Meet the Mentors


Christine Miska

Lead Mentor/Team Founder

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Christine is the Founder, Coach, and a mentor for the robotics team and is the school district’s first Robotics Coordinator. She is a former Woodie Flowers Award nominee who is always helping with all the different business and design teams and is always willing to help and learn something new. Christine has two kids, Jake and Alana. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering at WPI, and her master’s degree in Electrical Engineering at Syracuse University. Christine works at BAE Systems as an Program Engineering Director. When asked what she likes about our team she said, “I love our team. I think it has a big impact on our students today and for their future careers.” She’s also happy that robotics has exposed more girls to STEM. She loves the impact that robotics has had on our school. Christine also won the MASS HIGH TECH “Women To Watch” Award in 2008. For hobbies, Christine serves on the board of the Ayer Shirley Education Foundation, Nashoba Valley Unlimited Baseball, is involved in the High School Music Boosters, and Co-leads Tech Kids, a STEM program for girls.


Maureen Kilcommins

Assistant Coach/Awards Team Lead Mentor/MassFIRST Lead Mentor

Maureen Kilcommins is Andromeda One’s Assistant Coach and lead mentor for Awards and MassFIRST. She is the Director of Research at The Helen Brown Group, a fundraising consulting firm. Maureen graduated from Stonehill College where she majored in Communications and English. Her two children, Ryan and Katie, are also on the team. Maureen is on the board of the Ayer Shirley Education Foundation and has been part of the Foundation since it started. Maureen likes to read and spend time with her family and friends.



Becky Audette

Finance and Sponsorship Mentor/Food Mentor

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Becky Audette is a Finance and Sponsorship mentor and Food mentor. She works for the Ayer Shirley Regional School District and is an assistant scoutmaster in her son’s Boy Scout Troop. She is a living history educator with Acton Minutemen. Becky enjoys camping, reading, knitting, sewing, and playing Magic The Gathering. Her children Grace and David are also on the team.


Mike Audette

Hardware Mentor

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Mike Audette is a Hardware mentor. He is an Application Specific Integrated Circuit Engineer at Synopsys. He has a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Hampshire. Mike has two children, Grace and David, and a wife, Becky, all of whom are involved in the robotics program. In his free time, Mike is a Revolutionary War reenactor, and he enjoys Jeep offroading, karate, brewing beer, and chasing his kids around. Mike is very excited to be a part of the program and is impressed with the hard work and dedication of the team.


Pamela Clemence

Community Events and Travel Lead Mentor

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Pamela Clemence is the Community Events and Travel lead on Andromeda One. She works at RBF, an accounting and advisory firm, in operations. She has a B.A. in Communications from UMass Amherst. Pamela joined the team following her daughters, Abigail and Anabelle, and husband, CAD/Hardware mentor Randy. She enjoys planning the team’s trips, from as close to home as the local library, to as far away as the FIRST World Championship! In her free time she can be found at a museum, reading, or playing board games.


Randy Clemence

CAD Mentor/Hardware Mentor

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Randy is one of the CAD/Hardware mentors on Andromeda One, and has two daughters on the team, Abigail and Anabelle. Randy is a Woodie Flowers Award nominee.  He earned his B.S. in Landscape Architecture from UMass Amherst. Randy works for himself as a registered landscape architect, and consults with other landscape architects and landscape contractors. When asked what he likes about the team, he said, “The amount of energy and enthusiasm that the students have throughout the build season in preparation for the competitions is incredible.” Randy is Co-President of the Ayer Shirley Education Foundation (ASEF). He also enjoys coaching recreational sports.
 

Patrick Doyle

Software Co-Lead Mentor

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Patrick Doyle is a senior embedded software engineer at iRobot, and is a Software mentor on Andromeda One. He attended MIT and received his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering, and later received a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern. Patrick has two children on the team, Will and Sean. His past work has included digital communications, vision implants, and, more recently, robotics. Patrick loves music and plays the piano. The thing he likes most about FIRST is how it gives students real world skills and experience that they will use for the rest of their lives.


Mike Ernst

Rules and Strategies Mentor

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Mike Ernst is a Computer Tech at Infor Systems. He has three kids involved in robotics: Edward, William, and Sarah, who is an Andromeda One alumnus. Mike is a Rules and Strategy mentor on the team, but he can often be found helping out other groups. He says that he likes the team environment and the different aspects of the whole team, “but at the end, everyone comes together for the competition.” Mike is a former nominee for the Woodie Flowers award. His hobbies are coaching and umpiring baseball and softball.


Paul Fillion

Hardware Mentor

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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.


