To further highlight the growth of esports across the Commonwealth, the Pennsylvania Esports Coalition (PA ESC) announced today the addition of Harrisburg University of Science and Technology to its expanding list of members. The University’s president, Dr. Eric Darr, has also been elected to serve on the coalition’s Board of Directors, providing another key perspective in the coalition’s mission to advocate for, and promote, esports in Pennsylvania.
“Darr’s extensive career in the technology field, along with his leadership at the helm of Harrisburg University, which has become one of the nation’s leaders in collegiate esports, brings a wealth of knowledge and commitment to the growth of this industry,” said Nick Kratz, the Executive Director of the PA ESC. “As we continue to build the only coalition in the country focused on all aspects of the esports ecosystem, having Harrisburg University’s innovative and unique voice will be critical to our success.”
Darr was named President of Harrisburg University effective May 9, 2013. He previously served as interim president since July 1, 2012. Aside from blazing a trail in the world of esports, under Darr’s leadership, Harrisburg University expanded to include a Philadelphia location; welcomed the largest class of new students in its history; expanded its total enrollment to over 6,000 students; launched new graduate and undergraduate degree programs; secured grants and scholarship support; opened new housing for its students; and, expanded classroom and laboratory space.
“As the first university in Pennsylvania to launch esports as a varsity athletic program, we are pleased to join with fellow innovators who seek to advance the growth of esports in the state,” Darr said. “Harrisburg University has been a catalyst for promoting collegiate esports in Pennsylvania, and joining this coalition further demonstrates our commitment.”
Darr, who currently serves on several community Boards including the Technology Council of Pennsylvania, the Innovation Transfer Network, the Hershey Center for Applied Research and the Education Committee of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce, also served on the leadership team for the Pennsylvania STEM Center Initiative, which designed, developed, implemented and evaluated a set of strategies for Pennsylvania’s STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) Agenda through 2018.
Bill Thomas, Chairman of the PA ESC Board of Directors, said this experience alone will help the coalition better advocate for STEM and STEAM education initiatives across the Commonwealth.
“Our goal from the beginning was to build an association that will be a leader in helping the esports industry grow across the Commonwealth,” Thomas said. “Part of that growth is understanding the role esports will play in promoting and advancing STEM and STEAM education and curriculum. Colleges like Harrisburg University are leading the way, and the coalition is excited to work with Dr. Darr and the entire Harrisburg University team.”
Prior to joining Harrisburg University, Darr was Chief Operating Officer from 2000 until 2003 at KnowledgePlanet, Inc., a software company located in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. From 1997 to 2000, Dr. Darr led Ernst & Young’s Knowledge Management Consulting Services.
For more information about the PA ESC, visit www.paesports.org.