VWER is all about the community and the contributions of all those who attend the meetings, join us on Facebook, or visit our web site.  A few, however, contribute in writing.  Below find information on each of those.


Joe Essid (SL: Ignatius Onomatopoeia)
Dr Joe Essid directs the Writing Center at the University of Richmond, where he teaches courses in the departments of English as well as Rhetoric & Comm
unication Studies. He holds a PhD in American Literature, with a specialization in the History of Technology, from Indiana University. As Ignatius, Joe can be found wandering Second Life or, as Iggy Strangeland, in Open Sim grids. He writes for Prim Perfect about grids beyond SL.  He has published several articles about pedagogically effective ways to teach with technology in writing-intensive classrooms. He also publishes short work about gardening, history of technology, and sustainability. Ever a geek, Joe designs and plays old paper-and-dice roleplaying games. His at-times snarky blog, “In a Strange Land,” combines these interests from Joe’s perspective as neo-luddite who rides a bike, refuses to use a cell phone, works on a farm, yet thinks avatars provide an ecologically sustainable of communicating and building immersive simulations.

AJ Kelton (SL: AJ Brooks)
AJ is the Director of Emerging Instructional Technology for the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Montclair State University in New Jersey.  He has presented and been published on the topic of Second Life in education both in the U.S. and Internationally. AJ founded the EDUCAUSE Virtual Worlds Constituent Group and is also the Founder and Chief Moderator of the Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable, a group that meets every Thursday in Second Life,bringing together educators from all over the globe interested in discussing a wide variety of topics. He is the owner of AFK Consulting, a company dedicated to providing services in support of virtual worlds, social media and networking, and Web 2.0 initiatives and is currently a doctoral student in the Educational Communication and Technology program at New York University.
AJ is most often found on this web site listed as “admin”.

Evelyn McElhinney (SL: Kali Pizzaro)
Dr Evelyn McElhinney is a Nurse Lecturer and Registered Nurse in Advanced Practice at Glasgow Caledonian Universities School of Health in Scotland. She is the Module Leader for a number of advanced practice modules at both Degree (BSc) and Master (MSc) level. She is the executive director for the VWER committee and uses virtual worlds in her teaching and research. She completed her PhD which was conducted fully in SL – Living in 3D Virtual Worlds and the Influence on Health Literacy, Health Behaviour and Wellbeing.  She has presented at a number of local and international conferences and published in peer reviewed journals. Evelyn has a Masters in Nursing, Post graduate certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, she is a registered nurse teacher and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. Her interests include using virtual worlds for teaching healthcare students, health literacy, Nurse Practitioner Education, clinical simulation advancing practice, and physical examination.


Dan Holt (SL: ProfDan Netizen)
Dan Holt is a full-time professor in the Writing Program at Lansing Community College, Lansing, MI.  Degrees earned: B.A. in English from California State University, Stanislaus and an M.A. in Writing/Film Studies from Regent University. He’s taught writing in multiple venues—f2f, hybrid, online, interactive television, and most recently, in Second Life on Angel Learning Isle as Profdan Netizen. His own writing interests focus primarily on urban-mythic fantasy/magical realism, his current work filled with supernatural creatures, ghosts, flaming swords, Spider Woman, Thunder People, Costanoans, monks, demented evangelists, sea monsters, toads, a diminutive Cherub named Barley, a floating `54 Chevy, the San Francisco Bay, snow and pizza. That’s what you get from someone reared in the San Francisco Bay Area.

John “Pathfinder” Lester
John is currently the Director of Community Development at ReactionGrid Inc. (  ReactionGrid is a 3D world development company with offices in Orlando and Boston.  The company’s focus is educational, business and entertainment use of  3D environments.  From 2005-2010, John worked at Linden Lab, the creators of Second Life.  At Linden Lab he led the development of the education and healthcare markets while evangelizing the innovative use of virtual worlds in academia, training and immersive entertainment. Previously, John worked at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, creating online medical education and patient support communities while exploring the underlying neuroscience behind how people communicate and develop successful cultures. John has broad expertise in the use of innovative tools to promote creativity and knowledge sharing in an educational context.  Focusing on strategic planning and market development, he helps organizations succeed at online community, cultural and business development.  John also holds weekly Office Hours ( in ReactionGrid, and conducts weekly tours of the Hypergrid with The Hypergrid Adventurers Club (  He can also be found on Twitter as @Pathfinder.

Jonathon Richter (SL: Wainbrave Bernal)
Jonathon is a Research Associate at the Center for Advanced Technology in Education at the University of Oregon. He is Director of The Center for Learning in Virtual Environments – CLIVE –  and co-founder and current chair of The American Educational Research Association’s Special Interest Group on virtual learning called Applied Research in Virtual Environments for Learning (ARVEL). He works for Oregon and lives in Montana. Email: jrichter (at)

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