Amber became involved with FIRST® in the fall of 2020 when she became an AmeriCorps VISTA. She has a B.S. in Construction Engineering and Management from Marquette University and lived in Kansas City for two years before moving back to Wisconsin to volunteer. Her role as a VISTA is to increase capacity for FIRST® in underserved communities and to build up the program in a way that will last after her year of service is complete. While it has been difficult to really grasp the extent and impact of FIRST® during the pandemic, she looks forward to continued involvement because of all the amazing stories about how FIRST® has changed peoples' lives.
Bridget Lee has been a FIRST® VISTA® for Wisconsin since August of 2020. As a VISTA, Bridget supports the recruitment of teams, mentors, coaches and volunteers with an emphasis on sustainable support to underserved populations. FIRST® VISTAs® work to develop and execute strategies to support local organizations that support FIRST® teams in underserved areas and raise awareness of funding opportunities. Bridget plans to further expand alumni relations and increase the resources for the LGBTQ+ community in FIRST®.
Emma Schuff has been a FIRST® Senior Mentor for Wisconsin since June of 2018. She is currently a junior at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire pursuing a degree in Psychology with plans to become a Child Life Specialist. Emma first became involved in FIRST® when her dad started mentoring FIRST® Robotics Team 93 when she was just over six months old. She participated on a FIRST® LEGO® League team from 2009-2012 and joined FIRST® Robotics Team 93 in the fall of 2013. FIRST® Senior Mentors work in a hands-on environment, filling in the gaps of support to whomever and whatever is needed across all FIRST® programs. Emma plans to expand the FIRST® programs throughout northern Wisconsin, especially in rural areas. Emma hopes to share her passion of FIRST® with everyone and make FIRST® available to every student.
Jane Blau has been a FIRST® Senior Mentor for Wisconsin since June of 2016. She is a nurse, full time office manager, proud mother of three sons and 3 grandsons! She has been involved with FIRST® since 1998 when her sons were students on FIRST® LEGO® League and FIRST® Robotics Competition teams. FIRST® Senior Mentors work in a hands-on environment, filling in the gaps of support to whomever and whatever is needed across all FIRST® programs. Jane enjoys connecting teams with many resources, donations, funding, training opportunities, current information and more at the FIRST® Lego League, FIRST® Tech Challenge, and FIRST® Robotics Competition levels.
Ms. Bartig is the current Executive Director and Wisconsin FIRST® LEGO League Partner. Lisa graduated from Carroll University with a degree in Computer Science. She is passionate about electronics and computing. She joined BadgerBOTS in 2013 when she was hired as the Wisconsin FIRST® LEGO League Partner to manage Wisconsin’s 370 teams and 18 tournaments.
Melody Ricci has been the FIRST® Wisconsin Regional Director since January 2015. As the Regional Director, Melody assists in coordinating the FIRST® Robotics Competition Regional events for the Seven Rivers Regional in LaCrosse, WI and the Wisconsin Regional in Milwaukee, WI each spring. She works to secure sponsors for the events, assists in new team formation and resource development, along with providing team support to more than 60 FIRST® Robotics Competition teams throughout the state. Melody became involved with FIRST programs when she helped start a robotics program at a rural Boys & Girls Club in northern Wisconsin when she worked there as a grants administrator back in 2013. Melody has also taught college level science for almost 20 years and enjoys working with youth in summer science academies and promoting Biotechnology education. In addition to her role with FIRST®, Melody continues to work virtually as an adjunct instructor for Purdue University Global teaching Anatomy & Physiology in the General Ed, Science Department. She resides in the northwoods of Wisconsin and enjoys spending time time outdoors for both summer & winter recreation.
Michael Meilicke has been the FIRST® Programs Coordinator at the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) since July of 2018. Michael works to increase the number of FIRST® teams across all programs in the city of Milwaukee. He manages MSOE’s FIRST® Ambassador Program and operates the Rockwell Automation FIRST® Robotics Competition Zone at the WE Energies STEM Center at MSOE. In 2019, Michael was brought on as the Program Delivery Partner for FIRST® Tech Challenge. In addition to his work at MSOE he also plans all operations for FIRST® Tech Challenge in Wisconsin.