Paula Gravelle

Rules and Strategies Mentor

Paula Gravelle is a Rules and Strategy mentor. She is a licensed pharmacist and a health teacher at Page Hilltop Elementary School. She has three children, Eric, Emily, and Alison. Paula has been to Alaska twice and hiked next to a glacier. She makes a mean blueberry fritter, and one summer picked 100 cups of blueberries. She enjoys traveling, hiking, and camping. In fact, she met her husband Pete when she was eight at “Camp Blueberry,” a private campground.


Pete Gravelle

Hardware Mentor

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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.


Earl Hasz

CAD Lead Mentor

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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.


Heather Houde

Safety Mentor

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Heather Houde is a Safety Mentor for the robotics team. She works in environmental health and safety, and also works with biotech companies to implement safety programs, such as chemical and radiation safety. She has a Bachelor’s in Arts and Biology. Heather has three kids, Alison, Cailidh, and Robert, and is a Girl Scout leader for a troop of high school seniors. She also serves on the board of the Ayer Shirley Education Foundation. In her free time, she enjoys volleyball and skiing.


Brendan Marshall

Social Media Mentor/Website Mentor

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Brendan, an Ayer Shirley Regional High School graduate, is a Social Media and Website mentor. He has been avidly participating in FRC since 2013, and was the Website/Social Media student lead for four years. He served as an FLL coach for the middle school and an elementary (Lura A. White) school teams.  Brendan is very enthusiastic about robotics and volunteers at FRC off-season competitions. Aside from robotics, he enjoys playing computer/video games, coding, and website programming.


Paul Martel

Software Mentor

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Paul Martel, a retired software engineer, is a Software mentor for the robotics team. He has a bachelor’s degree in Electronic Computer Engineering and additional coursework in Computer Science and Teaching. He has volunteer experience in feeding programs and literacy tutoring. Paul’s hobbies include playing classic board games and card games; playing guitar, banjo, and keyboards; and beginner computer game programming.


Angel McCubbin

Website and Social Media Lead Mentor/Team Spirit Mentor

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Angel McCubbin is the Website and Social Media lead and a Team Spirit mentor for the robotics team. Angel is an independent contractor for the American Psychological Association. She has a BA in psychology from the University of Maryland. She has two children, Eris and Finn. She is a member of the Ayer Shirley Education Foundation (ASEF), the Ayer Shirley PTO, and the Music Boosters. Angel enjoys playing with kids, reading, crafting, and embarrassing her children.


Chris McCubbin

Software Mentor/Website Mentor

Chris McCubbin is a Software and Website mentor for the robotics team. Chris is a data scientist that has previously worked at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, and Sqrrl, a company he co-founded. He is currently working for Amazon Web Services. He has a Masters degree in Computer Science from the University of Maryland. He has two children, Eris and Finn. Chris volunteers for DataKind, a company that connects data scientists with charities to do data analysis. In his free time, Chris enjoys playing video games and watching sports.


Walter Miska

Rules and Strategies Lead Mentor

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Walter Miska, an Andromeda One Rules and Strategy lead, is a licensed professional engineer. He is currently the proud owner of The Escape Capsule in Ayer. He formerly owned EmbroidMe in Chelmsford and worked as the North American Environmental Health and Safety Manager at EMC. Walter went to college for Civil Engineering at WPI, where he received his bachelor’s degree. He earned his master’s degree in Environmental Engineering at UMass Lowell. He is the father of Jacob and Alana Miska, and the spouse of Andromeda One Founder and Coach Christine Miska. His hobbies include playing pool and hydroponic gardening.


Vincent Piucci

Hardware Mentor

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Vincent Piucci is one of Andromeda One’s Hardware mentors. As a product developer and intellectual property consultant at his company, Pensata, he invents and develops products and businesses, analyzes intellectual properties, and cultivates patent strategies. He is also co-owner, with his wife Barbara, of Equus Athletics LLC, an equine products manufacturing and sales business. Before starting at Pensata in 1992, he worked for companies such as The Stanley Works and Ametek, Inc. in positions including project management, senior design and application engineering. He currently holds 27 U.S. and 39 foreign patents, and has numerous patents pending. Along with mentoring for FIRST, he works with a local civic organization that runs events that fund scholarships and civic awards for local students and organizations. When he is not working at one of his businesses, he spends time caring for and riding his horses, and riding and rebuilding motorcycles.


Steve Plamondon

Hardware Mentor

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Steve is the vice president of sales at Bunce Industries. They supply positioning solutions for civil engineering, surveying, and construction. Steve went to Providence College for a business degree in Marketing, and to Wentworth Institution of Technology in Boston for his Master’s in Construction Technology. Steve is a Hardware mentor and the Materials Manager. His son Ben is a robotics team alumnus. When asked what he likes about robotics, Steve said, “I enjoy working and teaching kids, but I also like learning about technical and mechanical engineering, too.” Steve’s hobbies include riding his bike almost every day, running, fishing, boating, and other outdoor activities.


