Meet our mentors for the 2019 season!
Bill Walter became a hardware mentor in 2013 because his friend knew Christine and asked him if he would like to join the team. His response to this: “Why not, building robots sounds like fun!” He is an electrical design engineer and his favorite part about his job is designing new things. He has a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois, and a M.S. from Northeastern University in the same field. He has 11 patents. He was nominated for the Woodie Flowers Award in 2017. His hobbies include flying gliders, driving motorcycles, snowboarding, doing electronic “stuff”, and building robots. For volunteer work, Bill was the president for his Glider Club. His favorite fictional robot is ButterBot from Rick and Morty.
Assistant Coach/Awards Team Lead Mentor/MassFIRST Lead Mentor
Maureen Kilcommins became an Andromeda One mentor in 2014, and is now the Assistant Coach and MassFIRST Lead. She joined because because she was impressed with the programs and the benefits it brought to the school and the district as a whole. She works as a nonprofit consultant, and her favorite part of her job is helping organizations trying to do charitable things without a lot of resources. She received a B.A. in communication with a minor in English from Stonehill College. Her hobbies include reading and volunteering, which she accomplishes through her time spent as a member of the ASEF board and a FIRST volunteer. She has two children, Ryan and Katie, both of whom are on the team. Her favorite fictional robot is Rosy from The Jetsons.
Christine Miska is Andromeda One’s founder and started Ayer-Shirley’s FRC journey in 2013 because she wanted her kids to have a program at the school. She is an engineering director at BAE Systems and her favorite part is designing and delivering products that protect war fighters. She graduated from WPI with a B.S. in electrical engineering and an M.S. from Syracuse University in electrical engineering. Her honors include the Massachusetts High Tech Women to Watch Award in 2008. She volunteers with the ASRHS Music Boosters and the Ayer Shirley Education Foundation. Her children are Alana and Jake, both of whom have been nominated for the FRC Dean’s List Award for Andromeda One. Her life motto is “Let’s build something amazing!”
Mike Audette became a FIRST hardware mentor in 2017 because he wanted to introduce his daughter, Grace, to the world of robotics. He is an electrical engineer in ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuits) design and enjoys when he completes a project with no bugs. He graduated from University of New Hampshire with a B.S. in electrical engineering. His hobbies include Revolutionary War reenacting, beer brewing, and woodworking. He also volunteers for the Make a Wish Foundation and for his church. His children David and Grace are both in the robotics program. His favorite sci-fi movie is Firefly.
Community Events and Travel Lead Mentor
Pamela Clemence became a mentor for travel and community events in 2016 because she has an interest in STEM and her husband and daughter, Randy and Abigail, were on the team. She received a B.A. in communications from UMass Amherst. She works at a CPA firm as IT support and in accounting. Pamela’s favorite parts of her job are helping people and solving problems with math. She has two children, Abigail and Annabelle, both on the team. In her free time, she loves to go to museums and solve puzzles. Her life motto is “Life goes on with or without us, so you better go with it.”
CAD Mentor/Hardware Mentor
Randy Clemence became a FIRST mentor when his daughter, Abby, joined in 2015. He has been a mentor on the CAD Team and is the Field Construction Hardware Lead Mentor. He is a landscape architect and his favorite part of his job is being out in the fields during construction and builds. He has a B.S. in Landscape Architecture from UMass Amherst and is a registered architect in Massachusetts. He was the Woodie Flowers nominee for the 2018 season. His hobbies include being a mentor on 4905 and helping students thrive through learning about trial and error and working with their hands. He volunteers at ASEF as a board member, has coached recreational sports for 12 years (including soccer, basketball and volleyball), and was part of the Ayer Shirley Basketball board. His daughters, Abby and Annabelle, are both on the team. His life motto is “Experience and participate in everything.”
