Congratulations St. Louis Regional Woody Flowers Award Winner - Allison Babcock

This is a congratulations to Allison Babcock, Mentor of Team 1747, Harrison Boiler Robotics for winning the Regional Woody Flowers Award at the St. Louis Regional. Our team’s submission for her was as follows.

If someone were to study pictures of Team 1747, Harrison Boiler Robotics, from our rookie year in 2006 and our second year in 2007, one would notice two common threads. First, some of the student faces would be recognized through both seasons. Secondly, in looking at the advisors from year one to year two, one would realize only one face remains: the face of Allison Babcock. Allison is a junior at nearby Purdue University. She is a member of the Purdue Student Organization, Purdue First Programs, which is a group of college students who donate their time and effort to the mentoring of three area teams. Allison has been a two-year advisor for our team who has taken large leadership roles for the team.
During our rookie year, the team experienced problems with teacher leadership. Although the year ended strongly with our robot, things were deteriorating for the team’s high school base. Allison took endless grief for the members of our team in our rookie year, but unlike the rest of the Purdue advisors, she stuck with us. After the virtual destruction of our team, she was the only advisor who stayed with us to try to raise the team from the wreckage. Throughout the summer Allison was at our student meetings trying to pull the team back together. She helped us to attend Indiana Robotics Invitational in our off-season with the help from an area team, 461. During the summer she also helped us to create the parent group now helping the team greatly, especially due to the lack of a teacher sponsor for our team. Allison even found us a much-needed grant for three thousand dollars.
As the new season came into focus, Allison continued to lead our newly thriving team, but our team immediately ran into troubles. As our school denied us use of the shop and computers, Allison worked tirelessly to try to locate a place to work, and finally found a shop with another nearby team, 1646. As kick-off came and went, we designed a robot; and she was always there listening to the students’ ideas while critiquing and giving feedback. If any concept was necessary to the robot design which we didn’t know, she would thoroughly explain it to us. The year progressed bringing both tension and hours of extra work. Even as problems arose in the construction, she would always look on the bright side and immediately say “Okay, now how do we fix it?” Throughout the build season, she only missed two nights, even while juggling the task of being a college student with multiple hours of homework. Through both thick and thin, she has always been devoted to our team. The team captain even received e-mails at 4:30 a.m. because she had just finished her homework and had had an idea for the robot. She made large personal sacrifices to be with the team and to help them work. In the last weekend of build, she, along with 4 dedicated students, stayed at the high school from 4pm Friday afternoon until 4pm Sunday only leaving to shower and eat.
Throughout all this time, Allison was always driving the students to take charge of the robot. She was always encouraging us to fix the problems that arose and to get the entire team involved in the process. Whenever the students were working through a problem someone would ask “What do you think Allison?” and she would always respond, “I don’t know, it’s your robot.” Through both struggles and success, Allison’s passion has driven each student to achieve the very best.

Again, Congratulations and Thank you Allison.

Please add my congratulations to the list for Allison Babcock on her well-deserved WFFA at St. Louis.

And to team 1747: please don’t lean too heavily on Allison. A Woodie Flowers calibre mentor is a great asset to your team now, but the same mentor with a Purdue degree will be an even better asset to your team down the road. Make sure that being the former now doesn’t interfere with her becoming the latter, later. :slight_smile:

I got a phone call from Allison at 11:18 pm on Friday night, and when I heard the news, I was so happy I almost hugged the washing machine in front of me!

Purdue First Programs goes through a lot of mentors who have to turn away because of the time commitment involved, the classes getting harder each year, and (let’s face it) the stress involved in the crunch times.

Allison is incredible at balancing her time to get it all done, and I admire her for it. She has shown that the time involved in an organizatino isn’t what matters, it’s what you make of it. The team itself has shown how much it has grown with her as a leader, and I expect to see great things in the future!

Congratulations to my former bunkmate/shoulder to lean on/ride to meetings, Allison, and happy belated birthday too! (Great present or what?)

Congratulations, Allison.
It is a tribute to the work you do that your students gave you the highest praise they can, the Woodie Flower’s Award. Keep up the good work.