Member Database: Mentors & Advisers

Devoted Advisers

Ensuring our safety since 2003

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Ryan “Nakaz” Nakasato:

Mr. Nakasato joined Hilo Viking Robotics in 2008, when an alumni of our club asked him to sit in on a meeting. He has been advising for our club ever since.

Nakaz enjoys seeing us having fun! His most memorable experience is observing and being involved in the growth of our members throughout high school. One of his achievements is helping us stay a student-driven club. In his spare time, he makes playing the piano a priority. His advice for others is to “commit and have fun.”

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Nyra Dee:

Ms. Dee joined our club “a long time ago, in a classroom far, far away” in order to “conduct background R&D for building my clone army.”

Since joining, she has achieved getting the students to curse less and wear safety glasses considerably more. Ms. Dee’s most memorable experience is winning Chairman’s Award two years consecutively. She enjoys the danger of contracting dengue fever and the rush of inspiring others to pick up the mantle of world robotic domination.

Her advice for others is “Don’t eat anything older than a day if you find it in the club fridge. Re-apply your deodorant if you stand in front of the industrial fan.” and to “carry ear plugs and a travel pillow with you at all times.”

Dedicated Mentors

Sharing timeless experience

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Matthew Wung:

Matthew Wung joined Hilo Viking Robotics in 2011, when adviser Ryan Nakasato asked him to mentor in electronic assembly. He has been with us ever since.

Being in robotics has shown Matt just how much a single person matters to the others around them. Because of this, he strives to be a better person, so that we can be better, too–not only that, but it has helped him to improve on his communication to others, to learn new skill sets, and take on leadership positions. To Matt, any time a student joins with no plans for life, and then finds direction is a notable thing. His most memorable experience was the entirety of the 2012-2013 build year, where students stepped up to take initiative in design and programming, and went on to particpate in the world championship for both FIRST and VEX. In his free time, Matt enjoys surfing, reading, video games, 3D printing, traveling, cars, and spending time with his family and friends. His advice to others is to “figure out what needs to be done, and do it.”

Picture coming soon!

Malcolm Chun:

Malcolm has been participating in FIRST Robotics Competitions since 2008, but he joined Hilo Viking Robotics in 2015 to inspire other mentors, and hone his skills in machining and welding.

Robotics has provided Malcolm “with a purpose in life at times.” He enjoys hanging out with the other mentors and advisers, and seeing members of our club moving on to higher education. In his free time, Malcolm likes to fish, watch football, and hike.

Picture coming soon!

Koa Hedlund:

Upon the dissolution of Japan Club in 2007, Koa joined HVR as an afterschool activity. He is now one of our beloved mentors.

At first, Koa was a very shy person. In his time as a student member at Hilo Viking Robotics, he was a part of the scout team, and contributing to that helped him overcome his shyness. In addition to that, he also ended up learning a lot about cars, hand and power tools, removing and replacing parts, and reverse engineering. He enjoys helping the students figure out solutions to their problems on projects. In his spare time, Koa enjoys working on cars, playing video games, assembling Gundam models, and messing around with computers. His advice to others is “K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple, Silly.”

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Damien Aguiar:

Coming soon!

Recent Alumni

From the class of 2016

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Hua Uehara:

Hua joined in his freshman year, 2012, with the persuasion of friends and friends’ family. He stayed because robotics is a beautiful thing.

Inspired by the now-alumni upperclassmen, Hua started to take charge of his academic life and is now one of the top in his class. His most memorable experience was attending the FIRST Regional in 2012, where the club was bestowed with the Engineering Inspiration Award that allowed us to go to FIRST World Championship for the first time in our club’s history. Joining HVR helped Hua to find his calling in life. His advice to current and future members is to take initiative.

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Joel Paye:

As the puppeteer of our club, Joel joined in 2012 to pick up a new hobby. He coordinated the Fall 2015 Camp Eureka and overhauled our previous curriculum. In addition to improving our club in general, he helped us to qualify for VEX States in two different seasons.

Robotics has become one of his biggest priorities in life, and it has made him more competitive and aware as a person. His hobbies include graphic design, web design, and programming games and applications.  His advice is that “there’s no better time than now to not get suplexed. Start working. Always be improving.”

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Kenji Emerson:

Kenji is one of the many super giga awesome members of the club. He didn’t turn in his membership papers until last year, but he finally committed to joining due to the power of friendship. Despite the extra stress and strain robotics puts on Kenji, he enjoys the club nonetheless because of the bonds of companionship made here. He contributes by helping to build our robots and field elements, and his advice is to “disregard safety, in favor of results.” Please take it with a grain of salt.

Picture coming soon!

Teyah Modjeska:

Teyah joined HVR during her freshman year. Up until her senior year, she mainly focused on fundraising and outreach for the club, but she woke up and realized that it was now or never to actually participate in a season before graduating.

In addition to writing several of these biographies, Teyah also edits articles for the website and provides Joel lunch and dinner almost every day. Her favorite part about the club is how passionate the other members are about bettering themselves and the team. In her free time, Teyah loves to cook, bake, and eat. Her most memorable memory was during the 2013 Fall Camp Eureka, when a camper wrote in their journal that “[they] like programming. It is fun until Hua shows up with his dipressed [sic] face.”