I am currently a mentor and alumna of team 1640, having been a student on the team from 2007 (Rack 'n Roll) until I graduated from Downingtown East in 2009 (after Lunacy) and a mentor from 2010 ( Breakaway) to present.
I serve as the team's field coach and co-lead designer (CAD), in addition to helping manage the shop and ensure students have and understand their jobs.
- Field Coach
- As field coach, I'm responsible for training the drive team (and currently the scouts), negotiating qualification and elimination strategy, serving as the chief at-event contact for other teams, liaising between the drive team and pit crew (and the rest of the team), and of course coaching the drivers during matches. The longest-standing coach and drive team member (and one of the long-running team members in general), I have been coaching 1640 regularly since I graduated in 2009 and have coached 5 of our 7 competition championships.
- Co-Process Manager
- As process manager, I am responsible for the CIP or continuous improvement process on 1640. Generally, this is seen a endlessly bugging people to examine how we can better fulfill our mission (of inspiring and educating our students) and operate more optimally. I facilitate these discussions, mull over the SWOT (strengths/weaknesses/opportunities/threats) issues brought up, and then return to our other process managers and team members with more suggestions, questions and improved structures with which to bug them. It's worked out well enough so far. This has been the mechanism for most of the team's recent restructuring. I am also responsible for some more in-the-moment issues, including running some meetings (particularly for student feedback), post-mortems, one-on-one interviews and other administrative and management activities.
- Co-Lead Designer
- During build season, this role generally entails teaching, supervising, and coordinating mechanical design, prototyping and fabrication. Unfortunately, a dearth in student CAD/design experience required me to step into a lead hands-on CAD role in 2011 before doing the bulk of the CAD work in 2012 and much of 2013. My main job, however, is to work on remedying this inexperience, leading to my initiation and teaching of multiple design projects as the team's design process teacher. I hope to take a more guiding, tutoring and coordinating role as a design leader, though I expect there will still be some hands-on CAD walkthroughs for eager students in my future.
- Pit Supervisor
- Though students now proudly organize and execute the pit work for 1640, I currently serve as the most-regular adult pit supervisor, coordinating troubleshooting efforts and advising the student crew where needed, including facilitating communication, planning priorities and keeping members on task. (While not actually informal, this position is largely extemporaneous and derived from the collision of my coaching and process management roles with my student experience as pit captain.)
- NEMO Mentor
- As an official and active member of FIRST's Non-Engineering Mentor Organization, I had also assisted with the team's Chairman's and and Woodie Flowers submissions and created maost of the team's media handouts. As our student and mentor base grows and more NEMO talent arises, I have been able to take a less active role in some of our own NEMO activities, though I still have some project responsibilities and remain active in some NEMO proceedings outside of 1640.
I am proud to say I am a veteran FIRST volunteer with 15 events under my belt in 4 years (11 in the last 2). I serve primarily as a referee, though I'm becoming a common judge for FLL/FTC, and will continue to will fill other roles in FRC, VEX, FTC and FLL.
- Current Qualifications
- FRC (Aerial Assist): Referee, Inspector
- FTC (Block Party): Hardware Inspector (trainer)
- FLL (Nature's Fury): Head Referee
In my time as a 1640 student, I served as captain-manager, pit captain, design team lead student, head mechanical student, head (and only team) welder, co-driver, and outreach lead. However, several of these names would now be re-classified to include media lead, logistician and finance student, among others under the team's current, more detailed organizational scheme.
- In 2008 I became the first 1640 student to be named lead captain for two years, serving as captain-manager of FRC Team 1640 for the 2008 (Overdrive) and 2009 (Lunacy) seasons before graduating Downingtown High School East Campus. At the time, the job entailed being representative and student liaison, media and PR lead, student logistician, contact point person, scheduler and organizer, and finance officer. It also earned me the first student slot on the [[Steering Committee], created in 2009.
- Design Team & Mechanical Lead
- In the 2009 season, I became the first student member of the just-created design team as the team's pit captain and lead mechanical student. Student slots have since been significantly expanded, but at the time the enhanced student-mentor coordination helped lead to the team's then-most unique (and effective) drive system, as well as our first official award (turns out the judges really would rather hear from a student).
- Pit Captain
- After an ill-defined 2008 pit hierarchy, I found myself in the definitive capacity of pit captain in post-season 2008 through 2009. Luckily, nothing much went wrong in 2009 (allowing me to focus on driving and wooing judges).
- As a sophomore in 2007, I became the team's youngest official driver by operating the arm at the Pittsburgh Regional. I drove in every event in 2007-2009 afterwards, including serving as alliance captain at PARC 2008, making the finals at Duel on the Delaware and winning PARC 2009. I also did some coaching in those years before becoming the team's main coach for 2010-Present.
- Lead Mechanical Student & Chief Welder
- As I took over as lead mechanical student in post-season 2009, one of the main changes I found myself in was in rapidly becoming the chief, first and only team welder (student or adult) in 2009. Somehow I managed to figure out what I was doing well enough to weld a 2009 robot that weathered 6 competitions (tied for our record at the time) with only one broken weld. I also served as lead mechanical student (design, though I also did fabrication) for the rest of the award-winning 2009 robot.
- Outreach Lead
- As the team's representative in 2008, I had the wonderful opportunity to help start a robotics club at Sugartown Elementary School in the nearby Great Valley School District, with whom we still remain in contact. Also in pre-season 2008, the team leadership began pre-kickoff classes (we were previously basically dormant before kickoff), several of which I taught to both the FRC team and our VEX outreach.
Team Roles & Photos
Below is a list of my sub-team memberships and roles throughout my student and mentor years (reverse chronological, each by precedence), along with a photo summary of my tenure.
|Mentor Tenure Responsibilities||Student Tenure Responsibilities|
|FRC 1640||Co-Shop (Job) Manager||DEWBOT
|Design||Trainer & Kickoff Lead, CAD Co-Lead||Design||Student Lead|
|Competition Play||Coach, Scouting Adviser||Mechanical||Student Lead|
|Competition Pit||Superviser||Pit Crew||Pit Captain|
|Mid-Atlantic FRC||Referee||Competition||Operator, Off-Season Coach|
|FRC 1640||Process Manager||Mechanical||Student Co-Lead|
|Design||Trainer & Kickoff Lead, CAD Co-Lead||Competition||Operator, Off-Season Coach|
|Competition Play||Coach, Strategy-Scouting Adviser||Pit Crew||Student Co-Lead|
|Design||Kickoff Lead, Arm Designer|
|Competition Play||Coach, Strategy-Scouting Adviser|
|Competition Play||Coach, Strategy-Scouting Adviser|
And public speaking! (GETT)
Experience & Travel
I'm currently a Penn State Schreyer Honors College Scholar (<2% of all PSU undergraduates) and mechanical engineering and political science double major with concentrations revolving around international relations and humanitarian engineering. I currently work as an in-house reviewer in the Humanitarian Engineering & Social Entrepreneurship program at Penn State, where I do some curriculum writing and teaching in addition to working on getting peer-review articles to publication. I will be taking graduate bridge courses at Penn State until 2014 before moving on to graduate school for engineering. I am also a student member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and an honored member of Tau Beta Pi. Additionally, I have traveled rather extensively in my work and study for international relations and humanitarian engineering.