Game inventor Jack Degnan attributes part of his success as a game inventor to his unwillingness to set aside his childhood enthusiasm for playing games. With a Masters degree in Public Health and a day job at the University of California San Diego Antiviral Research Center, Degnan decided to take his game hobby to the next level. In 2005, he enrolled in a game design class taught by Keith Meyer, an established game creator. In a newspaper interview, Meyer stated that "out of all the students I have taught, maybe 10 to 12 have had the drive, determination, and follow-through to complete a prototype of their game and get it into the hands of game companies for review." Degnan exceeded that standard and, by 2009, had three of his games published and in the marketplace. Based on those accomplishments, Degnan received the 2009 TAGIE Award for Rising Star Inventor, an annual prize awarded at the Toy and Game Inventors Award Dinner each November in Chicago.