Patrick Doyle became a FIRST mentor in 2012 when Mr. LaPointe asked him to become a parent mentor for the Page Hilltop FLL teams. He is now a software mentor on Andromeda One, the founding coach and mentor for the FTC team and the rest is history! Patrick works at iRobot as a software engineer, where he received the STEM Star award, and he loves everything about his job. He received a B.S. in electrical engineering from MIT, and received a M.S. in electrical engineering from Northeastern University. In his spare time, he is a major and the head of an organization of secret agent animals. For volunteer work, he attends numerous robotics functions, mentors the ASRMS FTC team, plays piano at his church every other week, and tries his best to give high school students a hard time. If he could live anywhere, he would live in the Tri-State Area, and his all-time favorite quote is unsurprisingly, “Where’s Perry?”
Paul (a.k.a. Grandpa Paul) is a retired electrician who mentors the Hardware team. He is the father of Christine Miska, the team’s founder, and his grandkids are also involved in robotics. Paul went to college for one year at Holyoke college, then joined the army for two years and is a Vietnam Veteran. Paul works very hard with everyone in the hardware group, and is a former nominee for the Woodie Flowers mentor award. When asked what he likes about robotics, Paul replied, “I like working with students and giving them an opportunity to build things they wouldn’t normally build and have the chance to enjoy robotics.” He added, “This program helps teach kids to set up websites, financing skills, building, and hardware, and… teaches more than any other extra-curricular activities.” Paul’s hobbies are golfing and home projects.
Rules and Strategies Mentor
Paula Gravelle joined the robotics team in 2016 as a Rules and Strategy mentor. She is the health teacher at Page Hilltop Elementary School and her favorite part of her job is working with kids. She has a degree in Pharmacy from Northeastern University, is a certified pharmacist, and has a teaching license. Her hobbies include reading, cooking, camping, and taking long walks in the woods with her dogs. She volunteers at her church and many other organizations. She has three kids: Eric, Emily, and Alison. If she could live on any other planet, she would live on Venus because it is little and cute.
Pete Gravelle is one of the Hardware mentors on Andromeda One. He has an electrician’s license and is an automation systems engineer for Schneider Electric, one of the team’s sponsors. He is very experienced with electromechanical systems. One of the things he enjoys the most about FIRST robotics and the robotics community is the enthusiasm the students show and how engaged they get with building, coding, etc. “No matter what, students stay engaged at every meeting,” he says. Pete is an avid dirt-biker and sportsman hunter. He participates and volunteers with Boy Scouts and enjoys archery.
CAD Lead Mentor
Earl Hasz is the Andromeda One CAD Lead on Andromeda One. Earl is a Technical Sales Director at Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS Corp, the company that makes the SolidWorks CAD tool used by our team. Earl has a BS in Mechanical Engineering with a specialty in Computer Science from the University of Colorado Boulder. He is the father of Andromeda One member Ethan Hasz. In addition to volunteering as a mentor for FRC 4905, Earl rides in the Pan-Mass Challenge, and enjoys brewing craft beer and roots for the Denver Broncos.
Kenneth Jean joined the team for the 2019 season as a hardware mentor because his daughter, Catherine, joined the team and he thought it looked interesting. Ken works as a machine builder for O/K International Corporation, and his favorite part of his job is putting things together. He attended New Hampshire College of Accounting and Commerce as an accounting student for one year before leaving the school. He was awarded the Industrial Arts Award in high school. His main hobby is building things in his basement workshop, and he has two children, Danielle and Catherine. His favorite sci-fi TV show is the Twilight Zone, and his motto is “Try something new everyday.”
Gregg Lupaczyk joined the team as a hardware mentor in the fall of 2018. He decided to become a mentor because it seemed interesting and fun, and he feels like he will learn a lot from mentoring students. Gregg works as an electrical engineer and manager at Johnson Controls, and his favorite part of his job is solving problems. He received a B.S. in electrical engineering from UMass Lowell, and an M.S. in computer science from Boston University. Gregg has three patents. He has two children, Rosalind and Julia. For fun, Gregg enjoys hiking, reading, and gaming of both the tabletop and the electronic variety. His favorite fictional robot is Robot from Lost in Space.
