STAFF & OPERATING PARTNERS
FIRST Robotics Competition Regional Director
Melody Ricci has been the FIRST® Wisconsin Regional Director since January 2015. As the Regional Director, Melody assists in coordinating the FIRST Robotics Competition Regional events for the Seven Rivers Regional in LaCrosse, WI and the Wisconsin Regional in Milwaukee, WI each spring. She works to secure sponsors for the events, assists in new team formation and resource development, along with providing team support to more than 60 FIRST Robotics Competition teams throughout the state. Melody became involved with FIRST programs when she helped start a robotics program at a rural Boys & Girls Club in northern Wisconsin when she worked there as a grants administrator back in 2013. Melody has also taught college level science for almost 20 years and enjoys working with youth in summer science academies and promoting Biotechnology education. In addition to her role with FIRST, Melody continues to work virtually as an adjunct instructor for Purdue University Global teaching Anatomy & Physiology in the General Ed, Science Department. She resides in the northwoods of Wisconsin and enjoys spending time time outdoors for both summer & winter recreation.
FIRST Senior Mentor, Northern Wisconsin
Emma Schuff has been a FIRST® Senior Mentor for Wisconsin since June of 2018. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire where she received her B.S. in Psychology and has plans to become a Child Life Specialist. Emma first became involved in FIRST when her dad started mentoring FIRST Robotics Team 93 when she was just over six months old. She participated on a FIRST LEGO® League team from 2009-2012 and joined FIRST Robotics Team 93 in the fall of 2013. FIRST Senior Mentors work in a hands-on environment, filling in the gaps of support to whomever and whatever is needed across all FIRST programs. Emma plans to expand the FIRST programs throughout northern Wisconsin, especially in rural areas. Emma hopes to share her passion of FIRST with everyone and make FIRST available to every student.
FIRST Senior Mentor, Southern Wisconsin
Jane Blau has been a FIRST® Senior Mentor for Wisconsin since June of 2016. She is a nurse, full time office manager, proud mother of three sons & 4 grandchildren! She has been involved with FIRST® since 1998 when her sons were students on a FIRST® LEGO® League team and then progressed to a FIRST® Robotics Competition team. FIRST® Senior Mentors work in a hands-on environment, filling in the gaps of support to whomever and whatever is needed across all FIRST® programs. Jane enjoys connecting teams with many resources, donations, funding, training opportunities, current information and more at the FIRST® Lego League, FIRST® Tech Challenge, and FIRST® Robotics Competition levels.
FIRST LEGO League Affiliate Partner
Lisa Bartig is the current Wisconsin FIRST LEGO League Partner. Lisa graduated from Carroll University with a degree in Computer Science. She is passionate about electronics and computing. She joined BadgerBOTS in 2013 when she was hired as the Wisconsin FIRST LEGO League Partner to manage Wisconsin’s 370 teams and 18 tournaments.
FIRST Tech Challenge Affiliate Partner
Michael Meilicke has been the FIRST Programs Coordinator at the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) since July of 2018. Michael works to increase the number of FIRST teams across all programs in the city of Milwaukee. He manages MSOE’s FIRST Ambassador Program and operates the Rockwell Automation FIRST Robotics Competition Zone at the WE Energies STEM Center at MSOE. In 2019, Michael was brought on as the Program Delivery Partner for FIRST Tech Challenge. In addition to his work at MSOE he also plans all operations for FIRST Tech Challenge in Wisconsin.