Research & Curriculum Development

Mimi Ito, Ph.D.

Connected Learning Lab
University of California, Irvine

Mimi Ito is a cultural anthropologist, educational researcher, entrepreneur, and an advocate for connected learning—learning that is youth-centered, interest-driven, hands-on and social. She is the director of the Connected Learning Lab at the University of California, Irvine, and co-founder of Connected Camps, a nonprofit offering online project-based, social STEM learning for kids in all walks of life. Funded by the MacArthur Foundation, she led a three-year study examining youth new media practices in the US, focusing on gaming, digital media production, and Internet use.

Katie Salen Tekinbaş, Ph.D.

Connected Learning Lab
University of California, Irvine

Katie Salen Tekinbaş is a Professor of Informatics at the University of California, Irvine, a member of the Connected Learning Lab at UCI, as well as Chief Designer and co-founder of Connected Camps. She is founding Executive Director of the Institute of Play and led the design and implementation of Quest to Learn, a game-based public school in New York City. She has published widely on games, design and game culture.

Esports in Education

STEM Education

Higher Education

Anthony Saba

Samueli Academy

Anthony Saba is entering his 18th year in education and is currently the Executive Director of Samueli Academy, a high-performing STEAM charter high school in Santa Ana. A consummate believer in 21st Century education, he has seen first hand the positive impacts an Esports program can have on high school students and is eager to continue capturing students' love for gaming as a means to help ensure future college and career success. He is honored to work alongside so many forward-thinkers in the North America Scholastic Esports Federation.

Edgar Dormitorio

UC Irvine

Edgar Dormitorio serves as Interim Vice Chancellor at the University of California, Irvine. Prior to his current role, he served as Chief of Staff and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, as well as the Assistant Dean of Students. With over 20 years of experience in higher education, Dormitorio works closely with senior leadership to manage the Division of Student Affairs that includes 34 departments, approximately 1,100 employees and 2,000 student employees. The UCI Esports program is housed and supported within Student Affairs.


Hiroyuki "Nitro" Naito 

Japan High School Esports Federation

Hiro Naito has extensive experiences in the fields of sports business, international business development and Public Relations internationally working in Sunny Side Up, Inc., Athletes Dream Management Inc, and Manchester Monarchs (Professional Ice Hockey Team) / Anschutz Entertainment Group. 

Core Competencies in career backgrounds are to enhance management of sporting events and organizational leaderships and to specialize in domestic / international business development by utilizing methods of promotion and public relations.