Christopher Turner helped Southern University build high school and university esports programs from the ground up. 

Apr 14 2021

Q&A: Southern University's Christopher Turner Makes the Case for Esports

Turner not only saw the potential esports held for his university, he convinced leadership to see it too.

There are esports. There’s education. And then there’s the ­melding of the two.

For those less steeped in the background of esports’ increasingly prominent foothold in higher education, the ­blending of education and video games might seem like an ­oxymoron. In recent years, however, educators like Christopher Turner have been rapidly changing perceptions of esports and its place in education.

In addition to his role as an art teacher at the Southern University Laboratory School in Baton Rouge, La., Turner is ­general manager and head coach for esports programs at both the university and its on-campus pre-K–12 school. He is also featured on our 2020 Dean’s List of higher education IT influencers. Recently, Turner spoke with EdTech about persuading his university to support an esports program, adjusting plans for the program amid the pandemic and building a self-sustaining esports pipeline that runs from middle school through college.

DIVE DEEPER: Learn how to manage an esports team remotely.

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Photography by Daymon Gardner