Dean's List Question

This may sound like a dumb question but the info sent about the Dean’s List Award states…

Each FRC mentor is invited to select up to two (2) students (may select only one but not more than two) as FIRST Dean’s List Nominees.

Our team has 14 mentors. Does this mean we could select 28 students from the team if all mentors did this? Just doesn’t seem fair. I would like to believe that they are trying to say only 2 student selections per team.

Your thoughts?

I believe it is two per team. If you read section Criteria in the 2011 manual, the underlined passage says “Mentors can submit up to two nominations/essays per team”

Two submissions per team. I would think that “FRC mentor” here means a team’s designated mentor in TIMS.

I have another question/statement. Didn’t the requirements last year state that it was supposed to be a peer selection and the essay was to be written by peers?

No. The essay had to be submitted by students, due to TIMS award stuff, but the essay could be written by anybody. There was some discussion of mentors making another student account (called, say, “Ima Student”) to submit without student knowledge. I don’t know if anybody actually did that, though.

This year’s process takes the Dean’s List to being similar to the Woodie Flowers: The honorees don’t know if they’ve been submitted until afterwards.

This is the thread that Eric’s student account suggestion comes from.

The award was introduced in such a hurry last season that there were areas that made themselves available for discussion. It looks like they’ve taken the time to clarify some of those areas.

Although a mentor is to submit the essay - it only makes sense to me that student peers would have input. On a team that works and functions well as a team, student peers would have valuable input to offer that should not be overlooked or dismissed. .02.


Eric and Jane, thank you for your help!

This was released in such a hurry last year that no one really did know what to do and there were so many unclear things.

note: if you do do a “secret submission” for either woodie flowers or dean’s list, make sure someone close to that person (parent, good friend, significant other) proof reads the submission to make sure that everything the student/mentor does is included as well as making sure that credit isn’t given where credit isn’t due.

I know of at least 2 teams where the students were unaware until their name was called as a finalist at their regional!!!

I think this is good way to approach the submission for both Woodie and Dean’s List nominees. We then make a presentation in a season wrap party to the people who have been nominated but were not selected. A little certificate and picture are also part of the process. Everyone should know that others think they are doing spectacular work.

If at all possible, this is the way to go and it looks like the system this year will allow for those possibilities. Last year was pretty unusual for 1712 as, once we had our two nominations written, I had to actually go to Delia (a nominee and winner) and ask her to upload them to the award site. We were essentially at the deadline and as our student CA/Awards leader with access to the awards submission portal I had no other option, but to ask her.

It was kind of a funny moment, though,
“Kressly! I can’t nominate myself.”
“You’re not nominating yourself, the team is. You’re just uploading files for the team because it’s the deadline and you’re the one who uploads our awards submissions.”
“But I can’t do this.”
“Yes, you can.”

In the end 1712 was thrilled how things turned out for Delia last year, but I’m equally thrilled to see a little more time and care baked into the process this year.

Good Luck everyone.

Ok this is going to come out like I am very clueless, which if in the end you think I am that’s fine with me, but (and yes Jane kind of clarified this but I need to revisit it). This is also, I guess, a consensus on my part of what is/was done by other teams seeing this was such a shot gun submission last year.

A.) Did teams nominate seniors or juniors? (Both, one, or neither)
B.) Who wrote the award? (Students, Mentors, or both)
C.) Is this award really supposed to be written by the mentors and not the students?
D.) How were the nominees selected?

We are trying to restructure how this award will be approached in selecting, writing, and submitting for our team this next season. Last year the mentors and the students selected the individuals and the students wrote the award (non-nominated students).
In my personal opinion, I believe this is an award that should be nominated by the students and the mentors who have only 10 to 20% of the final decision, while I believe the students should be writing the award. I also feel that a student selected by their peers and those peers writing the essay is more meaningful than the students, because if you think about it, and this could just be me, a mentor writing the essay is just like them writing another college recommendation (yes it is very meaningful, but I just feel it means more coming from peers).

Just wondering what other teams did and how they feel, and my 2 cents. Thank you in advance. :slight_smile:


Last year was crazy enough to be considered a fluke as to methods used. This question is better asked in a year or two.
We felt that this was a sufficiently important award to warrant mentor decisions in the process. We wanted to give our nominees the best possible exposure to the process and felt they were/are extremely deserving of the award. I am happy to say that several of the nominees are students I have met over the past few years and everyone of them is deserving of recognition.

