top of page

Mia White

May 24, 2024

Staff Spotlight - Jeff White

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is celebrated in May, and at the NJCAAE, we aim to embrace and honor a variety of backgrounds. This article highlights Jeff White, our Chief Legal Officer and Senior Vice President of the NJCAA, and Executive Director of the NJCAAE. White, who was raised in a Korean-American household, values the positive impact of diversity.

“One of the virtues of esports, similar to traditional sports, is that they teach life lessons.  As participants move into the working world, they must learn to work with and support people who think differently, speak differently, look different, etc.  Diversity in esports helps prepare them for that experience,” said White.

White has been in his role at the NJCAA and NJCAAE for almost five and a half years. Like many others, he grew up playing traditional sports during the day, and video games at night.  While serving as a vice president at Hocking College, White oversaw the Student Center, where he noticed that the gaming area was the most active and diverse section of the facility.

“I was surprised to see those watching were just as engaged (if not more) than those playing,” said White.

This experience is what really sparked an interest in esports for White. Since the NJCAAE started in 2019, the membership has grown to 187 members. White acknowledges the growth as exciting but emphasizes that there is always still room for further development.

“We work every day to identify and onboard new members while ensuring we have the necessary resources and partnerships to sustain our current members,” said White, “We are the home for 2-year college esports, and we are taking steps to provide our members with the tools they need to build their programs. If you are a 2-year college administrator reading this and you do not have esports, you are missing out and falling behind!”

White expressed the best part of his role is having had the opportunity to establish and develop a collegiate esports association. He also acknowledged the complexities of the process, including the challenges of growing membership and finding partners who can effectively support the members' programs. He noted that the association's members are at different levels of development, with some focusing on recruiting at student activity fairs while others are working to build their programs in a manner similar to traditional sports teams. Nonetheless, he loves his day-to-day.

Can you discuss any challenges or barriers you've faced in your career journey as an Asian American professional, and how you've overcome them?

“Honestly, I’ve never viewed myself differently than anyone else. I certainly had experiences as a child where I was called racial slurs, but it has not been something that I have consciously carried with me. This is not to say that people have not projected things onto me or made assumptions about me based on my heritage and appearance. Rather, I have allowed my own skills and talents to shine through,” said White.

As an executive leader, what advice would you give to other professionals aspiring to advance in their careers and make an impact in their respective fields?

“I would say the same thing my high school football coach said to me, ‘You either pay now or you pay later.’ In other words, you either commit to hard work and sacrifice when you are young, or you do when you are older and in the workforce. I believe there is a direct connection between getting to work a job you enjoy and the effort put forth as a student and young professional. I know many people in jobs they do not enjoy that wish they had applied themselves a bit more when they were younger,” said White.

Jeff White is a hard worker, achieving many things in the industry, and just so happens to be Asian-American. White has remained constant in his commitment to embracing diversity and fostering growth within the NJCAAE. His advice to young professionals to work hard, commit to their passions, and strive for excellence is a testament to his own success. As we celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, let us continue to support and uplift people from all kinds of different backgrounds.

NJCAA Esports Alternate Logo

National Junior College Athletic

Association Esports

8801 J.M. Keynes Drive - Suite 450.

Charlotte, NC 28262

(719) 590-9788

  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • twitter
  • Youtube
  • Twitter
bottom of page