FIRST Follow-Up: Nicole MacMillan is Volunteer of the Year

FIRST Follow-Up: Nicole MacMillan is Volunteer of the Year

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Nicole MacMillan

Nicole MacMillan 

While a team from South Portland took home the winner’s trophy from the FIRST Robotics District Competition, held at UNH March 6 – 7, UNH’s Nicole MacMillan has something for the trophy case in CEPS. 

MacMillan, career development and internship counselor for CEPS and a lead coordinator of the UNH event, was honored with the Volunteer of the Year award by New England FIRST. Given at each district event, the award is “presented to an individual, business, or organization that consistently excels in their efforts,” according to FIRST.  

Mark Critz, the regional director for FIRST, said MacMillan went above and beyond the duties of the planning committee for the UNH event. 

“Nicole stepped up in one of the more difficult roles on the committee and did several additional tasks such as coordinating the machine shop service, the event at the engineering school on Wednesday night and developing the plan for the sponsor,” said Critz.  “She really did an outstanding job.”    

UNH hosted more than 1,000 high school students on 36 robotics teams for the two-day competition, which pitted robots against each other in a tennis-like game called Aerial Assist. UNH staff – including personnel from University Events and Programs, CEPS, photo and video services, UNH Police, athletics, and admissions – helped the event run smoothly and planned opportunities to show off UNH to these potential STEM students.

Kids driving robots

“UNH provided an excellent venue and outstanding support to the 36 New England teams participating in just the second NE FIRST District Event,” said Critz. “NE FIRST looks forward to building a strong long-term relationship with UNH for future years. This was more than just an event at Lundholm Gymnasium, it exposed over 1,000 potential students with strong STEM skills to the University and specifically to CEPS.”

For her part, MacMillan was shocked and honored by the award. “It was incredibly nice of them,” she said. “I didn’t even have my own bot!” 

Learn more about FIRST at UNH here.