High schoolers gain invaluable skills in summer institute

students gather around a computer to play eSports

The eSports camp is one of 13 programs available to high schoolers in the Pacific Summer High School Institute.

High school students around the country will soon be able to experience life on a college campus while learning from University of the Pacific’s faculty, from crafting compelling arguments in competitive debate to exploring career opportunities in the rapidly growing business of eSports.

Pacific’s historic Stockton Campus will open to high schoolers June 19 through July 1 for the two-week summer institute designed to prepare students for college.

Other precollege programs available include: coding, cancer research, drug development, entrepreneurship, filmmaking, innovation, music sound and recording, sports analytics, stock investment, video game design and women’s leadership. Registration is still open.

The summer institute allow students to pursue areas of interest while learning invaluable skills that translate beyond the classroom.


“The best life skill that comes from debate is the ability to analyze any situation quickly, consider multiple options, and then make good decisions based on that broad analysis,” said Director of Forensics Steven Farias ’09, ‘11, who is leading the competitive debate program in the summer institute. 

“Some people think debate teaches you how to be a lawyer or a politician, but other people who do debate are computer scientists, mathematicians and English majors,” he said.

Under his direction, Pacific’s speech and debate team won the national title in the 2022 National Parliamentary Debate Association. 

Political science major Angelica Guzman ’23, who is a member of the team, will be one of several students assisting Farias. Guzman began debate as a student at Lodi High School.

“I didn't get the opportunity to go to a debate camp like this. I was self-taught, so I want to do this to help high school students,” said Guzman, who calls debate a “phenomenal” experience. “I have grown a lot as a person and learned skills that are essential not only in school but in life, whether that be critical thinking or research,” she said.

During the two-week course, students will learn speaking skills, how to develop strategic cases and in-depth research techniques.


The eSports camp offered through the Eberhardt School of Business will incorporate lab and physical play and bring in guest speakers. “Coaches will talk about strategy, leadership, teamwork, and other aspects you would learn if you played a physical sport,” said Lewis Gale, interim dean of the Eberhardt School of Business and faculty lead for eSports camp.

Students will explore potential careers in the industry, including event hosting and content creation. A Goldman Sachs report originally published in 2018 estimated eSports would reach $3 billion by 2022.  

“There are a lot of eSports players broadcasting on Twitch (a video game live streaming service), and they'll have 30,000 to 50,000 viewers, and they are being paid to create content while they are playing,” said Gale.

All classes will be small—no more than 20 students—with the personalized teaching style that is the hallmark of a Pacific education.

Students will have ample opportunities for socializing with planned activities each night and access to Pacific amenities, including the Baun Fitness Center, Janet Leigh Theatre and Douglass M. Eberhardt Aquatics Center.

They will also live in on-campus residence halls and dine at the Marketplace at the DeRosa Center.     

Information about programs and registration can be found here.