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Chris Husmann
Chris Husmann Name: Chris Husmann
Date Honored: 12-14-2005
Years involved w/FIRST: 8
FIRST Team(s): J&,F Machine/NASA-JPL/Raytheon &, Hope Chapel Academy (0330)
Role: Mechanical, Inter-Team Relations
Quote: ďDonít let academics get in the way of a good education." - Mark Twain
Bio: For the past 8 years, Chris Husmann has put his heart and soul into Team 330, The Beach Bots. Chris described some of his duties on the team for us: "I have two functions on the team. During Build Season I am one of the two Mechanical Engineers. Usually Matt Driggs (WFA Sacramento 05) and I split the responsibility for the mechanical portion. One of us works on the drive and the other on the manipulator. Who does what changes from year to year. We often disagree on how things should be done. We work hard to come to an agreement in a (mostly) professional manner. The great thing is we have respect for each other in spite of our disagreements. We know that when we both agree, itís right. I think it is important that we model this before the students. So they learn to disagree in a graciously professional way. The rest of the year I do Inter-Team Relations. This means I go to the SCRRF meetings and other events that require a team representative. Somehow as a result I wound up as President of SCRRF. I guess I just didnít duck fast enough. That is also how I found myself on the Regional Committee. I have also helped mentor other teams and at competitions I inspect robots or play Safety Inspector. I have trouble just sitting in our pit. Iíd rather go off and schmooze or do something useful. If Iím busy in our pit something is seriously wrong."

Chris also had a touching memory for us to hear. "This past year we did something different. We had several drive teams and just let them play until it became clear which one was best. For our first regional our best driver turned out a senior named Derek. But at our home regional a freshman named Shane was clearly the man for the job. During a break in the Finals I wandered through the staging area Safety Inspecting (ok and using privilege to get a good view). In the midst of the noise off in a corner I spotted Derek and Shane. I went up to talk to them but as I got close I stopped. They were praying, more specifically Derek was praying for Shane, that he would do a good job and be confident and not nervous. There was no animosity or regret in his voice at being replaced. Shane went on to drive for us through the Finals which we eventually won and again at the Championship. But someday I want to be like Derek. Another one was lying awake Friday night in Atlanta, We were #2 seed in our division. I realized that we were as good as any team out there, and that we could win it all, and then going out and doing it."

We also got a list of Chris' and Team 330's accomplishments. "One of the first things I learned in FIRST was how to size an electric motor, or rather how not to. I have made friends all over the country. I helped my team Mentor a Rookie All Star. I have helped build a team that is good on the field, but also pays attention to things off the field, as evidenced by our two Regional Chairmanís awards. I have learned to let go of ideas I was very attached to, because they would not help the team with the task at hand. I helped design and build a Champion robot."

Also, when asked how he would describe FIRST to an outsider, Chris gave us this great tidbit: "A FIRST team is a small company. It has to design a product, build it, demonstrate it, and sell the product to other teams. I know of no other program where can students be exposed to so much of the real world in so short a time."

Finally, Chris gave a bit of advice to his fellow FIRSTers. "Find something you love to do, and are good at, and do it with all your might. Pursue it even when it is hard and you do not know if you can keep it up. Do the parts you donít like too. I love to design stuff and I hate writing reports, but I do what I hate because it is part of what I love. Writing things down helps me think through things, so it becomes part of the process.

"I read an article once where they talked about ďthe zoneĒ where you so concentrate on your work that you loose all track of time or sense of what is going on around you. The article stated that people who found themselves in that state even 1% of the time, loved their jobs. Those who didnít hated them. Life is too short to spend it doing something you hate all day everyday.

"Use FIRST to find those things that put you in the zone, then go out and do them in the real world, even if they have nothing to do with robots."

Congratulations to Chris Husmann, our next Unsung FIRST Hero.

Nominated By: EricH

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