UFH: Kathie Kentfield

Thread created automatically to discuss UFH Honoree: Kathie Kentfield.


Name: Kathie Kentfield
Date Honored: 02-14-2006
Years involved w/FIRST: 5
FIRST Team(s): CNC Software/JP Fabrications/Nerac, Inc./United Technologies Research Center &, East Hartford High School &, Rockville High School &, Tolland High School (0173), FIRST / Other (0000)
Role: Non-Engineering Mentor
Quote: You can’t stay in your corner of the forest, waiting for others to come to you; you have to go to them sometimes. ~Winnie the Pooh
Bio: The best way to express Kathie Kentfield’s involvement and role in FIRST can be summed in one word: everything. Kathie explained her numerous roles in FIRST and NEMO for us extensively: “While I was on RAGE FRC 173 I helped with team travel, fundraising, cleaned the practice facility more often than my own house, mentored the Chairman’s Award committee, wrote newsletters, took meeting minutes, created the team mascot costume, and made 40 bagged lunches in my hotel room as well as many other things! During the spring of 2004 I began e-mailing Jenny Beatty, then a mentor on 007 in Maryland, and Cheryl Miller of Team 294 in California and together we bonded over non-engineering topics. Jenny suggested that other mentors across FIRST were probably dealing with similar issues on their teams and why don’t we form an organization to provide support for these mentors and thus, NEMO (Non-Engineering Mentor Organization) was born! I thank Jenny and Cheryl and Jess who have suffered through my endless e-mails, my family who continues to volunteer for FIRST as mentors, and the hundreds of other students and mentors I’ve met that inspire me to continue volunteering for FIRST.”

Kathie’s favorite memory is something all FIRST participants, mentors or students, should embrace and learn from. It truly embodies the spirit of FIRST. “My favorite memory is a poignant one – feeling very confident that “my” Chairman’s Award committee had prepared well and had put together a great presentation documenting the successes the team had accomplished and we were sure to win the coveted award… and then not hearing our team’s name called when the awards were announced. I learned a lot in those few moments when I had to turn around and swallow a large lump in my throat, blink away the tears, and then go seek out my teammates who had worked just as hard on their assignment as the Build Committee had worked on the robot. I thanked them for working so hard and doing the best we could have done. I reminded them to be proud of the work the whole team had done over the years that got us to this point. I walked over to the winning team and congratulated them for a well-deserved achievement and although I felt really disappointed, it was then that I knew what this “gracious professionalism” thing was all about.”

To accompany that touching story, Kathie gave us a list of of her FIRST accomplishments. “Last year I pushed my fears aside and gave three presentations at the FIRST Robotics Conference in Atlanta (one of which included two students). It was a personal growth opportunity for all of us! After retiring from RAGE in June I helped plan the Southern New England Conference; facilitated NEMO workshops at three off-season events; organized a FIRST demo and workshop at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics conference; organized an exhibit booth at the National Science Teachers Association regional conference in Hartford and with the help from RAGE and United Technologies Research Center employees, hosted a “sold-out” unofficial kickoff event in Connecticut. I am currently serving on the planning committees for the UTC New England Regional FRC competition, the New England Vex Regional competition, and the FIRST Robotics Conference and working with the FIRST Senior Mentors and Regional Director to develop and support new and existing teams in CT. So now, instead of being on a team which is experiencing the FIRST “magic”, I am on the committees which are making the magic happen!”

Kathie gave us a fun description of FIRST for an outsider, too. “FIRST is about inspiring young adults to look at engineering, science, technology, and mathematics in exciting new ways, while at the same time teaching them time management, leadership, teambuilding, and people skills. As an adult mentor on a team it’s about being open to new ideas and learning from the students.”

Lastly, Kathie gave us one last bit of advice. “Back in 2004 I interviewed FIRST-ers and read lots of threads on ChiefDelphi and compiled the All I Ever Needed to Know I Learned in FIRST poster. I have a copy on my wall at work and look at it at least once a week to remind me of all the good advice I was given then. I continue to pass that information along because it applies not just to FIRST, but to real-life as well. Think outside the universe.”

Congratulations to the inspirational Kathie Kentfield, our next Unsung FIRST Hero.

Nominated By: RoboMom

Congratulations to Kathie Kentfield, our next Unsung FIRST Hero.

