The University of Kentucky and alumna Erin Ashley Simon announced Wednesday the very first recipient of the new Esports Internship Fund: Abbie Davidson. Simon credits the University with much of current success in journalism, esports, entertainment, and gaming, and created this initiative with the university last fall as a way to give back and to lift up women, people of color, and other marginalized groups who are pursuing a career in the esports, gaming, and tech industries when they graduate.
According to a release, Davidson, a freshman currently studying Computer Science and Business at the University of Kentucky, was selected because she has passion for gaming and technology that has been a part of her DNA since she was a child. That curiosity and interest has grown into exploration into new areas that are intricately tied to the esports and gaming ecosystem like live streaming, content creation, and software development. The latter is likely what she’ll pursue when she graduates.
As a recipient of the Esports Internship Fund, Davidson will receive financial support, “a multi-year internship,” and “mentorship and experiential learning opportunities” with stakeholders in the esports industry.
To learn more about the University of Kentucky’s esports and gaming program (in partnership with esports organization Gen.G), visit www.uky.edu/esports.
Long before Simon found her passion in esports and gaming, she earned her Bachelor of Science in journalism/new media and business management from the University of Kentucky. After college she enjoyed a lengthy career as a journalist, producer, and editor, working for such companies as Cycle and Revolt, among others. She also spent more than seven years as a freelance journalist, covering everything from sports to hip-hop.
But Simon might be best known for work as a host on Cheddar Esports and the daily gaming news show, The Download, for VENN. For the last two years or so, Simon has focused her energy on diversity and inclusion in esports in her role as chief culture officer at esports organization XSET, where she is also co-owner. She also keeps busy as on-air talent, and has co-hosted or appeared in a number of events including The Game Awards, NFL Thursday Night Gaming, the 2022 Xbox Games Showcase, and World Chase Tag’s four-hour special in November, among other activities.