. When she is not involved with games you will probably find her at the dance studio doing ballroom dancing.

Caterina Blomgren (Curriculum and Game Designer) is a multifaceted professional encompassing roles as a game designer, graphic designer, researcher, and academic writer. She earned her Master’s degree in Game Design from Uppsala University and her Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising (Media Studies) from the University of Arts London (London College of Communication). Caterina’s career journey has spanned various roles, including working as a research assistant at Uppsala University. Her academic work has been primarily focused on game design and gender studies, stemming from her master thesis on procedural feminism and feminist games. Currently, she is deeply involved in research related to game design, particularly exploring the integration of feminist theories into gaming. In parallel, Caterina is freelancing as a graphic designer and is engaged in a game development project. Her past experience includes a significant role as an Art Director at various advertising agencies, where she managed visual communication strategies and led teams of designers. In addition to her professional endeavors, Caterina is the founder of an educational blog about feminism aimed at making feminist theories more accessible to a wider audience. She is also actively volunteering with organizations dedicated to supporting Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees, demonstrating her commitment to social causes and global issues.

University of Groningen

Photo of Sake Jager

Sake Jager (PhD) (Project Manager) is project manager in ICT in Education and Assistant Professor in Applied Linguistics at the University of Groningen. His current professional and research interests focus on the implementation of Virtual Exchange/COIL in Higher Education. He has coordinated many regional, national and international projects on technology-mediated teaching and learning innovations in Higher Education, including the European project EVOLVE ( He is a general council member of UNICollaboration, the cross-disciplinary organisation for Virtual Exchange in Higher Education and former vice-president of Eurocall (European association for computer-assisted language learning).

Photo of Carole Fuller

Carole Fuller (MA Applied Linguistics) (Curriculum Designer, Facilitator) is a lecturer and professional learning facilitator at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. She obtained her masters degree with a specialisation in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and now focuses on teaching English for Academic Purposes. Carole has a strong interest in topics related to the inclusive international classroom and delivers professionalisation workshops around these themes, as well as being a leading member of the University of Groningen’s Community of Practice for Diversity & Inclusion.

Photo of André Rosendaal

André Rosendaal (IT Specialist) is Project Manager Educational innovation at CLIQ, the Center for Learning Innovation and Quality of the Faculty of Arts of the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. He was involved in various university, national and international e-learning initiatives, including projects related to Computer Assisted Language Learning, using Video in Higher Education, Flipping the Classroom, Virtual Reality, Online Testing, Virtual Exchange and Active Learning. These projects also reflect his current activities within CLIQ. From 2009 to 2014 he was chair of the Dutch HE Special Interest Group “Weblectures”. André is involved in teacher professionalization and has developed various workshops on using ICT tools in education for staff members of the Faculty of Arts.

Photo of Iain Johnston-White

Iain Johnston-White (Curriculum Designer) is an Education Advisor with the Educational Support & Innovation department at the University of Groningen. He specialises in course design, the Universal Design for Learning, and diversity & inclusion in pedagogy. Prior to his current position he was Senior Lecturer in British History at the University of Roehampton. He received his PhD in History from the University of Cambridge and continues to teach and publish in that field.

Associated Partner

Austin Community College

Shirin Catterson Khosropour (Curriculum and Game Designer, Facilitator) holds a B.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. She is ACC’s department chair for Interdisciplinary Studies, founder and director of the Center for Peace & Conflict Studies, and a professor of Psychology. Shirin has earned certificates in Global Conflict Analysis, International Humanitarian Law, and International Conflict Management from the Johns Hopkins Bologna Institute for Peace & Security. In 2012, the American Red Cross appointed her an International Humanitarian Law Teaching Fellow. She has been awarded several teaching and leadership awards. An educational psychologist, Shirin’s work focuses on peace and conflict in cross-cultural contexts. A former community college student herself, Shirin strives to expand the reach of peace and conflict education in higher education. Her work has culminated in establishing relationships between the College’s academic disciplines and community organizations and the populations they serve.

Photo of Shirin Khorospour