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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Dean's List 2014 - Kacy McCormick

All this week, we will be releasing the awards we have submitted. 

Today's essay is our Dean's List submission about our PR/awards captain, Kacy McCormick. 

Kacy McCormick, a senior and PR/Awards Captain, is the sandpaper for our team.  She smoothes out all of our rough edges. Without her, FRC Team 3313 Mechatronics and the Alexandria, MN community would not be a finished product.
Using her warm personality and calm nature, Kacy has been a huge recruiting tool for FRC 3313. In the past two years, she is accountable for at least 9 team members pledging their support. This is no accident. She is perfect example of the versatile skill set that any FIRST team would be lucky to have.
Unfortunately, there is a stigma about STEM education and women. Kacy has worked hard to break down these preconceived notions on our team. When she joined the team, there were 4 females out of 18 students. This year the ratio is 8 females to 6 males.
Paying the bills is an important aspect to the upkeep of any team. Kacy has been directly responsible for over $5000 in funding for Team 3313 this year. On her own, she wrote a grant to the Tri-State Manufacturing Association for $2000. She also wrote a grant proposal to Youth As Resources through the United Way for $1000 and presented to the group to finalize the funding.
Organizing community events was a great skill that Kacy demonstrated. She organized the Pizza Ranch fundraiser that Team 3313 attended. The event had over 150 people attend and raised over $250. She is also immensely involved in planning the team’s annual community night.
In 2013, our team set the goal of completing Chairman’s. It was definitely a learning year. Without much support, Kacy led her fellow team members in finishing the Chairman’s Award for the first time. There were definitely challenges with trying this new endeavor, but, in typical Kacy fashion, the finished product was a polished masterpiece.
This season, Kacy prioritized and learned from past mistakes. The awards process started in the fall. One of her creative ideas was having a different team member be in charge of each executive summary prompt. She is not only able to finish her own tasks, but is also able to take those polished skills she has learned and teach others for the better.
The main suggestion from the Chairman’s judges last year was for Team 3313 to expand FIRST Robotics in our community. Kacy heard this advice and ran with it. She pushed our team to create an FTC team this season. She helped meet with our FRC sponsors to provide funding to start the FTC team. Kacy was also integral in registering the team and recruiting not only team members, but valuable mentors.
As soon as our team founded the FTC team, Kacy got right to work making branding standards. Working with two FTC members, they designed t-shirts, started a blog for the team, and even created YouTube and Twitter accounts. She worked closely, mentoring and pushing students to make the Engineering Notebook as professional as possible. Kacy took the FTC team challenge, and just like with all things, jumped right in.
Kacy truly revels in talking to others about FIRST. When holding any community event or fundraiser, a visitor is always greeted by her warm welcome. She has attended every one of our annual elementary school tours. Her attendance record for events is immaculate.
The fact that Kacy was not directly involved with the robot design does not exclude her from the wonders of STEM education. She relishes all of the science courses she has taken, especially chemistry. This year, she completed a mentorship program with different pharmacy areas. This experience has cemented her drive to become a pharmacist through North Dakota State University.
By training younger team members in the wonders of Google Drive and Google Docs, Kacy has expanded their collaboration abilities. Also, on a more personal note, this will allow her to mentor the team, even from a long distance away at college.
Many organizations have rough spots. FRC Team 3313 has been blessed to have Kacy smooth out our uneven spots so we can shine the past 3 years.

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