2015 Genius Garage Team

Team Member Bios and Information

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(Left to Right) Back Row: Maxwell Everett, Nathan Cornelius, Isabelle Beecy, Casey Putsch, Daniel Miller, Zachary Sroka; Front Row: Taylor Wilson, Federico Aponte, Chris Scherzer, Clint Teece


Crew Chief, Suspension, Drivetrain

Chris Scherzer

Returning Team Member

Age: 20
Major: Architecture

Chris Scherzer is the hard-working, dedicated, and quick-learning member of the team whose love for cars began with his father buying him Hot Wheels cars as a child but eventually grew into attending car shows and drag races and now working on a race car with Genius Garage. In his first year of school, Chris was able to finish his first robotics project and was excited to see a long project come together in the end. He has enjoyed taking the car apart so far this year in Genius Garage as it took less time than he imagined and he thought it was great to see the car stripped down and ready to be reassembled. With a love and passion for cars, Chris hopes one day that cars will play a major part in his future career.

Public Relations, Media

Isabelle Beecy

Age: 20
Major: Strategic Communication

Smart, caring, and kind, Isabelle (Izzy) Beecy's proudest accomplishment in the academic world has been earning Dean’s List for three semesters while attending The Ohio State University. Her love for cars and racing began after a trip with her parents to the 2010 Indianapolis 500. Ever since, she’s been hooked on all things related to racing. Izzy’s favorite part of the Genius Garage program so far has been the team building environment and being able to help out on the car as needed. And it’s not just racing Izzy loves; she has a passion for Ohio State athletics and earned so many Block “O” points during the 2013-2014 school year that she was fourth in points among all Block “O” members.

Engine, Plumbing

Maxwell Everett

Age: 21
Major: Mechanical Engineering

Outgoing, punctual, and encouraging to others, Maxwell (Max) Everett fell in love with racing and cars in elementary school through watching the movie The Fast And The Furious on a daily basis. Ever since, going fast has been a love of his. After earning the best physics grade in his class during his junior year of high school, Max was presented with the Physics Award for his grade. So far in the Genius Garage program, Max has liked getting to know people his age who have a similar interest in cars to him. In his spare time, he is able to quickly solve a Rubik’s cube.

Engine, Electrical

Nathan Cornelius

Age: 19
Major: Electrical Engineer

Nathan Cornelius, the resolute, dauntless, and adroit member of the team, fell in love with cars while building his car throughout his senior year of high school. After seeing how everything in the car worked and realizing that he can build a car, he has been interested in cars and has tried to develop more knowledge and skills when it comes to increasing the performance of cars. His proudest moment academically came in his junior year of high school when he was chosen to be the president of the Science Club. For Nathan, the best part of the Genius Garage program has been the planning for the car because he can see all the incredible things he and his teammates will be creating. In high school, he and a friend started a DJ business with Nathan in charge of lighting. He became so good at it that he was paid to travel to conferences around the nation to do lighting.

Transmission, Chassis, Welding

Federico Aponte

Age: 21
Major: Welding Engineering at Columbus State Community College

As someone whose father works on cars, Federico (Fed) Aponte has grown up around cars and his love for them was passed down to him from his father. Benevolent, diligent, and humorous, Fed’s proudest moment academically was when he had to make a presentation to his parents and teachers on why he should take college classes in high school and eventually taking them in his senior year of high school. His favorite part of Genius Garage so far has been being able to work efficiently as a team and welding for the first time with teammates Nate and Chris. Outside of classes and Genius Garage, Fed loves to draw and paint with acrylics.

Brakes, Drivetrain

Zachary Sroka

Age: 20
Major: Mechanical Engineering

Zach Sroka's love for cars didn’t begin until a couple years ago when his friend Ricky helped him see cars as more than just a means of transportation. Enthusiastic, compassionate, and considerate, his proudest academic moment so far has been getting a 31 on his ACT and being accepted into The Ohio State University. Zach’s favorite part of Genius Garage this far has been seeing how the team can have a great amount of fun as well as be serious when needed while knowing that they all depend on each other to do something great. In March 2011, he helped to start a charity called Superheroes to Kids in Ohio that helps children and families with children who have mental disabilities and terminal illnesses.

Aerodynamics, Suspension

Clint Teece

Age: 18
Major: Mechanical Engineering

Winner of the 2015 Research Paper Assignment: Unnecessary Expenditures: The Cold War and the B1 and B2 Bombers

As someone who graduated in the top five percent of his class in high school and earning a 4.0 GPA in his first semester at The Ohio State University, Clint Teece is an ambitious, intelligent and driven member of the Genius Garage team. His love for cars came after earning his driver’s license at 16 when he started becoming interested in learning about all the cars he saw on the road. So far, his favorite part of Genius Garage has been deconstructing and rebuilding the car and learning about all of its components in the process. Clint’s secret talent is the ability to play the ukulele and even recently built a cajon, a percussion instrument that looks like a box.

Aerodynamics, Suspension, Safety, Cockpit

Daniel Miller

Age: 19
Major: Mechanical Engineering

With childhood memories of racing Hot Wheels around the couch and trying to stay up to watch NASCAR’s night race in Bristol, Daniel Miller is upfront, witty, and non-judgemental. His proudest moment in school so far was seeing his robot perform at the FEH robot competition during his first year at The Ohio State University as it was the most difficult project he had worked on prior to joining Genius Garage. In the first few weeks at Genius Garage, Dan has enjoyed disassembling the front suspension and removing the steering rack. In middle school and the beginning years of high school, he did dog agility training with his sheltie Mandi and was able to take her through obstacle courses of jumps, seesaws, and other cool stuff.


Founder, Director, Driver

Casey Putsch

Despite being the eldest of the geniuses, Casey Putsch is the very definition of energy; his old soul personality is coupled with his youthful obsession of cars and automobiles, leading to his dedication to the racing world. He is a driven, dedicated, and animated individual, telling and acting out stories to entertain and teach the geniuses valuable life lessons. Casey’s connection with cars began with a cruise with his dad in a ’67 Corvette; the sound of the engine and the rush of the wind was enough for young Casey to pursue cars in his future. He started the Genius Garage Program not only to continue his love for racing and cars, but to provide college students with the opportunity of progressing in the real world that they miss out on while in school. Casey has enjoyed every moment of the program, despite ups and downs, but he has found the most enjoyment from watching the students grow, develop, and learn from visiting mentors and others. When he isn’t opening champagne bottles with a sword or attending galas, he helps eight college students have the opportunities that never arise in a conventional school setting.


Media and Branding Consultant

Taylor Wilson

Taylor Wilson is a quirky, dependable, and focused young woman. Her professional career in the automotive world began when a love for cars blossomed a few years ago when a friend of hers introduced her to the beauty of cars through drawings and soon began attending car shows and became a member of the Formula Buckeyes team at Ohio State. After college, Taylor pursued other professional markets, but found that racing was always the high point as she felt she gained the most experience by volunteering with the students. Her art background combined with her recent love for cars has given her the perfect opportunity to become the Genius Garage’s Media and Branding Consultant and is in charge of maintaining media, branding, and web content of the team.