Program Staff and Key Volunteers
Barish Golland is the FIRST Senior Mentor for BC, helping coaches, mentors, team members, schools and communities get the most out of FIRST programs. Barish has worked in education, learning technology and training for the past 20 years. He started with FIRST in 2008 as a coach for a few FLL teams at the LEGO Robotics club he started at the school he taught at in Istanbul, Turkey. He’s proud of his two kids whose FLL team got to go to an International Open in Tallinn, Estonia and the Houston World Championships!
Uschi Leslie has been involved in FIRST since about 2006, first as a parent of children on FLL and FLLJr. and FTC teams, then as an FLL coach and FTC assistant coach, then as an event organizer and helper, plus scorekeeper for FTC. At present she is the FLL “Program Delivery Partner” for BC and an FLL Challenge coach at a Middle School in Victoria.
When she is not doing FIRST-related things she enjoys activities with the Victoria Sailing Co-op, La Leche League and 55+ Table Tennis.In what feels to her like a previous life she was a geologist and oceanographer for a while, and then a full-time mom. And she really likes to travel even though she is getting hesitant about flying to places (not green!!).
Christine Nicholls has been involved with FIRST in British Columbia starting in 2006. She has filled many volunteer roles including Judging in three of the four programs, Volunteer Coordinator and Tournament Director. With her support, the Society for the Advancement of Young Scientists became the FIRST Tech Challenge Partner for British Columbia in 2016.
Ian Koscielski started his journey with FIRST as a Grade 9 student on FRC Team 772 in the 2006-2007 season where he spent the next 5 seasons as a Student on the team and served for two years as the Team Captain. In 2011 he left for Laurentian University in Sudbury ON to study Sports Administration. During his tenure in University Ian spent the 2013 through 2015 seasons mentoring local Team 4069 Lo-Ellen Robotics as a Drive Coach and Lead Business Mentor. Before Graduating with an Honours Bachelor Commerce, Sports Administration Degree Ian worked as a Logistics Management Intern with GranFondo Canada in Vancouver, working to put on some of the largest cycling events in North America. Then joining the Windsor Spitfires Hockey Club as a Partnerships Activation Coordinator working with the Sales team to develop and service Corporate Partners through the 2015-2016 OHL season. In August of 2016 Ian moved back to Vancouver to take on the Regional Director role for FIRST Robotics Competition in British Columbia, with the incredible opportunity to build up the program that had such a large impact on his own life.