Campus News

UK, Gen.G Host Panel Discussion in NYC: 'Vision for Community Esports'

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 1, 2019) The University of Kentucky and its partner in exploring the academic and community potential of esports will host a panel discussion for prospective students, UK alumni and the gaming community next week in New York.

UK’s “Vision for Community Esports” will be co-hosted with Gen.G, a global player in the esports industry.

UK and Gen.G, along with JMI Sports, recently announced an innovative partnership to explore how esports can be a platform for student success and career development as well as helping build campus community. The collaboration is being jointly led by two UK offices: Student and Academic Life and Information Technology Services.

On Monday, Nov. 4, from 6 to 8 p.m., that dialogue will continue in New York as UK and Gen.G serve as co-hosts for a panel discussion featuring UK officials and Erin Ashley Simon, a UK alumna, former soccer player and multi-title media personality and TV anchor. She is currently at Cheddar Esports. Attendees will also get to experience some of the latest Samsung gaming technology.

The event will be held at Samsung 837. For more information or to RSVP for the event, go to:

A growing number of universities across the country are exploring esports teams and clubs. The partnership between UK and Gen.G — developed through its multimedia rights holder JMI Sports — promises strategically distinctive steps beyond esports as purely a competitive platform.

The partnership will emphasize access to opportunities for all University of Kentucky students. Gen.G, for example, has been a leader in working to diversify esports, launching the first all-female Fortnite team. Gen.G and UK are both focused on issues of equity and greater inclusivity.

The partnership between UK and Gen.G — the global esports organization connecting the best gamers in the United States and Asia — will develop wholly new pathways for student recruitment, classroom and internship opportunities; research avenues for scholars across a variety of colleges; and professional development for alumni. The partners are also committed to exploring research topics surrounding both the challenges and opportunities associated with esports.

The partnership is part of a larger Smart Campus Initiative in which the university is exploring multiple ways to further leverage the use and benefits of innovative technologies throughout its teaching, research, service and health care missions. The first phase in the Smart Campus Initiative was the announcement last spring that UK would provide all first-year students and many faculty members with an iPad Air, Apple keyboard and Apple Pencil.

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity, and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion three years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. UK has been judged a “Great College to Work for" three years in a row, and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for four straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.