RPG Research's About Us

We provide tabletop role-playing game (RPG) community programs to teens and adults.

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We are a 100% volunteer-run non-profit 501(c) charitable human services organization based in Spokane, Washington, USA.  Our founder and highly trained volunteer staff have been directly involved with providing tabletop role-playing game (RPG) community programs since 1977. 

We incorporated as a Washington State non-profit public charity in September 2017 and received our IRS 501(c)3 tax-exempt status verification letter January 16th, 2018. Employer Identification Number (EIN): 82-3521274. Public Charity Status: 170 (b) (1) (A) (vi) with an effective date of September 26th, 2017. Donors can deduct contributions they make to us. We are also eligible to receive tax deductible bequests, devises, transfers, or gifts under Section 2055, 2106, or 2522.

This means your donations to RPG Research can be tax deductible!

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Our current mailing address is 1312 North Monroe Street, Spokane, Washington, 99201.

Once we have insurance in place, we are moving to our new Role-Playing Game Community Center at:

101 North Stone Street

Spokane, WA 99202



Our Team

Hawke Robinson, Volunteer, Founder & CEO, TRS/R, Game Master 19, Facilitator

Founder and chief visionary, Hawke has been involved with tabletop role-playing game community programs since the 1970s.

He is a Washington State Department of Health Registered Recreational Therapist with an amazingly diverse professional background in computer science, music, recreational therapy, nursing, habilitation therapy, play therapy, automotive, photography, martial arts, research psychology, cognitive neuropsychology, and neuroscience.

In addition to being Chair at RPG Research, Hawke also a board member of the DOTS RPG Project making braille dice and gaming more accessible, and a board member of the Committee for the Advancement of Role-Playing Games (CAR-PGa).

John Welker, Volunteer, Co-Founder & VP, TRS/R, Game Master 5, Facilitator

John loves taking on challenges. He has been involved with role-playing games almost as long as Hawke.

He is a 21-year US Army military veteran (retired), with a background as a corpsman and LPN (retired).

He is a Washington State Department of Health Registered Recreational Therapist.

He is also founder of the Spokane Area Gaming Alliance, and Director of Gaming for the annual science fiction convention SpoCon.

Danielle Whitworth, Volunteer, Co-Founder & Board Secretary, TRS/R, Game Master 3, Facilitator

Danielle is the Board of Directors Secretary, and one of RPG Research's volunteer Game Masters.

She has a background in Sports Therapy, a degree in Recreational Therapy, and is a Washington State Department of Health Registered Recreational Therapist.

Brooke Lively, Volunteer, Vice Chair, Facilitator

We first met Brooke through an RPG program with the Muscular Dystrophy Association in 2016 when she was Director of the MDA's  Summer Camp programs.

She has been an invaluable advocate and supporter of our programs and a great volunteer helping us with our programs and administrative operations.

Later, she joined our board some years later. We are very grateful for her help and ongoing support over the years.

Amber DeWitt, Volunteer, Facilitator Trainee

Amber is one of our amazingly wonderful volunteers that helps us do what we do. We couldn't help the community without terrific volunteers like her.

Brian Huseland, Volunteer, Tolkien RPG Game Master 1, Facilitator

Brian Huseland is one of our amazingly wonderful volunteers that helps us do what we do. We couldn't help the community without terrific volunteers like Brian.

Brian is an elementary school teacher at Northeast Christian Schools, with a specialty in American History.

Brian is our resident J.R.R. Tolkien specialist. He is secretary for the Ea Tolkien Society, an official Smial (chapter) of the U.K. Tolkien Society.

He helps RPG Research with providing volunteer training and tabletop role-playing game programs using The One Ring Role-Playing Game (TOR RPG).

Daniel Ivey, Volunteer, Game Master 2, Facilitator

Brian Huseland is one of our amazingly wonderful volunteers that helps us do what we do. We couldn't help the community without terrific volunteers like Brian.

Dan is one of our highly trained Game Master (GM) / Dungeon Master (DM) volunteer facilitators.

Daniel is an artist and animator by profession.

David Griffith, Volunteer, Game Master 1, Facilitator

Brian Huseland is one of our amazingly wonderful volunteers that helps us do what we do. We couldn't help the community without terrific volunteers like Brian.

Dan is one of our highly trained Game Master (GM) / Dungeon Master (DM) volunteer facilitators.

During the weekdays he works at another organization as an ABA Technician, working with Autism Spectrum ASD and PDD clients.

Emily Messina, PhD, CTRS/R, Volunteer, Advisory Board, Voting Board Member

Emily is one of our amazingly wonderful volunteers that helps us do what we do. We couldn't help the community without terrific volunteers like Emily.

When RPG Research's founder, Hawke Robinson, was a Recreational Therapy student at Eastern Washington University, Emily was head of the Therapeutic Recreation Department. She was so impressed with the work done by RPG Research, that she joined our board and has been with us as a voting board member and advisory resource ever since. We are so grateful to have Emily as part of our team!

From the EWU website: "Emily Messina was an associate professor and Therapeutic Recreation Program director at Eastern Washington University. Messina received her BS and MS in recreation studies with an emphasis in therapeutic recreation from the University of Florida. She has been a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist for 15+ years. She completed her doctoral degree in social behavioral health science at Temple University in Philadelphia, Penn. Messina’s research focuses on the benefits of recreation and leisure for marginalized population groups. She is also active within the veteran community, and spends her Wednesday nights helping with the Inland Northwest Chapter of Team River Runner."

Emily recently moved from Washington state and now resides in Florida, but continues to be actively involved with RPG Research's board through regular nphone and remote meetings.

Katy Koenen, BA English, Volunteer, Advisory Board, Game Master 1, Facilitator

Katy is one of our amazingly wonderful volunteers that helps us do what we do. We couldn't help the community without terrific volunteers like Katy.

Katy is also Hawke Robinson's wife. She has been amazingly supportive over the years, helping with Hawke's vision of the benefits of role-playing games to help improve lives.

Katy met Hawke due to their mutual interest in American Sign Language.

Katy specializes as a Game Master for No Thank You Evil as well as Terry Pratchet's Discworld GURPS Lite RPG.

Niklas Anderson, Volunteer, IT Director, Voting Board Member,  Facilitator

Niklas is one of our amazingly wonderful volunteers that helps us do what we do. We couldn't help the community without terrific volunteers like Niklas.

Niklas is our wonderful technology support Director of Information Technology. He joined initially as an apprentice under our founder, Hawke Robinson, and over the years has worked his way up to managing our entire technological infrastructure (reducing the burden on Hawke). 

Niklas is an invalable member of our team!

Syrus DeWitt, Volunteer, Game Master Trainee 1, Facilitator Trainee

Syrus is one of our amazingly wonderful volunteers that helps us do what we do. We couldn't help the community without terrific volunteers like Syrus.

Syrus is training as a volunteer facilitator an Level 1 Game Master.

Terrance MacMullan, PhD, Volunteer, Game Master Trainee 1, Facilitator

Terrance is one of our amazingly wonderful volunteers that helps us do what we do. We couldn't help the community without terrific volunteers like Terrance.

Terrance is Department Chair of Philosphy at Eastern Washington University, as well as additional Dean-related roles keeping him very busy.

He is an active role-playing gamer and advocate.

Terrance joined us several years ago, but is often tied up with his responsibilities at Eastern Washington University. He checks in with us from time to time in his busy schedule, and looks forward to when he has greater availability. Meanwhile we're grateful for the time and effort he is able to provide when he can.