FIRST Robotics

FIRST Scholars recognized at Nationals

Kettering University has awarded FIRST scholarships since 1999 now totaling more than $3.5 million. Kettering was one of the first three universities in the country to award FIRST scholarships.

Kettering University recognized 11 of the school’s 25 FIRST Robotics scholarship recipients for 2013 at the FIRST International Competitions in St. Louis, Mo., April 25-27.

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Members of teams that qualified for the international competitions were Jason Drouillard, Kyle Fagan, Trevor Wade, John ‘Jack’ Greiner, Andrew Harris, Matthew Hoskins, Riley McGarry, Melissa Mikolowski, John ‘Jack’ Sabelhaus, Everett Owen, Joseph Smith and Katelynn Starr.

Other scholarship recipients this year are Christian Ayoub, Michelle Bakker, Zachary Dollof, Adam Ezell, Rose Joynt, David Knerr, Arjun Namineni, Ethan Pellittiere, Patrick Rye, Samantha Scott, Zachary Solak, William Tily and Johnathon Weiser. These students will be recognized on campus at a later date.

The scholarships are valued at $22,500 spread over five years. Kettering University has awarded FIRST scholarships since 1999 now totaling more than $3.5 million. Kettering was one of the first three universities in the country to award FIRST scholarships.

“FIRST literally transforms students’ lives through their participation,” said Bob Nichols, director of alumni engagement at Kettering University, who has been involved with FIRST since 1998. “They discover that engineering and science can be fun while they are also learning practical skills. FIRST is a perfect fit for Kettering’s experiential learning model because of the hands-on activities, problem solving skills under intense pressure, teamwork and leadership skills that are required of participants.”

Kettering University’s presence at the international competitions included admissions counselors who discussed requirements with high school students in attendance and current Kettering students who were also FIRST Robotics alumni.

“I’ve been involved with FIRST for a long time, and it’s honestly a big reason why I’m an engineer now,” said Michael Schreiber, a Mechanical Engineering senior who will work for General Motors after graduation.

Victoria Sprague, a senior who co-ops with Disney in Orlando, also talked to high school students and families on Kettering’s behalf

“FIRST really helped me learn hands-on engineering and project development skills,” Sprague said. “It was a great experience.”

More on Kettering University’s FIRST scholars

Top row (left to right): Kyle Fagan, Matthew Hoskins, Jack Sabelhaus, Andrew Harris, Joseph Smith, Riley McGarry. Bottom row (left to right): Jason Drouillard, John Greiner, Trevor Wade, Melissa Mikolowski, Everett Owen.

Kyle Fagan
East Lake High School, Florida

“This year, I’ve really become an ‘OMG Robots!’ kind of guy,” said Fagan, who will major in Computer Science at Kettering. “I’ve really come around to all of the cool things you can do in FIRST. It’s crazy what teams can produce in six weeks. The competition and community aspects of it are my favorite parts. You get the competitive aspect at competitions, but you also get to talk with the other teams and really share each other’s successes too.”

Matthew Hoskins
FIRST Team 68 - Truck Town Thunder

“In FIRST, you’re building robots, but you are also building friendships,” said Hoskins. “I want to work in biomedical engineering and work with prosthetics, and FIRST has been good preparation. I want to help people.”

Jack Sabelhaus
Macomb Arts and Sciences
FIRST Team 1718 - Fighting Pi

“FIRST has given me opportunities for jobs, helped me meet new people and is a great way to network. I’d like to do something in the alternative energy field,” said Sabelhaus, who plans to major in Mechanical Engineering.

Andrew Harris
FIRST Team 862 - Lightning Robotics

“The people in FIRST are the best part of it,” said Harris, who will major in Industrial Engineering and wants to work in the automotive industry. “FIRST is fun, but it’s also professional. You’re learning skills that can help you succeed in college and professionally.”

Joseph Smith
FIRST Team 3539- Byting Bulldogs

“The best part of FIRST is just the collaborations,” said Smith, who plans to major in Mechanical Engineering. “You not only get to work with other students, you get to learn from and meet expert engineers. This is a really valuable experience to get before you get to college.”

Riley McGarry
FIRST Team 2137 - TORC

“My brother started in FIRST and he loved it. It made me want to try it,” said McGarry, who will major in Mechanical Engineering, minor in Computer Science and co-op at Continental Automotive.  “The competitiveness of it is the best part. Helping your team succeed and do well makes it fun.”

Jason Drouillard
White Lake Lakeland
FIRST Team 67 - Heroes of Tomorrow (HOT)

“I started in FIRST just tagging along with my brother and got to see his team celebrate and have fun with them, so I wanted to do it too,” said Drouillard, who plans to major in Computer Engineering at Kettering. “When I got involved, it really helped me decide what I want to do. I started doing some CAD drawing, then tried some mechanical engineering, then some programming, and that’s what really clicked for me.”

John (Jack) Greiner
Madison Heights Bishop Foley
FIRST Team 910 - Foley Freeze

“We have a class in school at FIRST (Greiner was a teaching assistant for two years in the class),” said Greiner, who will major in Mechanical Engineering and co-op at Chrysler. “I just enjoy all of the different skills you learn that can help in your career.”

Trevor Wade
East Lake High School, Florida

“I really like our team,” said Wade, who plans to major in Mechanical Engineering. “We do a lot of outreach in the community. FIRST inspires a lot of young minds to consider STEM careers."

Melissa Mikolowski
Armada High School
FIRST Team 1718 - Fighting Pi

“Agricultural jobs were typical where I’m from, but FIRST has really helped expose kids to a variety of engineering options,” said Mikolowski, who will major in Industrial Engineering and co-op at Beaumont Hospital. “It also really narrows down and helps learn about all of the different types of engineering. You learn to manager your time well.”

Everett Owen
Lake Fenton

“I started with FIRST in eighth grade, and knew right away that it was for me,” said Owen, who will major in Mechanical Engineering and co-op at ESE, LLC in Lapeer, Mich. “I love taking ideas and concepts and actually building them and seeing them come to life.”