Social Media Mentor
Brendan Marshall became a FIRST mentor after he graduated from the team in 2017 for the 2018 season as a social media and public outreach mentor. He rejoined the team because he wanted to continue helping out the team with social media and outreach, which was his role when he was a student. He aspires to be a computer scientist or a website designer. He enjoys gaming, coding, and anything having to do with technology in his free time, and his favorite fictional robot is WALL-E.
Software Co-Lead Mentor
Chris McCubbin became a software mentor for Andromeda One in 2017. He joined because his daughter, Eris, inspired him to jump on board. He has a B.S in Mathematics and a B.S. and an M.S. in Computer Science from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He works as a Senior Applied Scientist at Amazon, and his favorite part of his job is developing interesting algorithms and playing with lots of big data. Chris has three patents. For hobbies, he enjoys video games and board games such as Magic the Gathering, hiking, and photography. He volunteers in the Association for Computing Machinery, Datakind, and as the treasurer for the Ayer Community Garden. Chris has two children, Eris and Finn, an honorary 4905 member. If he could live on a different planet, he would choose Venus due to the human-friendly temperatures at a certain level in its atmosphere.
Rules and Strategies Mentor
Walter Miska joined Andromeda One in 2014 as a hardware mentor because his entire family was on the team except for him, and he saw and appreciated the impact that the team had on his two kids, Jake and Alana. Walter received a B.S. in civil engineering from WPI, and a M.S. in civil engineering from UMass Lowell. He also has his professional engineering licence. He works as the New England Vice President of the United Franchise Group, where he supports franchise businesses. His favorite part of his job is that he meets new people from all over New England everyday, and that he can help people start and grow their own businesses. Outside of robotics, Walter enjoys participating in a pool league, he volunteers on the finance council at his church and is a member of the Westford Rotary Club. If he could any job in the world, he would run a charitable foundation, and his favorite fictional robot is the Terminator.
Faisal Mohammed joined the Andromeda One team as a CAD mentor in 2017. Although he joined the team recently, he has been a part of FIRST for about 5 years including coaching the middle school FLL team. He works as a Software Quality Assurance Engineer and Automation Engineer at Jackpine Technologies. His favorite aspect of the job is automation. He went to Fitchburg State College and earned a B.S in computer science and an MBA in management. He has two kids, Zach and Leah. In his spare time he likes to fix things. He also volunteers as the Boy Scout Troop 3 Treasurer in Ayer and he was one of the cofounders of the district’s first FTC team. His favorite science fiction movie is Spaceballs. If he could have any job it would be a roboticist.
Vincent Piucci joined Andromeda One in 2015 as a hardware mentor. He joined because Walter is his nephew and Christine asked him to join as a mentor. He stayed because he likes working with kids and seeing what they can do. Vincent is self-employed and, as such, has many different titles and jobs such as product developer and consultant. What he loves most about his job is finding new ways to do things and working with other people. He has approximately 30 patents. He went to school at the University of Rhode Island. His hobbies include riding and taking care of horses, and playing golf. His favorite fictional robot is Robby the Robot. If he could live on any other planet, it would be Mars.
David Roy is a Welder for the Hardware team. He has an Associate’s Degree in Applied Tech. He is a self-employed contractor and he works with welding and construction. In his free time, David enjoys working with the robotics team, going to the movies and beach, and being with his kids. When asked about what he likes about robotics, he said that he likes that robotics always makes you think out of the box and he likes how involved the kids are in building the robot.
Team Spirit Lead Mentor/ Rules and Strategy Mentor
Kim Roy is a Rules and Strategy mentor and Team Spirit lead on Andromeda One. You would never not see her at competitions, even Worlds, which proves her strong dedication towards the team. Although she is modest about her contributions, she is always enthusiastic about FRC 4905. She is mother of team members Devin and Jonathan, and an enthusiastic mentor of the elementary school FLL teams. Kim is a designer for Closets by Design. She absolutely loves DIYS and crafts, watching Grey’s Anatomy, doing things with her kids, and getting involved in their activities.
