Kate Leipold, an RIT mechanical engineering instructor, was named 2010 FIRST Robotics Outstanding Volunteer for the Finger Lakes Region. Leipold, a resident of Irondequoit, received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering from RIT. She also has a long history with FIRST Robotics. Leipold is faculty adviser to the FIRST robotics club at RIT and has been a mentor to several local high school teams.
It took approximately 100 volunteers to pull the competition together. “I’ve been lucky to have really great volunteers that come back year after year and work tirelessly to make the Finger Lakes regional well respected as one of the smoothest run regional events around,” Leipold explains about the team that includes college students, retired business and engineering professionals, team mentors and individuals she describes as “friends of FIRST.”
This is the second award Leipold has won for service to FIRST. In 2008, she received the Woodie Flowers Award, another of the prestigious awards given to mentors who lead, inspire and empower teams and demonstrate excellence in teaching science, mathematics and creative design. She was nominated by the team she mentored at Churchville-Chili High School.