Demetrios Roubos stands out as a true pioneer and leader in the realm of technology and information security. With an impressive 15 years of industry experience under his belt, Demetrios has consistently demonstrated his prowess in developing cutting-edge solutions, fortifying information systems and dissecting complex data.
Demetrios currently holds the prestigious position of Information Security Ofﬁcer and is the Founding Director of the Ofﬁce of Information Security at Stockton University. In this pivotal role, he assumes responsibility for the security of information systems and infrastructure. He not only spearheads critical discussions on cybersecurity but also champions the creation of innovative initiatives that safeguard Stockton’s digital assets.
Demetrios is a dedicated academic currently pursuing his Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership at Stockton University. He holds an M.S. in Computational Science and a B.S. in Computer Science and Information Systems from Stockton University, as well as an A.S. in Computer Science from Ocean County College.
Demetrios boasts multiple professional certiﬁcations, including ISC2 CISSP and GIAC Cybersecurity Certiﬁcations. He has received several awards, including recognition as one of the “Top 30 Technologists, Transformers & Trailblazers” in 2017 and the “Non-proﬁt CISO of the Year” by the NJ Tech Council, among others.
Let’s explore how Demetrios’ journey and accomplishments serve as an inspiration to all those who aspire to make a significant impact in the realm of information security!
Brief our audience about your journey as an education leader until your current position at Stockton University. What challenges have you had to overcome to reach where you are today?
In my initial role as the AV/IT coordinator at Stockton University, I was at the forefront of innovation. I led the transformation of smart classrooms, not just as places of learning but as hubs for efﬁcient and cost-effective technological advancements. These weren’t just rooms ﬁlled with gadgets; they were carefully designed spaces that eliminated unnecessary technological complexities, making them both sophisticated and practical.
As my journey progressed, I transitioned to the telecommunications team, taking on roles as a network administrator and systems engineer. I was entrusted with maintaining communication networks and developing innovative solutions like a campus-ID- driven events management system. My diverse experience and extensive knowledge across Stockton’s IT landscape eventually led to my appointment as the founding director of the information security unit.
The pandemic reshaped the landscape of education, emphasizing the crucial role of technology as the bridge between educators and students during challenging times. As in-person interactions diminished, students turned to IT resources to navigate the new era of remote learning. It was during these unprecedented times that esports emerged as a signiﬁcant pastime for many students.
Through collective efforts and collaboration, our esports initiative evolved from gaming competitions into a symbol of unity and engagement. It provided a digital refuge for students from various backgrounds, fostering a sense of camaraderie in an era marked by isolation.
Beyond fostering camaraderie, this initiative also solidiﬁed Stockton’s presence in the esports domain, contributing to the university’s academic identity. It transformed Stockton into a recognized institution in the esports world while weaving a new narrative into the university’s academic fabric.
Tell us something more about your organization and its mission and vision.
Stockton University, nestled in the heart of New Jersey, is a public higher education institution synonymous with progress and innovation. Catering to a wide spectrum of interests, Stockton provides programs that range from humanities to STEM, ensuring that students are prepared to navigate and thrive in an ever-evolving global landscape.
One of the newest additions to its academic offerings, the Esports Management program in the School of Business, is a testament to Stockton’s forward-thinking approach, marrying the world of business with the burgeoning esports sector.
Stockton is dedicated to experiential learning and community building. Recognizing that true education extends beyond classroom boundaries, Stockton emphasizes real-world experiences, ensuring that students don’t just acquire knowledge but also skills that will serve them in their professional journeys.
Central to Stockton’s ethos is inclusivity. The university fosters a rich community where every voice, regardless of its origin or tenor, is respected and valued. This commitment is reflected not just in policies but also in day-to-day campus life.
As technologists, we continuously seek out ways to integrate into academic and extracurricular experiences. Whether it’s pioneering electronic classroom standards or exploring the intricacies of esports technology, Stockton stands at the intersection of traditional academia and the technological revolution.
Enlighten us on how you have impacted the education niche through your expertise in the market.
Stockton has carved its niche in collegiate esports, a ﬁeld that transcends mere gaming. Esports at Stockton encompasses IT, media production, event management, business marketing, and more, reﬂecting the multidisciplinary essence of modern education. Our achievements, like winning the ECAC during the Fortnite surge of 2019 and making global ﬁnals run at the 2022 CRL Worlds, underline the comprehensive nature of our approach.
