Kurtis Homan has joined St. Cloud State University’s Esports program as an Assistant Professor who will be teaching academic courses and will help lead a campus-wide expansion into Esports.
Homan, an Assistant Professor in the Management and Entrepreneurship department, will lead curriculum and assist in other projects related to the expansion of academic Esports programs, dedicated lounge spaces, a residential-themed community, and camps for high school students.
“The industry provides many opportunities to those that want to go out and make it their own,” he said. “The need for management of Esports in the field will help bridge the gap from turning this hobby into a stable profession. With how fast the industry is changing, it is exciting to see the space transform over time.”
Homan’s interest in Esports began as a player, starting with arcade games and later traveling to regional states to compete in tournaments for respective games. As an undergraduate student at Illinois State University, he was one of the founding members of the institution’s Fighting Game Club which later turned into the University Gaming Association. He also completed a Ph.D. dissertation on Tekken 7 Tournament Predictive Indicators and Tournament Subgame Decision Theory, and his current research is related to tournament seeding and player analysis.
With a handful of years of management experience in Healthcare, Homan will be teaching a blend of Management and Esports courses at St. Cloud State. This fall, he is teaching Introduction to Management courses and Esports Event Planning and Management. In spring he will teach Esports Governance and next academic school year he will teach a capstone course to complete the focused courses for the Esports Minor offered at St. Cloud State.
St. Cloud State’s Esports curriculum incorporates project-based learning so students can enter the real world with hands-on experience and demonstrated aptitude. The skills learned through these academic Esports programs can apply to a broad range of careers. St. Cloud State is also branching into the academics of other realms of gaming as well with courses in game development, notably an Esports Management Minor and a Game Development Certificate.
St. Cloud State Esports incorporates two campus Esports lounges, a residential Esports lounge and three courses — Event Planning and Management, Structure and Governance, and a capstone course — offered by Herberger Business School.