Learn more about our team's mentors.

Katharine Carl, Head Advisor
Katie Carl grew up mainly in Southern California graduating from UCSD with a degree in structural engineering. She worked for Turner Construction as a Project Engineer for 3 years before deciding to go back to school at SDSU to get her teaching credential. Her first few years of teaching were engineering and develop an engineering pathway/academy at San Diego High School, and then at New Directions in Poway Unified. Katie is honored to be at Mission Hills to teach robotics and mathematics. Her desire is to help provide opportunities for students at Mission Hills to learn about engineering, gain exposure to real world experiences and skills, and ignite a desire to continuously learn and problem solve.

John Guseman, Secondary Advisor
John T. Guseman is the Faculty advisor for the robotics team at Mission Hills High School.  John grew up in San Diego going to Helix High School and then Graduating from SDSU with a degree in mathematics.  He worked for 4 years at Clair Burgener Academy and 2 years at San Marcos High School, and then he was selected to be one of the founding faculty to open Mission Hills High School.  John hopes to spread his love of learning and his love of math to the team and all his students.  He also strives to always make Mission Hills a positive emotional experience for all students, that is why he is dedicated to help team 5137 be successful!

Mark McGinn, Lead Mentor
Mark McGinn is a Professional Engineer registered in the Province of Ontario who studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of New Brunswick in Canada.  He has worked for the leading ball and roller bearing company, SKF, for the last 22 years in various service, sales, marketing and management roles in different parts of the world being stationed in Canada, Singapore, Malaysia and USA.  His expertise is in the field of condition monitoring where mechanical equipment such as motors, pumps and other turbo-machinery are monitored vibration with sensors to protect or monitor the machine.  The discipline of condition monitoring marries mechanical condition with electronic sensing, data acquisition, computer storage and analysis to prevent catastrophic failure of machines or predict failure.  Mr. McGinn will use his knowledge of engineering, project management, finance and leadership to mentor the Mission Hills FIRST Robotics Team.

Tom Byrne, Mentor
Over 30 years experience working with Computers and Networks. Currently is an  Instructor at Coleman University in the Network Security department . Tom graduated form UCSD with a degree in Quantitative Economics and Decision Science as well as a second Computer Networking degree from Coleman University. Previous career as a management and training specialist.As a FIRST mentor he helps students be analytic in their thought process of how best to approach FIRST Robotics Competitions. 

Experienced in Router Configuration/WAN/ACLs*Ethernet VLAN Configuration of Cisco Catalyst Switches *Network Planning & Implementation/Multiple Logical Networks*Windows Server 2008 R2 (HyperV; AD; LDAP; DNS; DHCP) Configuration*Windows 7 Configuration (Legacy OS Migration)*Firewall Configuration/Port Allocation/OS Hardening/Vulnerability Scanning*Workstation Windows/Linux Image Deployment.   Both he and his eldest son Trevor Byrne are mentors for the Iron Kodiaks in 2015.

Trevor Byrne, Mentor
Trevor Byrne is the safety mentor for the Mission Hills robotics team. He is currently studying at Palomar College to become a paramedic. His main interests in Mission Hills robotics are mechanical and electrical work on the robot. Alongside David Garcia, Trevor was the lead mechanical engineer during Mission Hills robotic's rookie year. He also played an important part in driving the robot in the San Diego regional and at nationals up in St. Louis. Mechanical, Electrical, quick fixes, and driving the robot were all Trevor's specialties. Trevor is now the acting EMT for the 2015 build season.

Roberta Foster-Smith, Mentor
Roberta has 25+ years of experience in marketing for high-tech businesses. She is currently Manager of Global Marketing Communications for Nordson ASYMTEK and Nordson MARCH, who supply equipment to the semiconductor and electronics manufacturing industries. She holds a B.A. degree in Chemistry from the University of California, San Diego, with minors in Writing and French Literature. Roberta has been with ASYMTEK since 1995. Previously, she was a marketing communications planner, technical writer, and technical editor for medical equipment manufacturers and other technical companies. As a mentor, she offers her expertise in how to create a marketing strategy and carry it out, how to communicate with both technical and non-technical audiences, explaining complex ideas in simpler terms, and helping to bridge the gap between the experts and the rest of us.

Rich Henning, Mentor
Rich is a tool and die maker with TE Connectivity, formerly Deutsch Co. in Oceanside. He has been at that location for 35 years, building machines for assembly, testing, and marking, as well as part handling robots. Recently, he has been heavily involved in vision systems, creating 10 different machines that inspect and sort components using Keyence camera systems. After receiving a two-year degree, along with the certificate for Specification and Qualification Welding, he decided that hands-on work was his calling. Welding was not his long-term career goal, so he went into the machinist trade where he eventually earned the title 'Master Craftsman' at Deutsch. Rich enjoys seeing students feel excitement when discovering the possibilities of mechanical design.

Scott McClellan, Mentor
After graduating from college in 1984 (BS Computer Science, Brigham Young University), Scott McClellan began his career in Silicon Valley. Initially hired as an application engineer by a small firm in San Jose to provide hardware and software support for customers and sales personnel, he moved "across the hall" into the software engineering group after a few years. Since then he has worked continuously in the software engineering field and is currently a Staff Engineer at Qualcomm in San Diego. His areas of expertise include embedded software development, implementation of cryptographic algorithms and protocols, and networking. He is proficient in C, C++, and assembly language programming, and has worked with a variety of programming languages and environments over the years (Java, Python, Perl, Lisp, among others). He does not have much experience in robotics specifically, but does have an interest, and can code. As a mentor, he draws on past experience as a teaching assistant in college and as a volunteer working with youth in church and Scouting programs.