Ioana Sandor

Ioana is a 3D animator and modeler who enjoys working with particle systems and physics concepts. She has worked at Persistant Studios – Popcorn FX, the leading FX editor and particle effects solution for games, films, and AR/VR/MR.

She is a past president of the Interactive Arts and Technology Student Union, and she has worked in professor Steve DiPaola’s iVizLab.

She also completed the full time Semester in Alternate Realities course in Spring 2018 where she created an original VR game with her team.

“I’m honored and grateful to receive this award and amazed at the kindness of the Sawatsky family,” says Ioana.

“Cody Sawatsky graduated from SFU long before I arrived and I never had the chance to meet him, but I have heard him described as friendly, kind-hearted, and passionate.

“Where I believe I was able to see a bit more of him was through his work. As someone who is also passionate about video games, I was curious to see what he had worked on. I started by looking at the major titles he had been a part of during his time with EA. I had played FIFA, Need for Speed and Mass Effect before, so it was surreal to see that he had worked on these games. I also watched some interviews with him talking about NBA JAM: On Fire Edition and it was great to see that, even though he was a producer on the game, he didn’t take himself too seriously and seemed very down to earth. I believe that Stick Ninja was my favourite game he worked on. I saw the trailer of the game he posted online and I really liked it. There was a lot of creativity and humor that went into the game and character design, and the battle mechanics were complex for a university student project. It almost felt like he was in my Video Game Design class and I was watching him present his project. 

“I commend the Sawatsky family for giving back to communities that Cody was a part of. I appreciate that they’ve made finishing my degree, and others’, easier. As a student, it’s amazing to feel supported and encouraged to pursue higher education in a field that one is passionate about.”