Dawgma is guided and inspired by its mentors, both past and present. This is a complete list of all the amazing individuals who have volunteered their time to assist us over the years.
Sean Lavery 2007 – Present
Sean Lavery graduated from Drexel University with a Mechanical Engineering degree. Currently, he is employed with the Navy as a civilian engineer. As an alumnus of team 116, he as a long history with FIRST and has provided 1712 with his expertise in mechanical design and competitive strategy. He also coaches matches. He is instrumental in Dawgma’s robot design and primary strategies.
Alex Model 2019 – Present
Alex Model works with Comcast and has experience with electrical and programming. He helps team 1712’s control systems sub team with guidance and provides his years of experience to help Dawgma improve on these aspects. He has played a major role on the team, and Dawgma is able to make their control group more robust as a result.
Gene Guay 2006 – 2012, 2019 – Present
Gene Guay is a physics teacher at Lower Merion High School. He mentors and manages Dawgma’s VRC team 1712. He was the chief mentor of the team in 2012, pulling the team together to build Geoffrey in Rebound Rumble after a particularly difficult year in 2011. Mr. Guay has recently returned to mentor team 1712, and he is an enthusiastic and valuable addition to the team.
Mervyn Elder 2010 – Present
Mr. Elder is a current physics teacher at Lower Merion High School. He uses his expertise to mentor the team and also helps organize team meetings. He primarily helps organize the events outside of the competitions.
George Kozak 2021 – Present
George Kozak attended Va. Tech and taught high school shop and mechanical drawing prior to embarking on a 35-year career as a Contracting Officer for the US Navy. Now retired, Kozak is working with Dawgma primarily in the mechanical aspect of tool operations and practice field assembly.
Katherine Chen 2023 – Present
Katherine Chen works with the Navy as a civilian Java software developer. Previously a 1727 alumnus, she currently helps the control systems with pneumatics and the scouting group with app troubleshooting. As a new mentor she looking to backfill troublesome skill gaps.
Sinan Onder 2023– Present
Sinan Onder graduated from Boğaziçi University with a Computer Engineering degree. He has worked in various tech companies and currently is Vice President of Enterprise Data Architecture at Comcast. As a new mentor he is learning how Dawgma operates and is aiming to help with the software and coding aspects of Dawgma.
Rich Kressly 2005 – 2010
Mr. Kressly is the founder and advisor of Dawgma. He has worked as a mentor of team 103 and a member of the FTC game design committee. He is a certified English and Technology Education teacher. He was the winner of a Woodie Flowers award at the 2009 DC Regional. His work with Dawgma focuses around logistics, personnel, community outreach, mechanical and electrical work.
Kevin Newman 2011 – 2016
Mr. Newman is another engineer at Lockheed Martin, who stepped in to help Mr. Bellini with the duties of head mentor in 2014. He mentors the team not only through his engineering expertise, but also his knowledge of software programming. His participation in Dawgma has greatly helped team efficiency and overall expertise.
Bob Bellini 2008 – 2019
Bob Bellini, the chief mentor since 2013, is a computer systems architect and Lockheed Martin employee. Mr. Bellini volunteers countless hours of his time and expertise to Dawgma. His help made the transition to a new electronics system much smoother and has coordinated multiple elements of this year’s team, from the return of the CAD sub-team to the VEX instructional program.
Dr. Paul Gehman 2008 – 2019
Affectionately known as Dr. G, Dr. Paul Gehman is a software engineer and Lockheed Martin employee. Dr. Gehman generously donates his time to Dawgma, making it possible for us to take our programming efforts to a highly improved level.
Jessi Brown 2014 – 2020
Jessi Brown is an Engineering specialist at Merck & Co. She is a heavily invested FIRST participant, an alumna from team 357 who also mentored teams 1394, 61, and 1735. Her experience with essay writing, PR, and scouting/strategy helped team 1712 immensely.
Jason Brown 2019 – 2020
Jason Brown, employed with the PA Department of Human Services has aided team 1712 in their business/PR and outreach, helping Dawgma with editing essays and providing valuable input on how they can improve their recognition. Additionally, he volunteers at FIRST district competitions as a match observer.
Thomas Jones 2019 – 2020
Thomas Jones works at Lockheed Martin as a software engineer. He helps team 1712’s control systems sub-team with programming and electrical. With his expertise in LABVIEW, he is able to take the team to new heights.
Kimberlee Model 2016 – 2022
Kimberlee Model is a Dawgma alumna who used to run Dawgma’s programming team. She is currently a Computer Science Major at Drexel. Kimberlee is also currently a Software Engineering Intern in a Drexel Co-op with Lockheed Martin.