Delia Votsch is exactly the type of student the Dean’s List was created for. Her commitment to FIRST ideals may be
matched by others, but not exceeded. In four years with 1712 she’s immersed herself in virtually every area of the
Delia is a trusted leader who receives high praise from her own team and others. Lead mentor Rich Kressly says, “It
would be impossible for me to overstate her abilities, her desire to pursue a socially conscious future in engineering, and
her selfless approach to all team projects. Simply put, Delia is one of the most uniquely dedicated individuals I have ever
worked with in my sixteen years as an educator.”
This year Delia single-handedly authored the team’s first ever business plan while being a leader with our Chairman’s
Award and WFFA entries. In the past she has wired robots, arranged team travel, ordered parts, organized team meetings
and dinners, been an outreach leader with our Portable Inspiration program and was the lead contact and organizer of our
JrFLL Expo where she coordinated all teams, logistics, volunteers, and awards.
To our knowledge Delia is one of only two FRC student team members ever to be a JrFLL event coordinator, anywhere.
Her dedication to the youngest FIRST participants is not only inspiring, but is also critical to achieving our mission. Her
leadership of the event was evident in the feedback we received from parent coaches. “Thanks to you and the other
members of Dawgma for organizing such a great event. I was amazed that you were able to keep the 6 yr olds entertained
for the entire time! Thanks also for recognizing all teams at the awards ceremony, that was great for the kids that are just
Delia is a role model team member, twice serving as team captain in her four years and being a Chairman’s presenter and
co-author of a national journal article on the importance of STEM outreach. She has literally impacted thousands of youth
through workshops, whitepapers, and more. She visited both the PA State legislature and members of congress in DC to
discuss the importance of FIRST and robotics education.
Teammate Rachel Newell describes Delia’s impact. “Our robotics team is a family and Delia Votsch has, throughout her
career in FIRST, been the caretaker of that family. While she is always pushing us to design and innovate, her first
priority has always been the people. No matter if you are a veteran or a new member, Delia takes you under her wing and
makes sure you have what you need to be successful. She is someone who leads by example, continually instilling those
famous words ‘If you take care of the people, the robots will take care of themselves.’ Delia was our first two-term captain,
and her constant guidance and expertise has molded many a passionate student into a promising engineer. Each year the
growth of not only our mechanical abilities, but our leadership and community awareness are also a testament to her
Through her activities and responsibilities with the team, Delia has become an adept communicator and has developed
leadership skills rarely found in a high school student. In addition to the team, she holds a solid academic record that
includes the highest of grades in mathematics and science. Her desire to excel in all that she does while remaining
humble has earned her the respect of peers, teachers, mentors, community partners, and FRC teams across the region. She
has enthusiastically pursued summer engineering program opportunities on college campuses on her own, both learning
from and adding to each program.
There is no doubt that Delia will be an asset and a credit to the engineering profession some day soon. She exemplifies
FIRST’s core beliefs with a passion that is unmatched and has already made plans for remaining active in FIRST. Simply
put, she’s already a member of Dean’s List whether she’s formally recognized or not. Team 1712 is proud of how well she
represents the entire program.