NYIT Symposium: Your Future in eSports
Director of Sports and eSports Medicine
Hallie Zwibel specializes in family practice. He is the team physician for New York Tech, the director of its Center for Sports Medicine, and one of the institution's experts in eSports medicine. Zwibel earned his bachelor's degree from Binghamton University in 2007. He received his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2011 and completed his residency in family practice at North Shore-LIJ Plainview Hospital in 2014. During his residency, Zwibel completed the Training in Policy Studies and Physician Leadership Institute fellowships. Most recently, in 2018, Zwibel earned a Masters in Public Health from University at Albany-SUNY.
NYIT (Mental Health and Wellness)
Melanie Austin specializes in Health Promotion and Behavioral Health for adolescents, young-adults, student-athletes, women and vulnerable populations. Melanie’s clinical and research interests focus on promoting healthy lifestyle behaviors, sleep routines, purpose in life, and meaningful success. Her work integrates traditional and integrative approaches with technology-based platforms for optimal emotional and physical well-being. She teaches courses in Community Health, Psychosocial Studies, Administration and Leadership, Advanced Clinical Practice and Research Thesis. She is a faculty associate at the NYIT Center for Sports Medicine and NYIT Center for eSports Medicine and a research collaborator with the Department of Experiential Education in partnership with local and national community organizations.
Melanie earned a Post Professional Doctorate in occupational therapy at Temple University, a master’s of public administration at Baruch College, CUNY, and a bachelor of science in occupational therapy at New York Institute of Technology, where she was also a track and field athlete and two-time NCAA All-American. Melanie was inducted into the New York Tech Athletics Hall of Fame in 2008 for her athletic achievements and community leadership.
Melanie developed a community-based health promotion program model entitled: “LifeSteps - An evidence-based health promotion program for underserved populations – A Community Service-Learning Approach.”
Melanie is currently a NIH NHLBI PRIDE Scholar in the NYU Langone Behavioral and Sleep Medicine Institute.
Scholastic Program Lead
Matt Birris leads Riot Games’ scholastic League of Legends program in North America—spanning the college championship and season, college clubs, and emerging efforts to grow League as a high school sport. Birris grew up in Pittsburgh and worked as a management consultant in Chicago before joining Riot Games. He holds a B.B.A. from Notre Dame and an M.B.A. from Northwestern.
Nathaniel “NateKahl” Kahl
NBA 2K League, Nets Gaming Crew (NetsGC)
Nathaniel “NateKahl” Kahl is a professional NBA 2K League player for Nets Gaming Crew (NetsGC). The 22-year-old small forward is listed virtually at 6’8”, 230 lbs., and wears the number 2. Prior to joining NetsGC in the 2018 NBA 2K League Expansion Draft, NateKahl was a member of Knicks Gaming. In 24 games, he averaged 9.1 points, 3.4 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.9 blocks, and 0.5 steals per game. After being the lowest seed to make the playoffs, Knicks Gaming won the inaugural league championship and NateKahl was named Finals MVP after making two critical defensive plays and hitting a crucial 3-pointer with 1:22 left in the hotly contested matchup.
Bayshore High School
Aurora Filan is the 16-year-old captain of the Bay Shore High School Tespa Overwatch Team. She is also the captain of Girl Gamers Unite, the first-ever all-girl gamer High School Overwatch team that currently plays in the High School eSports League, ranked in the top 10 in North America. Bay Shore High School eSports was the first high school eSports team in New York state and 12th in the country. It is the largest high school eSports team in the world with more than 160 members. The team has been featured in the New York Times, ESPN, Bleacher Report, and Bloomberg and won a grant from Microsoft that provided the school with 14 gaming computers for the program. Filan's team has just come off some huge wins at the first high school eSports event at the NYCB Live Nassau Coliseum and the Molloy Strong Island Overwatch High School Invitational.
Filan's Overwatch rank is in Masters 3800. She played projectile dps for a year on Team Nearos and took third in the Korean Open and played, managed, and co-owned a 4100 team, Overwatch Mafia. She has yet to commit to a college and wants to major in Marine Biology.
Pamela Karp earned her doctoral degree from Concordia University after successfully defending her dissertation entitled, "A Case Study to Determine Classroom and Field Educator Perspectives on Occupational Therapy Student Readiness for Transition to Clinical Practice" in December 2018. She earned a post-professional Master of Health Science degree from the University of Florida in 2010 and a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Stony Brook University in 1999. She has been a certified hand therapist since 2005.
Dr. Karp has 24 years of experience in upper extremity rehabilitation treating clients with cumulative pathology, trauma, and neurological dysfunction in the upper quarter. Between 2008 and 2014, she served as adjunct faculty at numerous occupational therapy programs, and as academic fieldwork coordinator at Stony Brook University between 2014 and 2016, before assuming her position as full-time faculty at New York Tech in January 2017.
Dr. Karp has presented to healthcare professionals and students on a variety of topics including orthotic fabrication, work-related upper extremity injuries and ergonomics, creating non-traditional, community-based fieldwork placements, professional advocacy, and fieldwork educator support. Her current research interests include the translation of knowledge from the classroom to the clinic and the meaning of preparedness for clinical education from the situated perspectives of both classroom and field educators.
Global Chief Strategy Officer
Craig Levine is Global Chief Strategy Officer of ESL, the world’s largest independent eSports company. In his role, Levine focuses on global strategic partnerships and strengthening ESL’s digital platforms and technology to engage fans and players worldwide. Previously, Levine served as CEO of ESL North America where he led the North American strategy and operations of ESL.
Levine has helped pioneer the eSports industry for more than 15 years. A longtime gamer, he founded Team 3D, the first truly professional and successful video game team in North America, in April 2002. In addition, Levine also co-founded ESS Agency, an event marketing and technology company specializing in video game entertainment. ESS Agency was acquired by Turtle Entertainment in 2014 to expand ESL’s global footprint to North America.
Levine holds a B.S. in Information Systems and Management and Organizational Behavior from the Stern Business School at New York University.
Head of Events and Business Development
Ben Nichol is the Head of Events and Business Development for New York Excelsior (NYXL), the first professional eSports team to represent the city of New York. Nichol officially entered eSports in 2010 through StarCraft after spending years as a community member, player, and fan. With his start in streaming and coaching, he eventually transitioned to casting and hosting professional eSports events and has worked stages as prestigious as BlizzCon, DreamHack, and The Intel Extreme Masters.
From there, Nichol moved behind the camera, working as a producer and manager at ESL and NASL before moving to Red Bull, where he worked for four years before joining NYXL. At Red Bull, Nichol led the U.S. eSports program, producing hundreds of events and managing all partnerships and licensing with developers, teams, and other brand partners.