Esports internships, facilitated through our program, provide students with real-world experience, bridging the gap between theory and practical application. I believe that pioneering the Stockton Esports program has spurred academic innovations at Stockton like the Esports Management major. The synergy between esports and academics, strengthened by strategic partnerships, equips our students with invaluable industry experience and a sense of belonging.
Describe in detail the values and the work culture that drives your university.
Stockton ITS core values are RISE—reliability, innovation, security, and excellence. These principles shape not just our technological endeavors but every aspect of the university, pushing boundaries and seeking out innovative solutions.
The Information Technology Services division exempliﬁes this spirit, with endeavors ranging from setting up secure digital environments to pioneering esports ventures. The Stockton Esports program provides a platform for students to grow holistically, with a focus on personal development, readiness for the workforce, and cultivating leadership skills.
Undeniably, technology is playing a signiﬁcant role in almost every sector. How are you leveraging technological advancements to make education resourceful?
At Stockton, we harness the power of technology to enhance learning and engage students in novel ways. Through innovative, student-centric programming initiatives like Fall for Esports and Monster Smash, we aim to bridge gaps.
Monster Smash is a conﬂuence of the cosplay community and Smash Ultimate enthusiasts, bringing together a diverse set of interests under the expansive Stockton Esports umbrella. These events, driven by technological proﬁciency and cultural relevance, amplify our commitment to a holistic student experience.
What, according to you, could be the next signiﬁcant change in the education sector? How are you preparing to be a part of that change?
The horizon of higher education is changing, with an increasing emphasis on trade-based and academic integration. Much like the evolution seen in practitioner-led ﬁelds like physical therapy, there’s a shift towards more holistic educational models.
At Stockton, beyond just keeping pace, we’re setting benchmarks. We’re pioneering innovative recruitment and retention strategies, notably through esports. This domain, with its immense pull, acts as both a magnet for prospective students and a retention tool.
Additionally, our dual-credit agreements and transfer pathways programs exemplify our mission to be inclusive. We’re ensuring that varied educational backgrounds ﬁnd a harmonious and seamless blend, enabling students to aspire for and attain a Stockton University degree.
Where do you envision yourself to be in the long run and what are your future goals for Stockton University?
Building on Stockton’s rich legacy and the budding esports potential in Atlantic City, I envision fostering esports incubators in the region. These hubs aren’t merely about gaming but will act as a nexus for education and industry collaborations. By integrating esports into Atlantic City’s fabric, we can catalyze a workforce development pipeline that not only fuels job creation but also cultivates a myriad of transferable skills, positioning Stockton as a visionary trailblazer.
These hubs could serve as crucibles for innovation, training and industry collaboration.
However, my aspirations are not just limited to the esports realm. Given my trajectory of building and leading ﬁrst-rate technology programs, my passion lies in harnessing technology to drive educational advancements. Atlantic City, with its gaming heritage, combined with Stockton’s academic prowess can redeﬁne the global esports narrative and I am determined to be at the forefront of this revolution.
What advice would you give to leaders in the education sector?
Embrace change and craft robust platforms that nurture dynamic communities. In today’s academic landscape, the fusion of collegiate esports and information technology services isn’t just innovative—it’s imperative. This alliance marries technological prowess with cultural relevance, ensuring that students don’t just learn but thrive in environments primed for their passions.
But why does esports matter so much? Beyond the ﬂash and thrill of the games, it’s a linchpin in recruitment and retention strategies. A well-structured esports program acts as a magnet, attracting prospective students and giving current ones an additional reason to stay and engage. The bond between technology and esports is inextricable.
Therefore, any esports endeavor without a robust IT framework is like a ship without a compass. To my fellow educational leaders, my message is twofold—Firstly, delve deep to identify your institution’s unique assets. Secondly, in the ever-evolving realms of technology and esports, commit to being lifelong learners.
The landscape is rapidly shifting and it is imperative to stay updated, always eager to grasp the next innovation or trend. Harness them boldly to meet the ever-shifting needs of your students. If esports isn’t on your radar yet, it’s time to get in on it. If it’s already a part of your institution, scrutinize the role of IT in it. Be adaptable, be curious and venture bravely into new frontiers.
To learn more about Stockton Esports, visit esports.stockton.edu