The late Dr. Woodie Flowers loved FIRST®, and in return was beloved by the FIRST community. He was a gifted and empowering professor who championed and implemented a hands-on learning philosophy that transformed engineering and design education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he taught for thirty years. It was Dr. Flowers who coined the term Gracious Professionalism® which shaped the ethos and Core Values of FIRST. Woodie, as he was affectionately known to FIRST students everywhere, also collaborated with Dean Kamen to develop the FIRST® Robotics Competition..
Encouraging all to enjoy a meaningful life, Woodie called on us to fully contribute to our world and was exceptionally skilled at communicating how we can all work together to meet our common goals – even as competitors.
To honor his legacy, the Woodie Flowers Memorial Grant awards one initial, renewable grant of $10,000 to a student selected from the prior year’s FIRST® Tech Challenge and FIRST Robotics Competition Dean’s List Award winners.
2023 Woodie Flowers Memorial Grant Recipient: Kyran Siddiqui
We had yet another outstanding group of Dean’s List Award winners and deciding on a recipient for the Woodie Flowers Memorial Grant was not an easy task. This year, the committee selected Kyran Siddiqui as the grant recipient.
Kyran is a ten-year participant of FIRST® LEGO® League, FIRST Robotics Competition, and FIRST Tech Challenge, and is a Dean’s List Award winner from FIRST Tech Challenge Team 18183 “Rounded Cube” in Illinois.
Kyran intends to pursue computer engineering when he heads to college and has a personal mission to use his skills to enhance the lives of people globally through leadership and discovery. He is looking forward to supporting local FIRST teams wherever he ends up as a “roving mentor and volunteer” and is most excited to further FIRST initiatives supporting equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Scholarship Committee member and widow of Woodie Flowers, Margaret Flowers, had this to share about Kyran’s selection:
“Kyran has accomplished so much in his life. He certainly has demonstrated Gracious Professionalism, mentorship and impact on others, and academic performance. He is empathic. He is a great logistical problem solver. He worked with local and national politicians. In addition to mentoring himself, he led programs and projects with a goal of developing more mentors and leaders in all communities and in doing so is helping others to build a meaningful life. We congratulate him on all of his accomplishments and are looking forward to his future successes as a member of the FIRST community for life.”