Meet the Mentors
Click the “+” to read their bios
Hey there, I’m Angela! I am a FIRST alumna/mentor of FRC team 4039, FTC team 18433, a member of the STEMathon Planning Committee, and a past winner of the FIRST Canadian Women in STEM Scholarship. I’ve been involved within FIRST for 7 years now and just finished my third year of my Mechanical Engineering and Sustainability degree at McMaster University. It was through my time in FIRST where I found my passion for all things revolving around mechanical design, fabrication, doing outreach within the community, and of course, sharing the story of my own team and FIRST as a whole to others. In addition to these, I also made it a priority to advocate for EDI within my team and community, especially when it comes to encouraging girls to pursue STEM. At school, you’ll find me working on the NEUDOSE satellite team within the structural sub-team, mentoring first-year female-identifying engineering students within our Women in Engineering Society, working within the Engineering Welcome Week Committee, and running events through my role as VP of the Engineering & Society Student Association. I’ve also completed three co-op terms and am about to go on my fourth, focusing on mechanical product design, fabrication research, and engineering experimentation at various companies. Need some help or advice while working on your projects during this event? Message me for help anytime especially when you’re looking for advice on sustainability, mechanical/computer-aided design, data analysis, speaking/presenting, manufacturing, video editing, or how to organize your solution process throughout the weekend. Looking forward to working with you!
I am a FRC SWAT 771 alumni and 2013 Dean’s List finalist. Back in the day, I had many different leadership roles on my FRC team in areas such as mechanical design, outreach and fundraising. After graduating from high school I studied electrical engineering at Caltech and went on to do my masters at ETH Zurich, where I specialized in electronics and photonics. Now I am a PhD student at the University of Toronto. My research focuses on integrated photonic design for neurobiology, sensing and computing. Outside of school, some of my hobbies are also in STEM related activities. For example while studying in California, I developed curriculum and taught robotics and programming at middle schools in the Greater Los Angeles Area through an organization called Robogals.
Hey everyone! My name is Emily. I am a FIRST Alumni from FRC Team 2056, a FIRST Canada Youth Council Alumni, a member of the Girls and Allies STEMathon Planning Committee, and a FIRST Robotics Competition Game Announcer/Emcee. I am also a student at McMaster University, studying Mechanical Engineering and Society with plans to pursue a minor in sustainability. Currently, I am doing a co-op at Liebherr-Canada LTD as a Reman Intern where I am learning alot of project management skills. Throughout my years in FIRST, I have had the opportunity to do a lot of fun things. On Team 2056, I served as a Technical Lead and Pit Chief, aswell as playing a key role in assisting with designing, manufacturing, and assembling the robot. Additionally, I received the Rookie of the Year award in my first year on the team, along with MVP award for my second and third year. In 2019, I started FIRST Tech Challenge Team 16423, at a nearby high school. In 2019 I also joined FIRST Canada Youth Council, where I participated in several exciting initiatives, including Project Green. Project Green was an initiative I helped to start, focusing on finding greener ways to live every day. This involved posting weekly tips, organizing clean-up days, and distributing eco-friendly stickers at competitions. If you need any help during the event, I am more than happy to answer any questions and provide assistance. I have skills in computer-aided design, public speaking/presenting, technical writing, and sustainability, among many others.
Hi everyone! I’m Erica Rossi, and I’m finishing up my fourth year of mechanical engineering at the University of Windsor and will be starting a Master’s program in mechatronics and mechanical engineering at the University of Waterloo in the fall. I’m a proud FIRST Alum and was on FRC team 5885 for four years and now give back through mentoring the team. I spend a lot of my time working in various leadership roles both in my school and my community from being an executive on the UWindsor Engineering Students Society to now being the incoming President of the Engineering Students Society Council of Ontario, where I will be working to advocate for engineering students at the provincial level. I credit many of my leadership opportunities to the skills and experiences I gained through FIRST, and I look forward to working with current and future student leaders at this event every year! Feel free to reach out during the event if you have any questions about product development and testing, public speaking, and if you want to just bounce ideas around!
Hey everyone, I’m Gabby! I have a bachelor’s degree in Software Engineering, and I’m currently working as a Software Engineer at CNN. I’m also a FIRST alum! Most of my experience is in news broadcasting and large scale live media production, with a little military and defense thrown in there, so I can answer any questions related to any of that. I can also help out with anything software related, including web design, front end and backend development and data storage. I can also help with presentations, including lending an ear to listen when you want to practice.