It seems to me, from the rather specific wording of the award, that the intent is for the students to be nominated by the mentors, not by their team members. From section 6.6.2 of this years manual (man, it feels weird to be quoting this years manual already!):

Applicants for the FIRST Dean’s List are nominated by their mentor as FIRST Dean’s List Nominees. …]
Each FRC mentor is invited to select up to two (2) students (may select only one but not more than two) as FIRST Dean’s List Nominees. In deciding which students to nominate, mentors should consider the impact the award will have on the nominated student. For example, mentors may choose to nominate a junior whose college acceptance prospects would be enhanced by both the nomination and any subsequent advancement in the competition. …]

From my point of view, this makes sense. it can be very difficult (especially for students) to recognize leadership in individuals that don’t hold a specific leadership role on the team. You may have a captain, and sub team captains who serve as the public “face” of the team - they’re the ones who get up and are supposed to lead the team and the meetings. But just because they’re up in front of everybody all the time “leading” doesn’t mean they deserve this award more than others who are contributing in significant ways. What about the student with no official leadership role who ends up driving the design of important parts of the robot, and is able to effectively communicate their vision to the rest of the team? Students might not recognize that as leadership, while Mentors would hopefully see that as something that needs to be nurtured and praised.

When I think back over our 4 years of competition, it’s not always the “student leaders” from our team that I would want to nominate for this award. They all did a fine job running meetings and discussions, but some years other students, without defined leadership roles, really shined.

As noted in the posted quote above, underclassmen can add this to their college applications and Seniors can’t. It would be an awesome addition to their application. At the same time, Seniors who are deserving of a nomination should not be overlooked because they are Seniors.

Cassie, I didn’t clarify anything. The outcome was muddled. The discussion was a good one with no real resolution. Students are different than mentors. Students work among their peers, have the capability of being known as leaders outside the team and in their school environment and community and, they have the opportunity to work side by side with their mentors, impressing the heck out of them as they develop and mature. It is not quite the same as the Woodie Flowers Award in my opinion. The award serves a similar purpose but the two don’t completely dovetail.

Teams each handle award submissions differently, working with a process that works well for them. After this upcoming season is completed, perhaps you can bring your questions back up and see what the responses reveal.


I think this is all more thatn muddled. This award and its overall meaning is absolutely great and it’s great to recognize those outstanding students and their efforts and leardership abilities. The one reason I think it is great to have the students nominate and write the award, with mentor supervision, is I simply feel it has more meaning. I’m not saying that the awards are written soley by the studnets, there was and is mentor supervision as well as input, an over abundance of input. I also feel that students should be chosen by their peers, and our kids really can feel out and see who those leaders are, for the reason of then there is a consenus on the two chosen individuals, instead of having just a few mentors pick out two individuals.

This could be batted back and forth for hours on what to do and what not to do. I’m just trying to get a.) a feel for how others approach this and b.) how everyone feels about the guidelines.

Once again, just my 2 cents. Thanks.

I think that unless and until FIRST comes out and says, the mentors must choose the students, that the teams should feel free to do the selection process how they like. If that’s students choosing students and handing the essays to the mentor to turn in, that’s one way to do it. If it’s mentors choosing students, that’s a way to do it. If it’s a combination of the two, that’s another way to do it. Just like building a robot, there’s more than one way to skin a cat.

Oh, my cats are not going to be happy about that one :smiley:

I think the Dean’s List award was one of the best additions last year. To the students who get it, this is an awesome award and just being nominated is a great honor. Every team should find two students and submit a nomination, right along with the Woodie Flower’s award submission. People who work hard and excel deserve the recognition and honor.


It will be up to the team how to decide to select and write. FIRST has provided a submission vehicle for both students and/or mentors to be involved if the team so chooses. The emphasis here is on recognizing exemplary individual students.

As for your question on how we feel about the criteria/process:
I can see pros and cons to this being mentor, student, or combination-driven. I’m glad FIRST has provided this flexibility. There are so many different ways FRC teams operate that this will provide the ability for almost any team to incorporate Dean’s List Nominations into their “normal” business. To me the most important part is having nominations from as many teams as possible.

As for how our team did it last year:
Well it was very rushed as Al says, so there was no time for whole team voting, etc as we didn’t even have whole team meeting scheduled. So we did a poll of mentors via email and I had the chance to speak with some of our student leaders to get approval for a course of action. I wrote the submissions and received some editing feedback from other mentors, as well as solicited contributions from other students and alum. I also consulted trusted friends leading other teams as to what they were doing and how they were handling it.

What will FRC1712 do this year?
As I am no longer the lead dog, so that won’t be up to me, but I will offer my services to help get the entries completed after receiving consensus from current leadership (mentors and students) on how they want to proceed this year.

Juniors or Seniors?
Last year we placed the emphasis on the two most deserving students, regardless of grade level. It just so happened there was one Senior and one Junior. I’d like to see that emphasis stay the same on 1712.

Best wishes in your endeavors with Dean’s List nominations Cass!

Kres, thanks for your continued help and advice. I sincerly appreciate it! What 1712 did and what 103 did last year and what we are looking to do this year are pretty close to the same model. I will pass this onto the team. Thanks again. :slight_smile: