We greatly appreciate our team’s mentors for the time they give to help us in building and competing for the FIRST Robotics competition.

Tony Avena

Tony has been with the team since 2005 and helps out with the electronic components on our robots, tools, and control systems. He is a project manager at Boeing St. Louis and has a degree in electrical engineering. He helps because, “FIRST is an arena where I can utilize the gifts God has given me to help others.”

Steve Hendrick

Mr. Steve joined this team in 2005. He is a journeyman electrician. He helps doing anything needed with tools and welding, though he actually stays away from the robot’s electrical design. He is also dubbed “the safety guy” for unknown reasons. He does this because, “Roger S. asked me and we’re good friends, I like using my hands, and I enjoy teaching kids to design with building in mind. If they’re not careful, they’ll design something unbuildable and teaching them to design with building in mind is very important.”

Roger Seifert 

Roger is the team’s head mentor. He joined the team in 2004 and is one of the founding mentor “fathers” He is generally involved in any and all activities of the team. He attended the Lutheran Fraternity at Rolla and has a degree in engineering. He currently works for Innoventor. In 2010 he was nominated for the Woodie Flower’s Award at the St. Louis Regional and won. He says he started FIRST Team #1444, “Because we wanted more Lutheran high schoolers to join the Fraternity at Rolla. Kids who might like engineering just weren’t getting exposed to it, and FIRST seemed like a great way to do that.”

Tom Summers

Tom joined our team in 2008. Previously, he was a mentor at team 1315. Mr. Tom was an electrician, programmer, and instructor for Chrysler until 2008. Since 2010 he has been working for Terminal Railroad Association. He helps to pass on skills to students in the technical areas of robot production. He says, “It is fun to see the students get excited when it all comes together.”

Mike Crisco

Mike was a student member of the team from 2004 until he graduated in 2007. He later attended the Missouri University of Science and Technology and attained degrees in both Electrical and Computer Engineering. He was also a member of Beta Sigma Psi, a sponsor of the team. After graduation he returned as a mentor and imparts his wisdom among the team members. Mike is a programming extraordinaire and enjoys fabricating random mechanical odds and ends.

James  Krakowski

James joined our team in 2012 season. James graduated from Cornell College in 1996 with a degree in studio art. James now works at Smart Wires  as a Senior Test Specialist, 00which is based out of the San Francisco Bay Area.   He says, “It is great to mentor a great group of students and build crazy, new, and different projects each year.”

Aaron Hall

Aaron Hall went to college at the Missouri University of Science and Technology. He majored in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Aaron joined our team as a student in 2006, graduated in 2009, and started mentoring in 2010. He helps mainly with electronics and programming, but he also helps with machining and assembly.

Lauren Bernier

Lauren was home-schooled for her high school years. She attended the University of Evansville and received her graduate at SLU in 2016. Lauren majored in molecular biology and biochemistry. Today, Lauren is a cell line engineer at Mellipore Sigma. Lauren has been a mentor for two years and helps out with brainstorming and prototyping.

Joel Walker

Josh Walker

Josh Walker is a new mentor on the team this year. He was home-schooled for high school and now goes to UMSL. He is currently majoring in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering and is minoring in mathematics. Josh joined the team in 2014, his freshman year in high school. He was on the team for four years. As a mentor, Josh wants to teach students and “Keep em from killing themselves.”

Austin crisAFULLI