Aleshia Hayes, Assistant Professor












PhD, University of Central Florida, 2015

  • Major: Modeling and Simulation / Computer Science
  • Degree Specialization: Simulation for Education
  • Dissertation Title: Effectiveness of Tracking on Social Presence

MS, University of Central Florida, 2014

  • Major: Modeling and Simulation/ Computer Science
  • Degree Specialization: Simulation for Education
  • Dissertation Title: Simulation to Train Pre-service doctors on Patient care

MA, Purdue University, 2008

  • Major: Communication
  • Dissertation Title: Stigma and Suicide

BS, Purdue University, 2001

  • Major: Psychology

Research Interests

Dr. Aleshia Hayes is passionate about developing, evaluating, and iterating on technology used for learning in formal and informal environments. Previously, Dr. Aleshia Hayes was founding Director of SURGE (Simulation Research and Game Experience) VR lab at Purdue University in Fort Wayne where she led design, development, testing and implementation of Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality, Serious Games and gamified Learning Technology tools for commercial and military partners.

In addition to a passion for the effective implementation of emerging technology for learning, Dr. Hayes works tirelessly to encourage students at all levels to pursue STEM education and STEM careers with the explicit goal of expanding and diversifying STEM education and the STEM workforce. Her efforts to recruit students into STEM range from public exhibits of Virtual Reality, to K12 classroom visits, to app development camps for middle and high school aged students to hosting interdisciplinary game development events.

Dr. Hayes leverages her research funded by NSF, NIH, the Department of Defense and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to inform Learning Technology design and implementation across learners from K12 and university levels to the workforce.