Our Team

OFFICERS (’23-’24)

Captain: Nathan, Director of Operations: Oliver, Mechanical Officer: Griffin, Control Systems Officer: Aaron, Media and Recognition Officer: Miranda, Scouting and Strategy Officer: Simon


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.

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. He is helping out with various tasks at Dawgma. Primarily he is with the Control Systems aspect, using his experience to help with the transition to Java.

Yuval Sapir 2023-Present
Yuval Sapir has been a maker and into electronics and programming from childhood. He graduated from the Open University of Israel with a degree in Computer Science and has been working and leading various startups since. He’s currently working for Outbrain, as a senior back end engineer.

Jason Gagliardi 2024-Present
Mr. Gagliardi is a current physics teacher at Lower Merion High School. As a new mentor, he is learning how Dawgma operates and is helping out with team management. Primarily, he helps organize Dawgma’s logistics for the FIRST competitions.


Gene Guay 2006 – 2012, 2019 – 2023

Rich Kressly 2005 – 2010

Kevin Newman 2011 – 2016

Bob Bellini 2008 – 2019

Dr. Paul Gehman 2008 – 2019

Jessi Brown 2014 – 2020

Jason Brown 2019 – 2020

Thomas Jones 2019 – 2020

Kimberlee Model 2016 – 2022