Hi I’m Izzy Cossarin, I just recently graduated with a mechatronics engineering degree from Ontario Tech University. This month I just began a new position as a Junior Automation Engineer for Caterpillar. I have spent a number of years working on the engineering team of Project Arrow, the first all Canadian electric vehicle. My role included working with suppliers and machinists to get parts manufactured, as well as developing and managing the logistics of our supply chain. I’ve worked in a variety of other positions from a R&D chemical engineering lab (where I learnt that chemical engineering was not for me), to working as an R&D Engineer, at the only aerodynamic and climatic wind tunnel in Canada. Over the years, I’ve always been surprised at how many skills I learnt through the FIRST programs that have been directly applicable in my life. One fun fact about me; I first attended this event five years ago as a high school student, and made amazing friendships that have lasted to this day!
I work full time for a photography company, managing sales and customer service. In the long run, I aim to study disability studies at King’s College @ Western, as a double major with thanotology. I hope to consult on the design of medical devices, in hopes that they can be better designed to suit the needs of actual disabled people like myself. A fun fact about me is that I have visited 60 cities in the last 6 months!
I am a FIRST Alumni and a recent graduate of York University with a bachelors degree in Criminology and Psychology! During my time in FIRST and at York I have gained a ton of valuable experience in leadership, group management, organization, problem-solving and presentation skills. One fun fact about me is I LOVE nature and going on hikes with my dog Pepper.
Jenna Kay Foertsch
Jenna Kay Foertsch currently works in the Office of Planning, Integration, and Environmental at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. She is also currently on rotation within the NASA robotics directorate. Originally from Minnesota, Jenna Kay graduated from the University of Minnesota with a special focus on the integration of STEM and business concepts. A recipient of the Brooke Owens Fellowship, Jenna Kay has an extensive background in freelance consulting, high powered rocketry, mentoring, robotics, digital marketing, and asking the hard questions. She is the founder and director of Hot Nozzle Society, an organization created to foster and sustain a more vibrant and diverse rocketry and aerospace scene. Jenna Kay is an alumni of FIRST FRC team 3184 and a current mentor for FRC team 118, the Robonauts based out of Johnson Space Center.
Jennifer Horawski, MD
BSc honours kinesiology U Waterloo ‘14 MD Ross University School of Medicine ‘20 Family Medicine Physician, upcoming sports medicine fellow I love the warm, beaches and working out
Hi I’m Julia! I just finished my first year at Dalhousie University, in Halifax. I am working on completing a Bachelor of Science with a major in Environmental Science and a minor in Sustainability. I’ve been in FIRST for about 7 years now and have filled many different roles during this time! This includes captain of my FIRST Robotics Team, mentor of an FIRST Lego League Team, mentor of the FIRST Canada Youth Council, volunteer, and now currently an intern. I love all things animals, and could talk for hours about the outdoors, especially the ocean!
Karen Lee is the Founder & CEO of Glou Beauty – an AI-powered marketplace making the resale of beauty products faster, cheaper, and safer for consumers. For undergrad, Karen studied art history and business at Western University, and for grad school studied international business around the world. Karen has been an active member of the FRC community since 2007. She is currently an FTA in Ontario. For fun, Karen likes roller skating, sailing, and going on adventures with her dog, bloo bloo.
Karthik Kangasabapathy has always had a passion for education. While mentoring students in robotics, he began to realize that many of the education and career decisions being made by young people were often shaped by external factors as opposed to their own passions, causing them to take paths that led them to unintended destinations. Throughout his career, he has worked to help students discover what they are truly passionate about. Karthik spent 9 years at Innovation First International, where he was responsible for exciting young people about STEAM (Science, Technology, Education, Arts & Mathematics) education, via participation in the VEX Robotics Competition. A mathematician by trade, he has designed competition robotics games that have been played by over 75,000 teams of students across the globe. He has won numerous awards for his dedication to furthering robotics education, including the prestigious Woodie Flowers Finalist Award for exemplary mentoring and being a positive role model for high school students through the FIRST Robotics Competition. He served as the lead mentor for FRC Team 1114 from 2004-2016 and now acts as a team advisor. During his tenure with the team they won the FIRST World Championship and were inducted into the FIRST Hall of Fame for winning the Championship Chairman’s Award. Karthik now works for FIRST Canada as the Manager of Operations, Digital Strategy & Analytics. While his background is in Mathematics, his own passions include mental health awareness, empowering underrepresented groups in STEAM, and a love of sports at all levels. He also hosts various global robotics events, having worked with media personalities such Mythbusters’ Grant Imahara and Kari Byron, gave an international recognized TEDx talk, and has hosted televised robotics specials on ESPN and CBS. His areas of expertise include strategic planning and design, data analysis, creative problem solving, and taking products to market.
