FIRST Appoints New Regional Directors

FIRST News Release

FIRST® Appoints New Regional Directors for Pittsburgh and New Hampshire

Manchester, NH, February 19, 2010 - FIRST® (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), a not-for-profit organization founded by inventor Dean Kamen to inspire young people’s interest and participation in science and technology, announced today the appointment of two new Regional Directors (RDs): Patricia DePra for the Pittsburgh region and David Price for the New Hampshire region.

The role of an RD includes coordinating FIRST activities, as well as developing new regional partnerships and volunteer mentors - with the goal of creating and maintaining robust, volunteer-driven, and self-sustaining programs in each region. FIRST holds local and regional robotics competitions in area schools, including the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC®), the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC®), the FIRST LEGO® League (FLL), and the Junior FIRST LEGO® League (Jr.FLL).

"Many of our Regional Directors share a fundamental role of promoting innovation among young people in their communities," said Roseann Stevens, Vice President of Field Operations, FIRST.  "Regional Directors are among the area’s key individuals who by their very nature are evangelizing the positive aspects of FIRST  by keeping the lines of communication open to parents, schools, mentors, the business community and young people in their communities. They see to it that rookies and veterans alike are continually energized by the mission and vision of FIRST."

Patricia DePra - Regional Director for Pittsburgh

In her capacity as Regional Director for FIRST, DePra is in charge of coordinating the FRC, FTC, FLL, and Jr.FLL programs and teams in the Pittsburgh and western Pennsylvania area. Previously, she served as an Instructor in Chemistry a Carlow University in Pittsburgh. Project Coordinator, National Science Foundation Grant, at the University of Southern Mississippi, and as an Adjunct Professor of Chemistry at Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y. "I am excited about integrating my creativity, my enthusiasm, my experience in education and management, and my technical knowledge in science with FIRST programs," said DePra. "Doing this in a way that is fresh, energizing and helps to improve lives represents the most complete match to my skill-set in, and I am extremely excited about working with FIRST."

DePra earned both the Ph.D. and M.A. degrees in organic, polymer and solid-state chemistry from Northwestern University. Dr. DePra holds a bachelor of science degree in biochemistry from Juniata College.

David Price - Regional Director for New Hampshire

David Price has been involved with FIRST for more than 10 years when he was given responsibility for managing FIRST teams as a new science teacher at Nashua (N.H.) High School. Since then, he has taken on progressive management roles for FIRST in New Hampshire, including maintaining team sponsorships and emceeing FIRST regional events. As the Regional Director for FIRST in New Hampshire, Price is Assistant Professor of Aviation Science at the School of Aviation Science at Daniel Webster College.

"I am convinced that the benefits of more teams in New Hampshire will raise the bar of competition and quality in the region," said Price. "All of us in education need to reach for our true goal - which is to create and nurture the next generation of scientists and engineers - society’s true rock stars and superheroes.

Price is a graduate of Daniel Webster College with a B.S. in aviation management and an A.S. in flight operations. Price is currently an M.B.A. candidate at Daniel Webster College.

About FIRST®

Accomplished inventor Dean Kamen founded FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) in 1989 to inspire an appreciation of science and technology in young people. Based in Manchester, N.H., FIRST designs accessible, innovative programs to build self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills while motivating young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, and engineering. With support from three out of every five Fortune 500 companies and more than $12 million in college scholarships, the not-for-profit organization hosts the FIRST® Robotics Competition (FRC®) and FIRST® Tech Challenge (FTC®) for high-school students, FIRST® LEGO® League (FLL) for 9 to 14-year-olds (9 to 16-year-olds outside the U.S. and Canada), and Junior FIRST® LEGO® League (Jr.FLL) for 6 to 9-year-olds. Gracious ProfessionalismT is a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community. To learn more about FIRST, go to www.usfirst.org.

FIRST® is a registered trademark of U.S. FIRST.
LEGO® is a registered trademark of The LEGO Group.

Media Contact:

Dennis Garrigan
603-666-3906 ext. 454