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Mentors and Supervisors

As a team, we deeply thank the people who teach us. EastBots wouldn't succeed as much as we have without those who devote their time to help our student members learn and develop, both as students and as people.

Mentors and Supervisors

As a team, we deeply thank the people who teach us. EastBots wouldn't succeed as much as we have without those who devote their time to help our student members learn and develop, both as students and as people.


Steve Tell

Steve is a founding mentor of the Eastbots, having been recruited by our original self-motivated students in the fall of 2012 before our rookie season. He has coached robot design, garage machining, power wiring, but especially enjoys teaching about sensors to help students make robots that respond to their environment. For the last several years he has also volunteered as a FIRST robot inspector at local competitions. When not doing FIRST, Steve is a Senior Research Scientist in the Circuits Resarch Group at NVIDIA corporation. He lives in the ECHHS district in Chapel Hill with his wife Rose and dog Marconi.

Bradley Nemitz

I am a math teacher and mentor to the Eastbots at East Chapel Hill High School. I student-taught at ECHHS while studying math and education at UNC Chapel Hill. After graduating, I moved to Richmond, Virginia where I taught for 5 years and met my wife. We moved back to Chapel Hill for her study Public Heath at UNC and I returned to East. We have two dogs, Ash and Maple, who love to sniff and run around our backyard. I am very into board games like Agricola and Power Grid and I try to be out on my mountain bike (and sometimes road bike) as much as possible. I enjoy playing music and play guitar for the East faculty band. I do photography and often take photos for the Eastbots. Though I've done some programming some and can understand what's going on with our programming team, I feel most at home with the mechanical team, as I'm used to working on cars, bikes, and house projects.

Jeff Alguire

Jack of all Trades, Master of Some. I grew up in a small island town in Southeast Alaska. I have been a stage set designer and set builder for many many years, as well as a residential carpenter. I have always been curious about how things work. That includes a desire to tinker and deconstruct things and rebuild them for my own purposes. I will be the first to admit that I am not good at it and still have a lot to learn.

Amalan Iyengar

Hi! I'm an Eastbots class of 2016 Alum and have been mentoring since the 2018-2019 season. I finished my Bachelor's in Computer Science and Master's in Electrical Engineering from NC State and currently work at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab.


Jessica Buday

Jessica is a native of Chapel Hill and was a student at Orange High School, Class of 2003. She has a BS in Biochemical Engineering from the University of Georgia, and has spent her career working in various roles in pharmaceutical manufacturing - technical engineering support, project management, automation and operations leadership. She is currently the Strategic Accounts Director for Corning Pharmaceutical Technologies. In her free time, she enjoys reading, live music, traveling, and hiking with her husband Shawn and dog Ziggy. She advocates for gender parity and inspiring women to enter STEM fields, and serves on the Southeast US regional board of the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association.

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Eimy Rivas Plata (Dr. R)

Hey guys! My name is Eimy Rivas Plata and the team knows me as Dr. R. I am a teacher at ECHHS and mentor to the Eastbots. Originally from Peru, I moved to Chicago where I got my PhD in Biology, and then to the Carolinas thinking academia would be the place for me, which wasn't! I transitioned to public school and fell in love with it (did I mention I've been teaching since I was 17?). Teaching runs in the family, and it's apparently a genetic condition we carry ;). I have taught all audiences you can imagine (all over the place), but my favorite so far has been high school (for real!). Outside of school, I lead a running club called Pacers. I also love gardening, playing video games, watching horror movies, and cooking! Our family grew quite some this year; we now have two dogs (Chloe and Kowalski) and two kitties (Augustine and Hermes), and we are taking care of a friend's cat (Lucian). Fun fact, according to Ryan Huang's projection (software member), I will have over 14 kids (human and fur-babies) by 2030, and if that includes robotics kiddos, it will be over 200!

Leadership and Officers

One of our team’s core principles is that a student-run leadership model is highly successful in achieving student inspiration and professional development. With this principle in mind, we have continued to iterate on our leadership structure each year. Changes are made by the current leadership group and the team’s mentors just before the annual election in May. Other changes to our organization, such as membership requirements, are made by the leadership group and approved by the team each August when the team handbook is updated. Currently, our leadership is comprised of seventeen student managers, leads, and directors. 

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Catherine (Reese) Weddendorf

I am currently the president and build captain of the EastBots. I'm a senior now, and I have been on the team since I was a freshman. In addition to my interest in STEM, I enjoy writing and going on bike rides.

Ryan Yung

I'm a senior in my third year on the Eastbots and the current Business Captain. I'm responsible for supervising the business subteams and managing the internal functions of the team. Many on the team also know me as the #1 human player.

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Evelyn Steinbeck

Zachary Balagot

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Wesley Li

Hello, I am a Junior at East and I am currently the design lead of the team. My role in the team is to lead robot mechanism design and help new members with learning design. I'm also a member of the mechanical team. I enjoy the process of designing robots and make it real. Outside FIRST, I am a combat robotics competitor and a drone enthusiast. In my spare time, I love working on useless DIY gadgets purely for fun!

Evan Zhu

Hi! My name is Evan Zhu, and I'm your Fundraising Lead for this year. I write grants and do business things so our team has money. I will be a senior in the 2023-24 school year. I play the flute and I also really enjoy baking and the outdoors!

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Alan Liu

I'm a senior at East and one of the software leads this upcoming season (along with @AaronMillhouse). My role is primarily to teach newer software members while also guiding the development of the robot code throughout the season. Outside of robotics, I also swim and play the piano

Dharma Chari-Letts

Hi! My name is Dharma and I am a junior at East. Currently, I am Outreach Director and a member of the mechanical subteam. My job entails that I get the team involved in the community. My role is to start programs and create volunteer opportunities that inspire robotics and engineering. Outside robotics I love building rockets and playing tennis!

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Justin Lee

I am a rising senior as of 2023. For the upcoming 23-24 season I will be working on the preparation and submissions for awards. Some of my personal hobbies are playing the violin and video games.

Aaron Millhouse

I am Senior at East and am one of the programming leads of our team. My role is to help train future programmers and to guide the development of code to run our robots. I love to write code, read, and have a hobby in meteorology.

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Vicky Zhang

I am the ERC Lead. I’m a senior at East and this is my second year on the team. As per the title of my role, I’ll be helping design and coordinate ERC this year. Aside from robotics, I also enjoy photography and origami.

Ethan Kirtley

I am a junior at East and will be junior mechanical lead for the 2023-2024 season. In my free time I enjoy playing videogames, reading, and woodworking.

Lingzheng Liu

I am a junior here at East and I am currently the Mechanical Lead of the EastBots. I have been on the team since I was a freshmen. In addition to my interest in STEM, I enjoy playing video games and building stuff. I also love to watch anime in my free time!

Alina Xie

Hi! I am Alina, the finance manager of the team, I’m currently a senior and this is my second year on the team. My role is to make sure we spend our money responsibly. Outside of school, I like to swim and work as a lifeguard as well as swim coach and am the captain of our school’s swim team💪🏻 I'm also very passionate about the ocean. In my free time I enjoy walks on the beach and hiking to local streams.

Jake Donovan

Hello, I am Jake and I am the current electrical lead. My goal this season is to expand our electrical subteam from just doing robot wiring to a subteam that does a variety of projects throughout the year. I have always been interested in electronics and my hobbies tend to involve it in some fashion such as vintage computing and retro gaming. My current goal is to get a degree in electrical engineering and to get a job designing smartphones or game consoles My favorite tool is the soldering iron.

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