This is the master directory of programs within the department of Esports & Co-Curricular Innovation housed within the Division of Student Affairs at The University of Oklahoma. As of Fall 2022, we have six (6) different programs we facilitate, aimed at creating a path-to-industry mentality while supporting students who choose to get involved. This page will outline leadership for each program and BIOs from students within each. This will also providing direct links to a further deep dive into each area of interest.
HOW WE GOT HERE
R&D began in Fall 2016 with developing gaming and esports culture out of the department of Information Technology by Mike “Moog” Aguilar, the current Director of the department. Through this research, he discovered several amazing students who would become the champions and founders of the program, as explained below. After years of advocacy, strategic planning, and student driven fundraising, The Division of Student Affairs within The University of Oklahoma formally elevated the topic and effort into a departmental state in Fall of 2020 from its humble grassroots student org origins. Finally, in Spring of 2022 , they formalized the first full-time Director and started to accelerate development towards more funding, physical resources, etc. All programs listed are scholarship enabled and to see further historical documentation head over to our About Us page on ou.edu.
The Leadership Program is comprised of students who have risen to the power and responsibility of developing our efforts from top down. Students in leadership are often selected from the rosters of the programs they now coordinate. They create policy, inspire various tasks, function autonomously, while also ensuring collaborations between programs happen when appropriate. They are often included in corporate meetings, prospective brand partnerships, and sponsorship discussions. In addition, they ensure we maintain organization across our 3.1K+ member community and over 180 students in programing. Student leadership with a roster of responsibility are defined in their respective sections below.
Alumni advisors are selected from previous leadership positions who have graduated and have remained active, or they can also be heavily active contributing graduates of OU.
ADMINISTRATION & STUDENT LEADERSHIP
Our Community Program is focused around putting on inclusive programing to embrace the diverse interest of gamers at OU. All titles, regardless if it is a first-person shooter like Call of Duty or a social and casual game like Animal Crossing or Minecraft, receive the same respect that can manifest as watch parties for global competitions, social mixers (back to school and end of year programming), and general gatherings focused around a gaming topic.
In addition to the core mission, they also function as the liaisons for philanthropic initiatives, youth outreach, K-12 school collaborations, and university external fan engagements. Some examples of this have been hosting state qualifiers for K-12 leagues, hosting open to the public Smash Brothers nights, and events during the Spring Game and Football season in collaboration with athletics.
COMMUNITY STUDENT LEADERSHIP
COMMUNITY AMBASSADOR STUDENT STORIES
The Media & News program is responsible for helping us articulate and personify our cultures and interests through event coverage, opinion pieces, hardware and software reviews, press releases and interviews. Students in this program are often the most degree aligned with a journalism degree from one of the highest ranked journalism colleges in North America.
We also develop different multimedia based artifacts: short form news segments, documentaries, informational videos, and hype videos. These forms of media can also be added to their portfolios to increase their competitiveness.
MEDIA & NEWS STUDENT LEADERSHIP
MEDIA & NEWS STUDENT STORIES
Much like traditional sports entertainment, the esports industry also aims to showcase high levels of competition using production that result in sponsorships, visibility, and fan engagement directly to supporters. Our students create overlays and infographics, manage scene switching, and narrate gameplay in real-time, utilizing the same skillsets as traditional sports sportscasters. However, in our industry, they are called shoutcasters.
Examples of this include a 8+ hour production of our Bedlam rivalry series, providing tournament live streams with narration as an amenities, and creating a pathway for brands to sponsor both the marketing and during the live events.
PRODUCTION STUDENT LEADERSHIP
PRODUCTION STUDENT STORIES
Influencers and streamers have evolved from a grassroots effort of self-expression into a formidable marketing strategy for organizations, brands, companies, and social movements alike. Providing a platform for student to leverage that very mentality allows us to broaden our scope of diversified interactive media for fans to follow and contribute to. Students in this program have a time slot to stream under currently the only licensed University of Oklahoma Twitch page. Through this, they advocate for more inclusive energies from the gaming culture.
This program is often the key to producing fundraising and philanthropic efforts. This can require them to plan and program 12-48 hour streams to bring awareness to various topics throughout the year. One example is contributing to OU Giving Day which has historically produced $10K+ raised funds annually. Another example is our advocacy for the Children’s Miracle Network which has raised over $12K+ in funds for kids in need in our local area.
STREAMING STUDENT LEADERSHIP
STREAMING STUDENT STORIES
Our Intercollegiate Esports program currently develops over 15 different esports titles who compete against other universities regionally, nationally, and even globally. This program represents the most commonality to athletic-based programs, including external recruitment, team based strategy, sportsmanlike conduct emphases, and mental and physical health. These are extremely important to us because we have the influence to reset the traditional gamer stereotypes. We break these expectations by requiring our students to maintain high academic success, build camaraderie, and promote positive culture that embraces uniqueness instead of reacting with toxicity.
Teams within this program compete across many different tournaments and leagues for Sooner pride and prize alike. We coordinate and produce an annual Bedlam with our peers up North and Red River Clash with our peers from the South similarly to traditional athletics that allow our students to extend their Boomer Sooner pride.