Syracuse University, a private institution situated in New York, USA, has recently bolstered its esports program by bringing on board three new professionals: Nikita Bair, Sean Kelly, and Travis Yang. Bair will assume the role of Esports Program Manager, Kelly will serve as Director of Production and Outreach, and Yang has been appointed as the Director of Competition for the university’s esports program.
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The university launched a special eSports program for the first time
Situated in Syracuse, New York, the university is home to over 22,000 students and gained recognition for having one of its alumni, Joe Biden, serve as the current President of the United States. In 2023, the university embarked on an innovative journey by establishing a dedicated esports program, offering a diverse range of courses such as esports business and management, esports communications, and esports media and design.
The recent additions to the team bring a wealth of experience from coaching, production, and academic backgrounds, and are expected to play instrumental roles in expanding the university’s esports program as a whole. Nikita Bair, the newly appointed Esports Program Manager, previously spearheaded the successful implementation of the first esports program in New England at Northeastern University in Boston. Additionally, Bair previously served as an esports coordinator at Shenandoah University.
At Syracuse, Bair’s responsibilities will encompass overseeing the management of the esports program, creating valuable development opportunities for students, establishing partnerships, organizing internships, and undertaking other related tasks.
Accompanying Bair is Sean Kelly, the newly appointed Director of Production and Outreach, who has made notable contributions to various high-profile esports projects, including the Overwatch event “Calling All Heroes” and the Rocket League event “Boost on the Beach.”
Travis Young, new competition director
Travis Yang, the newly appointed Director of Competition, brings a wealth of coaching experience to the table. Yang has previously worked as an Assistant Coach at Ashland University and as the Head Esports Coach at Texas A&M University in San Antonio. Additionally, Yang has also served as the Director of Esports at Wichita State University.
Joey Gawrysiak, the Executive Director of the esports communications and management degree program at Syracuse University, expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “We are incredibly fortunate to have attracted some of the most skilled and experienced professionals in collegiate esports to support the growth and expansion of our esports program here at Syracuse University.”
Gawrysiak further commented, “Our program will offer a diverse range of programming across various aspects of esports and gaming that sets us apart from other universities. I am eagerly looking forward to collaborating with this talented group of individuals to create an exciting and impactful program that goes beyond gaming, providing valuable opportunities for our current and future students.”