Meet the Mentors
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Hey there, I’m Angela! I am a FIRST alumna/mentor of FRC team 4039, FTC team 18433, a member of the STEMathon Planning Committee, and a past winner of the FIRST Canadian Women in STEM Scholarship. I’ve been involved within FIRST for 7 years now and just finished my third year of my Mechanical Engineering and Sustainability degree at McMaster University. It was through my time in FIRST where I found my passion for all things revolving around mechanical design, fabrication, doing outreach within the community, and of course, sharing the story of my own team and FIRST as a whole to others. In addition to these, I also made it a priority to advocate for EDI within my team and community, especially when it comes to encouraging girls to pursue STEM. At school, you'll find me working on the NEUDOSE satellite team within the structural sub-team, mentoring first-year female-identifying engineering students within our Women in Engineering Society, working within the Engineering Welcome Week Committee, and running events through my role as VP of the Engineering & Society Student Association. I’ve also completed three co-op terms and am about to go on my fourth, focusing on mechanical product design, fabrication research, and engineering experimentation at various companies. Need some help or advice while working on your projects during this event? Message me for help anytime especially when you're looking for advice on sustainability, mechanical/computer-aided design, data analysis, speaking/presenting, manufacturing, video editing, or how to organize your solution process throughout the weekend. Looking forward to working with you!
Bio Coming Soon
Bio Coming Soon
I work full time for a photography company, managing sales and customer service. In the long run, I aim to study disability studies at King's College @ Western, as a double major with thanotology. I hope to consult on the design of medical devices, in hopes that they can be better designed to suit the needs of actual disabled people like myself. A fun fact about me is that I have visited 60 cities in the last 6 months!
Jenna Kay Foertsch
Jenna Kay Foertsch currently works in the Office of Planning, Integration, and Environmental at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. She is also currently on rotation within the NASA robotics directorate. Originally from Minnesota, Jenna Kay graduated from the University of Minnesota with a special focus on the integration of STEM and business concepts. A recipient of the Brooke Owens Fellowship, Jenna Kay has an extensive background in freelance consulting, high powered rocketry, mentoring, robotics, digital marketing, and asking the hard questions. She is the founder and director of Hot Nozzle Society, an organization created to foster and sustain a more vibrant and diverse rocketry and aerospace scene. Jenna Kay is an alumni of FIRST FRC team 3184 and a current mentor for FRC team 118, the Robonauts based out of Johnson Space Center.
I am a recent graduate of Trent University, earning my Bachelors of Business Administration and specializing in marketing. I started my FIRST journey over 11 years ago as an FLL student and then progressed to FRC where I was a member of FIRST Team 1305 for five seasons. During this time I was our Captain, Chairman’s Presenter, Awards Lead and Business Manager. I have volunteered across Canada and internationally, started and mentored FRC/FLL Challenge/FLL Explore teams, and volunteered at numerous team and FIRST events. I was a member of the inaugural FIRST Canada Girls in STEM Executive Advisory Council, and while on and while on my FRC team focused on supporting other women in FIRST by creating 1305’s All-Girl Robot Build-A-Thon and numerous all-girl FLL Challenge teams. I am a two time Dean’s List Finalist and am currently employed by FIRST Robotics Canada as a STEM Program Coordinator! In my spare time I enjoy reading and hanging out with my adorable cat, Toby! my FRC team focused on supporting other women in FIRST by creating 1305’s All-Girl Robot Build-A-Thon and numerous all-girl FLL Challenge teams. I am a two time Dean’s List Finalist and am currently employed by FIRST Robotics Canada as a STEM Program Coordinator! In my spare time I enjoy reading and hanging out with my adorable cat, Toby!
Karthik Kangasabapathy has always had a passion for education. While mentoring students in robotics, he began to realize that many of the education and career decisions being made by young people were often shaped by external factors as opposed to their own passions, causing them to take paths that led them to unintended destinations. Throughout his career, he has worked to help students discover what they are truly passionate about. Karthik spent 9 years at Innovation First International, where he was responsible for exciting young people about STEAM (Science, Technology, Education, Arts & Mathematics) education, via participation in the VEX Robotics Competition. A mathematician by trade, he has designed competition robotics games that have been played by over 75,000 teams of students across the globe. He has won numerous awards for his dedication to furthering robotics education, including the prestigious Woodie Flowers Finalist Award for exemplary mentoring and being a positive role model for high school students through the FIRST Robotics Competition. He served as the lead mentor for FRC Team 1114 from 2004-2016 and now acts as a team advisor. During his tenure with the team they won the FIRST World Championship and were inducted into the FIRST Hall of Fame for winning the Championship Chairman's Award. Karthik now works for FIRST Canada as the Manager of Operations, Digital Strategy & Analytics. While his background is in Mathematics, his own passions include mental health awareness, empowering underrepresented groups in STEAM, and a love of sports at all levels. He also hosts various global robotics events, having worked with media personalities such Mythbusters' Grant Imahara and Kari Byron, gave an international recognized TEDx talk, and has hosted televised robotics specials on ESPN and CBS. His areas of expertise include strategic planning and design, data analysis, creative problem solving, and taking products to market.
Hello! My name is Laura and I love building robots! I am a 2014 SWAT 771 alumni and Dean’s List Finalist. I studied Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science in university, where I was the team lead of the Cornell University Autonomous Underwater Vehicle team, a 7-time world champion team that built fully autonomous underwater robots to play the ultimate #watergame. I then went on to graduate school at Stanford University where I studied robotics and did research on a quadruped robot. I am now a roboticist at Boston Dynamics where I work on… even more robots! In my free time you can find me sailing with my puppy on the Charles River. My broad areas of “expertise” are in mechanical design, dynamics, and controls.