David Roy

Hardware Mentor

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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.


Kim Roy

Team Spirit Lead Mentor/ Rules and Strategy Mentor

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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.


Jason Salter

Food Coordinator Lead Mentor

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Jason Salter is the Food Coordinator Lead for Andromeda One. He received his Bachelor’s in Commerce from the University of Otago, and his Master’s in Financial Economics from Boston University. He works at State Street Bank. Jason has two children, Owen, who is on the Software Team, and Keziah. Jason is on the board of the Ayer Shirley Education Foundation and is on the committee for BSA Troop 2, Ayer. In his free time, he enjoys reading, hiking, and traveling, and aspires to visit all of the national parks.


Dina Samfield

Marketing and Public Relations Mentor

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Dina Samfield, a Marketing and Public Relations mentor, is a former middle school and high school science teacher who currently substitute teaches for the Acton-Boxborough Regional School District. She earned her M.S. in Horticultural Science at Texas A&M University, and her B.S. in Floriculture and Ornamental Horticulture at NCSU. She has been a journalist, an adjunct professor, and a program director on behalf of botanic gardens, and volunteers for several non-profit organizations. Dina loves the outdoors and enjoys camping, traveling, and experiencing the wonders of FIRST robotics with her son, Dana.


Bill Schilp

Software Co-Lead Mentor

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Bill is a software engineer and works at Ansys. He has a Ph.D. in Computer Science and went to the University of South Florida for 11 years. Prior to college, Bill served in the U.S. Navy for six years as a machinist mate, and was involved in the first Iraq war. Bill’s daughter Jillian is an Andromeda One alumnus, and his son Will is also involved with the team. He is a Software mentor, and when asked what he likes about robotics he said, “I enjoy teaching kids real world software development.” For hobbies, Bill likes to scuba dive, ride his motorcycle, and play clarinet and saxophone in the community band.


Dave Valliere

Hardware Lead Mentor

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Dave is a Hardware Team Lead mentor for the 4905 team. He earned his Master’s Degree in Computer Science from Boston University. Dave is currently employed with SeaStreet Technologies as a DevOps engineer, after having spent 15 years with SunGard Financial as a director of software development. Dave has two sons involved in robotics, Bryce and Seth. For hobbies Dave coaches baseball, soccer, basketball and enjoys golf. When asked what he likes about robotics, he said that it is incredible that the team can put together a robot in just six weeks. “There is a high degree of professionalism, cooperation, and determination,” he said of the team. “I have the opportunity to learn from the students and mentors each day!”


Tammy Valliere

Software Mentor/Social Media Mentor

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Tammy’s professional career had her working as a Senior Software Engineer for Lau Technologies in Littleton MA, where she worked on Facial Recognition Software products for five years. She has a Master’s degree in Computer Science and a Minor degree in Math from Fitchburg State University. She is currently employed by AIG Insurance as an Administrative Assistant. Tammy has two sons, Bryce and Seth, both who are involved in robotics. Tammy is a Food Management Lead for the team. Tammy’s hobbies include being the treasurer of the Page Hilltop PTO, Pilates and running half marathons.


Amy VanGilder

Finance and Corporate Outreach Lead Mentor

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Amy VanGilder is a Finance and Corporate Outreach lead for Andromeda One. She works as a speech-language pathologist for the Ayer Shirley Regional School District. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from SUNY Buffalo, and a Master’s from Kent State University. She has two children, Hardware Student Lead William Schilp and Andromeda One alumnus Jillian Schilp, a Biomedical and Robotics Engineering student at WPI. In her free time, Amy enjoys running, CrossFit, scuba diving, and underwater photography.


Jim VanGilder

Hardware Mentor

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Jim VanGilder is a Hardware mentor for Andromeda One. Jim is a mechanical engineer at Schneider Electric in Andover, MA. He is married to lead mentor Amy VanGilder, and is the stepdad of Student Hardware Lead William Schilp. In the summer of 2016, Jim volunteered to create a program at Schneider Electric to introduce young women to engineering and STEM. Aside from robotics, he enjoys running, biking, CrossFit, traveling, scuba diving, dirt biking, and, of course, engineering.


Bill Walter

Hardware Lead Mentor

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Bill Walter is an Andromeda One Hardware Lead and a former Woodie Flowers Award nominee.  Bill is an electrical engineer and works at Analog Devices. He designs integrated circuits. Bill went to the University of Illinois for his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. He got his Master’s degree at Northeastern University, also for Electrical Engineering. He is a Hardware mentor, and when asked what he likes about robotics, he said, “I like electronics in general, and robotics is fun because I can work with both electronics and mechanics.” For hobbies, Bill flies gliders and rides motorcycles. He also has 11 patents in electrical engineering.


 

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