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Volunteer Mentors

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Scott Vaughan

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Peter Stoffel

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Vinod Kumar

Since 2021

Vinod Kumar works at Finance Services Company as an Information Technology Enterprise Architect, he has over 26 years of IT experience enabling various business areas to implement IT Solutions successfully and is also responsible for leading the Product Strategy for Emerging Technologies. Before working in Finance Sector, he worked in the Automobile Services Industry as a Software Developer.

Born in India to a farming family, grew up in a small town near Bangalore. Vinod holds an undergraduate Engineering degree in Electronics and Communication, and a Master’s Degree in Software Engineering, and currently pursuing a Cyber Fellow program at NYU.

Vinod is passionate about serving the community and helping people at work and outside. At work serves as National Lead for a group that is part of Enterprise Diversity & Inclusion, outside work mentors kids in S.T.E.M enrichment programs, and volunteers in community events. His interest in Engineering and Tinkering, and serving the community motivated him to be part of FIRST and he has been volunteering for the past five years. His advice to youngsters, be kind to others and help people around you for a better society.

His other interests are videography, photography, travel, and spending time with friends. He wants to travel around the world on a backpack.

He currently resides in Concord, NC with his wife and two children.

Saravana Rajan

Since 2020

I got first involved with FIRST when I started an FTC team, Thorbotz, in 2018 with a few middle school students from Jay M Robinson middle school. After Thorbotz I joined Yeti as a mentor in the 2019-2020 season. I help the Yetis with a better way to manage multiple projects utilizing lean engineering and agile principles. I grew up in Madurai, India, and graduated in Mechanical Engineering from TCE (Thiagarajar College of Engineering) in 1996. I am currently an organizational change management consultant with a focus on lean and agile engineering principles and helping financial and healthcare services organizations change their culture and process to compete better with silicon valley startups. In my spare time, I like to kayak in the lakes, rivers, and coastal waterways. My favorite quote: "Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition” by Steve Jobs

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Paul Keller

Since 2021

I got involved in FIRST my sophomore year of highschool after my father brought me to a Yeti interest meeting. After seeing a robot in action, I was hooked. I was on Yeti for 3 seasons from 2015-2017 and involved on the mechanical aspects of the team. My time on Yeti inspired me to go into STEM. I graduated from Virginia Tech in 2021 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and spent time on design teams during my time there. Since college, I have worked in a few machine shops and small engineering roles. I became a mentor because I wanted to help out the unique cause that inspired me to follow a career in engineering.

Bruce Evans

Since 2016

Mr. Evans is a native of Western Massachusetts, where he grew up playing baseball and dreaming of flying on the space shuttle.  He attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, NY, and graduated with a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering. After graduation he lived in the Washington, D.C., area for 10 years, where he was blessed to meet and marry his lovely wife Amy and worked for a telecommunications research company, where among other things, they designed a satellite transmitter/receiver that flew on the International Space Station. He is a father to one son, Colin, a YETI alum and EE major at UNC Charlotte, and resides in Concord, NC, currently working as a Lead Infrastructure Manager for TIAA. Mr. Evans is a Mechanical Fabrication and Electrical team mentor for Team 3506, YETI Robotics.

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