Coaches / Mentors
Amanda has a background in public relations and marketing and puts her communication experience to work as a mentor for our fundraising and communications team. Amanda has been a part of FTC for 2 years and continues to support robotics through both FLL and FTC with her daughter’s ages 11 and 14. Amanda also enjoys knitting, gardening, and cross country skiing. She is the volunteer coordinator for the Lakeside community garden.
Brandon is a Lead Software Engineer at Saturn Systems. Brandon first discovered programming in middle school through the BASIC language capabilities of the TI-83 calculator to create math problem-solving programs. His favorite aspect of his current job in the software consulting field centers around the constant variety of businesses he’s introduced to and the steady diet of unique problems they produce. Through these opportunities, Brandon has designed and developed numerous solutions including web and desktop applications, APIs, and application services.
Brandon enjoys passing on the knowledge and joy of learning to code and joined this year’s Devildogs as our programming team mentor. When he is not at the keyboard you’ll most likely find Brandon with his beautiful wife and four daughters taking in the awe of the outdoor creations of Northern Minnesota through hiking, hunting, fishing, and more.
Chris Nikcavich is in 11th grade at East High School in Duluth. He was on the Devildogs for 4 years now and is the wiring mentor for the Devildogs for 2 of those years. Chris likes wiring and building on the robotics team. Chris likes to bike in the summer and play around with computers at home.
Nathan is a civil engineer and has over 15 years of design and CAD experience and joined the Devildogs as the CAD mentor. Nathan has coached FLL for 4 years including coaching an FLL team this season. Nathan enjoys teaching technology to kids and seeing the CAD model turn into a physical robot. During his free time, Nathan enjoys cross-country skiing, playing board games, and spending time with his family.
Patrick is the head coach of the Devildogs. He also serves on the Lester Park Elementary School Foundation Board and St. Luke’s Pediatrics Patient Advisory Committee.
Patrick is a freelance theatrical designer. He is the resident lighting designer at the Underground and the Family Theatre stages of the Duluth Playhouse. He also designs shows at East High School and Ordean East Middle School and has designed (scenery, lighting, sound, or props) in almost every theatre in the Twin Ports area. Beyond that, he is the General Manager of the Twin Ports Wind Orchestra where is also a member of the Euphonium section.
As a member of the Duluth Yacht Club, you can find Patrick on sailing vessel Satori on Wednesday evenings from May to October during the weekly Sailboat races. From Halloween through the New Year, Patrick is known as the Gingerbread Man. Hundreds of his gingerbread structures (both big and small) can be seen throughout Duluth during the Holiday season.
This is Stephanie's second season with the Devildogs robotics team. She primarily serves as a mentor for the following sub teams, documentation, mentoring, sponsorship, and outreach. Outside of robotics she likes to garden, hike, and play video games