Libby Kamen is a marketing & business development professional focused on the gaming & live streaming / content creation industries. With a Bachelor’s in Communication & Digital Media (Clarkson University), and a Master’s in Marketing from Technological Innovation (Worcester Polytechnic Institute), she combines a technical background with the creative aspects of marketing and content creation. She is the co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer for Radiance Media, an agency that seeks to unite brands and gaming audiences for authentic campaigns. Libby is a FIRST alum and serves as lead mentor for Team 1923: The MidKnight Inventors out of West Windsor, NJ, USA.
I joined FIRST in 2009 as a student on FRC Team 1310 – Runnymede Robotics and have been a mentor on the team since 2013 & Head Mentor for the past 2 years. Throughout my 13 years in FRC, I have been involved in every aspect of the team from construction, electrical, strategy, scouting, promotions and team management. I studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Waterloo and graduated in 2018. I currently work as a Sales & Product Engineer at Clear Blue Technologies, where we make smart off-gird technology that is used to power lighting and telecommunications solutions around the world. When designing solutions, I like to take inspiration from what already exists and focus on asking the right people, the right questions. I currently have the pleasure of being the FIRST Tech Challenge Program Manager at FIRST Robotics Canada where I get to facilitate robotics experiences for students across the province. My areas of expertise are organization, strategic design, breaking down problems, prototyping and making things look pretty. I also love bears of the polar variety, and will always be #teamred.
Hi there! My name is Maria and I am a recent high school graduate currently on a gap year. During high school, I was Captain of Umoja Robotics Team 7712 and one of the first members of the FIRSTCanada Youth Council (FCYC). On my team, I was the head of the business and awards sub team. I have experience writing business plans, designing a team story, writing and presenting speeches. I’m also very interested in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) leading multiple initiatives on the FCYC, such as DiversityFIRST. I’ve taken part in the STEMathon in previous years, and I am so excited to support in anyway I can! Fun fact: I climbed Mt Kilimanjaro!
A student advocate and non-profit leader since the age of 14, Namirah strives to foster civic engagement and innovation through compassionate leadership. She aims to champion broader access to healthcare and education in her career and recently embarked on a new chapter of her journey as a neuroscience major at Harvard University. Her experiences on the FIRST Canada Youth Council and an FRC team in high school have inspired her continued involvement in robotics, business management, and advocacy. Outside of her academic and extracurricular pursuits, Namirah finds delight in baking, linguistics, and freshwater ecosystems.
I joined FIRST in 2012 as a student on FRC Team 4252 and was a mentor in the program for ten years. Previously a mentor on FRC Team 3683 and FRC Team 1310. My role was focused on team communication & dynamics, strategic design, match strategy, scouting and coaching. I currently am a FRC and FTC Head Referee. My education revolves around Statistics and Data Science. Graduating with a Bachelor of Mathematics from the University of Waterloo and a Master of Managerial Analytics from the Smith School of Business, Queen’s University. Currently, I am a Data Science Manager at Moneris, Canada’s largest payment-processing FinTech company. Fun Fact: I once missed a match at FOPC because I was eating a samosa outside the venue. Luckily, we still won!
Hi everyone, nice to meet you! My name is Sarah, and I am finishing up my third year of Biomedical and Chemical engineering at McMaster University. I have a strong passion for research, healthcare, and data analytics. I have done over 3 years of research in engineering and neuroscience labs and have presented at numerous conferences. In the engineering community, I have also worked as TA for an engineering design and have served as co-president of the undergraduate engineering research society. Outside of engineering, I am involved with the recreational dance team as a choreographer and volunteer with the student union. I have mentored for the STEMathon the past two years and look forward to working with you all again!
Hi, I’m Sydney! I’m a person that does things, and knows things. In addition to being a FIRST Robotics alum and emcee, I hold a Bachelor of Science and Certificate in Neuroscience from Nipissing University and a Masters’s degree in Digital Experience Innovation from the University of Waterloo. My passion for discovering and innovating the world around me has led to working with major tech leaders to create fun, useful, and user-centric solutions to complex problems. I currently work as a User Experience (UX) Researcher for a risk management company, Resolver Inc., where I utilize my love of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math daily. UX really is the coolest field to be a part of! You could say I’m an “expert” in many things, including, but not limited to, Naming things, Brainstorming, Empathetic problem-solving, Solution optimization, UI design, Project management, Public speaking, Presentations, and Creative support.