Kathie, especially from other non-engineering mentors like me, you should know just how much the ChiefDelphi and FIRST community appreciates your efforts. Thank you.

Congratulations MOM!!! :slight_smile:

Even though, Kathie Kentfield is my mom, she has done such amazing things for the FIRST community and my team in the past and for that I as well as RAGE thank her and support her in her future endeavors in FIRST.

Sorry, I know people don’t like big font usually but I just had to.

Kathie Kentfield is UFH, what, she deserves a bigger title call " Helping any or every Mentor in the World". Running NEMO and offering a lot of good advice to college mentors(myself) is worth a lot of thank yous. So thank you!

You rock!

Kathie, Congrats to an amazing human being. Thanks for all you’ve done in FIRST :slight_smile:

Congratulations Kathie. This is a well deserved honor.

I have to say that Kathie has been a bad influence on me and on my involvement with FIRST. It’s tough when you know someone that CAN do it all. She makes it very tough on the rest of us. The rest of us are playing catchup. :slight_smile:

I am so glad to be able to congratulate you on this award. Although all of us know that there are dedicated people working in the background that make this all work, it is nice to know a person who is formally recognized for their efforts. When that recognition comes from one’s peers, it is very special indeed. Thanks, “mom”.

If anything this is overdue. Kathie has worked like crazy to try and get in touch with other NEMs to provide them with many best practices for all those minor details that the rest of us forget. Like booking the bus. :rolleyes:

Way to go Kathie! It’s great to hear about the other “Moms” that do so much for the FIRST community! Congratulations :slight_smile:


Congratulations, Kathie!

Congratulations Kathie! Your energy is an inspiration to me. Thank you for the support you have given the FIRST community both individually and through NEMO.


I want to send along congratulations from Rosie to you.

Its people like you that make FIRST what it is today. Your work with RAGE and the founding of NEMO are examples to all of us of what can be accomplished with a lot of dedication and hard work.

Your cardiologist must be very confused when he sees the size of your heart. My bet is it is the size of Jack. :slight_smile:

Congratulations, Ms. Kentfield! :slight_smile:

I am grateful to the chiefdelphi forums for having this award for people like Kathie. We have met “in person” only 3 times, but email almost daily. There is so much that she did not include in her remarks above. Kathie sees the big picture in FIRST and is willing to jump in and help anyone. She has been the main organizer for numerous white papers which I have used as handouts in too many situations to count. I remember hearing “Everything I learned in FIRST…” for the first time in the arena in Trenton NJ as it was being read over the PA system and thinking “I’ve got to meet the person who wrote that!” Little did I know I would a few months later.

Kathie has worked very hard for all the teams. She will take on a task that no one else wants to because she realizes it needs to done. She has tenacity and is not afraid to stand up for what she thinks is best for the kids involved in this program and the overworked mentors. She is a gem.

You go girl!!! :slight_smile:

Congratulations Kathie! You are most certainly the type of person that this award was created for. Always there, always supportive, you are a fabulous mentor and a great person to win this award!

Miss Jenny beat me to the nomination… its been on my to-do list forever! CONGRATS CONGRATS CONGRATS! I have plenty to share, but I’m in class, I’ll edit later.

Congratulations Kathie! :slight_smile:

For everything you do for the FIRST community, you are more than deserving of this award. It is because of the hardworking people behind the scenes that enable everything in FIRST to run smoothly. Congrats and keep up the good work!

This award is truly meant to give to great mentors like Ms. Kentfield. Thank you so much for all the work and time you have put in. You truly have made a difference around you and thank you for that.

Congrats! :slight_smile:

Way to go, Kathie!!!

So much has already been said, and I agree with it all. Most of us know that what goes on “behind the curtain” is the main reason why the acts in front of the curtain go so well.

Thanks for doing each task you do for FIRST. You have made a difference to each student and adult who has been touched by your contribution. One person can make such a huge difference. You are an example of that.

Rock on!

Congratulations Kathie! I can’t think of a more deserving person to be recognized for UFH than Ms. Kathie “I Don’t Know How to Say ‘No’, So Sure - I’ll Do It!” Kentfield.

Besides being co-founder of a great resource organization for all mentors (even helping us impossible engineering-types), your dedication to all things FIRST is legendary.

And you look positively stunning in a chicken suit!