I joined FIRST in 2009 as a student on FRC Team 1310 - Runnymede Robotics and have been a mentor on the team since 2013 & Head Mentor for the past 2 years. Throughout my 13 years in FRC, I have been involved in every aspect of the team from construction, electrical, strategy, scouting, promotions and team management. I studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Waterloo and graduated in 2018. I currently work as a Sales & Product Engineer at Clear Blue Technologies, where we make smart off-gird technology that is used to power lighting and telecommunications solutions around the world. When designing solutions, I like to take inspiration from what already exists and focus on asking the right people, the right questions. I currently have the pleasure of being the FIRST Tech Challenge Program Manager at FIRST Robotics Canada where I get to facilitate robotics experiences for students across the province. My areas of expertise are organization, strategic design, breaking down problems, prototyping and making things look pretty. I also love bears of the polar variety, and will always be #teamred.
Marie is a FIRST alum of Team 771, and a dedicated member of the FIRST community. For the past 4 year, Marie has volunteered as an FRC Volunteer Coordinator, MC, Game Announcer, and mentor as part of the MAC crew. She's taught workshops on season planning, sponsorship, outreach, awards, public relations, team management and more. Her experience also reaches past FRC as she's been involved with the FTC and FLL programs in the past years. Outside of FIRST, Marie is going into her last year as a Health Studies BSc student at the University of Waterloo, where she is also widely involved in the student community.
I first caught the engineering bug back in 2013 when my high school started a FIRST robotics team - working on the electrical team and learning how to build things from scratch was so much fun that I knew I would never look back! I'm an alumna of FRC Team 4595 in Windsor, Ontario, where I was involved as the team captain and electrical team lead. After graduating in 2015 I went on to complete a degree in electrical engineering at Carleton University, including co-op work with Nokia and the Canadian Communications Research Centre. My capstone project focused on designing a robot that could assist patients and staff in medical settings. I also had the opportunity to represent Canada as an engineering student delegate with the Board of European Students of Technology (BEST) in Aalborg, Denmark. I graduated in 2020 and since then I have been working as a hardware developer for Ross Video in Ottawa, Ontario, designing electrical systems for robotic camera systems. Our robots are used everywhere from news studios to concerts to helping film this year's Superbowl! Outside of work, I volunteer with many engineering outreach groups, including past work with Women in Science and Engineering (WISE), Engineers Without Borders (EWB), and my current role as an Engineer-in-Residence for elementary school students in Ottawa. I've also stayed connected to FIRST as an FLL referee and mentor. When I'm not tinkering with new projects, you can usually find me out hiking or playing hockey!
A student advocate and non-profit leader since the age of 14, Namirah strives to foster civic engagement and innovation through compassionate leadership. She aims to champion broader access to healthcare and education in her career and recently embarked on a new chapter of her journey as a neuroscience major at Harvard University. Her experiences on the FIRST Canada Youth Council and an FRC team in high school have inspired her continued involvement in robotics, business management, and advocacy. Outside of her academic and extracurricular pursuits, Namirah finds delight in baking, linguistics, and freshwater ecosystems.
Hi! I'm Nikhita. I am a FIRST alum and a Business Services and Scouting & Strategy mentor of Team DAVE, 3683. I help with social media and media, oversee scouting, and run picklists & match strategy. I'm also the head mentor and coach of Team 4252, Cardinal Robotics, helping with just about everything on that team. Currently, I'm an undergraduate student at the University of Waterloo, studying Math and Business Administration, with a computing minor. I specialize in data analysis, data processing, and data visualization, including Excel, Tableau, and SQL. I also am well versed in marketing, business presentations, essay writing, photo and video editing and design, and social media. I'm great at management, organization, conflict resolution, and facilitating conversations in teams.
Hey, I'm Sarah! I am an alum/mentor of FRC team 4039 and a past Dean’s List Finalist, and have been involved in FIRST for the past 15 years. I graduated from the University of Guelph in 2020 with a B.Sc. in Honours Bio-Medical Science with a Neuroscience minor and am in my final months of my M.Sc. in Speech-Language Pathology at McMaster University. Right now I am on clinical placement at Hamilton Health Science's Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) Program working with individuals who have communication and swallowing impairments. Outside of robotics I love camping, figure skating, soccer, and reading. I'm looking forward to all of the great ideas you're going to come up with - Let's break the game together!
I am currently in my second year of studying Biomedical and Chemical Engineering at McMaster University. I have a strong passion for research and healthcare solutions. On my FRC team, I was largely involved with scouting, strategy, and data analysis. I have been involved in a variety of research projects, and will be continuing to work in a chemical engineeirng lab this summer. I have also worked as a teaching assistant the the university over the past year. I have always been a strong advocate for equality and women in STEM and am looking forward to working with you all!
Hi, I’m Sydney! I am an emcee for FIRST Robotics Canada. Outside of the playing field, I am a User Experience Researcher and Designer working with major tech leaders to create useful, user-centric solutions to complex problems. I have a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with Neuroscience from Nipissing University and a Masters Degree from University of Waterloo in Digital Experience Innovation. You could say I’m an “expert” in many things. In addition to above, skills in my toolbelt are not limited to: Naming things, Brainstorming, Empathetic problem-solving, Solution optimization, UI design, Project management, Public speaking, Presentations, and Creative support! You can think of me as a quirky sidekick that will help your team have a fun and successful event.