By Megan Yamoah
Since 2008, Michael Corsetto has worked to improve all aspects of Citrus Circuits. His consistent pursuit of excellence fosters our growth as technical leaders, confident communicators, and accomplished project managers. His energetic personality and practiced communication inspires enthusiasm and empowers us to reach our full potential. Under his guidance, the team became a group of nationally-recognized students working to succeed competitively and serve our community.
Mike transformed team organization by introducing student leadership roles, which have provided leadership experience to students and enabled the team to achieve competition and outreach goals. Mike regularly shares strategies that help us confidently motivate our peers to be organized, productive, and collaborative.
Mike teaches clearly and concisely. With unmatched enthusiasm, he fills whiteboards with diagrams to help students understand technical concepts and encourages us to ask questions, offer opinions, and learn from our mistakes. He stresses the importance of sharing ideas and teaches us how to identify failures with hands-on demonstrations and guiding questions, strengthening our problem solving skills. The combination of freedom and structure Mike provides enables team members to think like true engineersstarting from a macroscopic perspective, then addressing details.
As Drive Coach, Mike embodies clear communication and supportive mentorship. He teaches students by example to interact with other teams. Team 254 Drive Coach and 2015 Woodie Flowers Finalist Award winner Travis Covington said in a January interview with FRC Designs that Mike "has really set an example on how to be a great coach. He is very objective, works closely with the other teams on a personal level [...] and does everything passionately and with a kindness that I have sadly seen too little of in FRC."
Mike works tirelessly to support the FIRST community at large. He mentored Team 1662 for one year and made "a lasting impact as an invaluable resource to the team,” according to previous co-captain and current mentor Ryan Neal. Mike worked on the Sacramento Regional Planning Committee for two years and was on FRC GameSense twice in 2015, sharing key game strategy knowledge with the FRC community.
Mike fostered the FIRST Lego League program in Davis, California. He worked with student leads to expand the program from one team in 2013 to 23 in 2015 and empowered students to lead, communicate with parents, and coordinate scrimmages. Working with FRC Teams 2073 and 3859 last fall, Mike organized the off-season competition Capital City Classic. Focused on educating the FRC community, Mike gave workshops on game strategy, team management, and mechanical design to over 300 local FRC students and mentors at the event.
Mike's dedication and enthusiasm in teaching communication and leadership is beyond compare. We believe his contributions to the FIRST community merit the 2016 Woodie Flowers Finalist Award.