Food Coordinator Lead Mentor
Jason Salter became an Andromeda One mentor in 2016 as a food mentor so his son, Owen, could join in eighth grade. He was awarded a B.Comm. in commerce and organizational theory from the University of Otago and a M.S. in economics from Boston University. He works as a solutions architect for State Street Corp, where he designs blockchain solutions, and his favorite part of his job is having his mind blown by his fellow engineers. Jason’s hobbies include hiking, reading, travelling, and he especially enjoys when he can combine all three. He volunteers as the Troop 2 Ayer Boy Scout Committee Chair, and the Ayer Shirley Education Foundation co-treasurer. He has two children, Owen and Keziah, who are both on the robotics team. His favorite fictional robot is Marvin the Paranoid Android from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Software Co-Lead Mentor
Bill Schilp joined Andromeda One in 2014 as a software mentor. He joined because, in his words, he had “nothing better to do” and he likes to teach. He is a lead software developer at Ansys. His favorite parts of his job are getting paid and being challenged. He has a B.S. and an M.S. in Computer Engineering and a PhD in Computer Science from the University of South Florida. He has approximately 5 patents. His hobbies include scuba diving, hiking, and playing the clarinet and saxophone. He volunteers at the Nashoba Valley Concert Band. Bill has two kids, Will and Jillian, whom have both participated on the Andromeda One team. His favorite Science Fiction movie is Spaceballs. If he could have any job in the world, it would be his current job, because he doesn’t want to do anything else.
Hardware Co-Lead Mentor
Dave Valliere joined the hardware team in 2015 alongside his wife, Tammy, because Coach Christine pulled him into it. He received a B.S. in computer science from Fitchburg University and a M.S. in computer science from Boston University. He works as a DevOps engineer for C Street Technologies, and his favorite part of his job is how he can automate otherwise manual processes. He has been recognized by the New York Stock Exchange and has Innovation in Web Design awards. His hobbies include sports, especially golf, and he volunteers by coaching a baseball team. He has two kids, Bryce and Seth, both of whom are on the robotics team. His favorite sci-fi TV show is Doctor Who (exterminate!).
Scouting Lead Mentor
Tammy Valliere joined Andromeda One in 2016. She joined because her sons, Bryce and Seth, joined the team. She works as an office manager at Bodylines Pilates where she processes emails, manages client accounts and does financials. She went to Fitchburg State University and has a B.S in computer science and a math minor. Outside of work and robotics, her hobbies include yard work, golf and going to the beach. Her favorite quote is “live each day to the fullest.”
Finance and Corporate Outreach Lead Mentor
Amy Vangilder became the finance and corporate outreach lead in 2015 because of her daughter, Jill. She received a B.A. from Buffalo State and an M.A. from Kent State University in speech and language audiology and pathology. She works as a speech and language pathologist for ASRSD, and her favorite part of her job is the feeling that she is making a difference in the lives of students. When she is not attending robotics, she, along with the rest of her family, like to run. She also attends CrossFit every day, and is a certified scuba diver. For volunteer work outside of Andromeda One, she is the head FLL coach at Lura A. White. She has two children, Will and Jill. Her favorite science fiction series is Star Wars, and she has been an avid fan since she was eight years old.
Jim Vangilder joined Andromeda One in 2016 as a hardware mentor. He joined the team because he loves engineering and working with kids. He is the Director of Thermal Analytics at Schneider Electric, and loves the science and math involved with his job. He has a B.S in mechanical engineering from the University of Maine and an M.S in mechanical engineering from Duke University. He also has several awards for his research, with over thirty patents and over fifty publications. His hobbies include, running, biking, dirt biking and scuba diving. He has two children, Caleb and Sydney. His favorite fictional robot is WALL-E and his favorite science fiction movie(s) is the Star Wars series.