Pick a mentor, any mentor...


Suppose you can select a single, current FRC mentor to join your team for a year. Who would you pick and why?

Some friends of mine were talking about this today and mentioned folks like JVN, Karthik, Tyler Holtzman, Jared Russell, etc., along with some less well-known mentors. Interested in hearing what CD thinks, especially since every team has different needs/strengths.


Hadi379 (Ashraf Hadi, Team 379) because God knows we’ve needed a shop/tech teacher at our high school that actually cared about mentoring the team and who also would be an integral part of the robot design/build process who could delegate and oversee student operations when other team leads were not onsite. Keeping students engaged both during school and immediately following until non-school mentors could arrive has been a challenge for quite some time now.

And someone get that man a WFFA already.


I call dibs on Austin Schuh.

EDIT: Why? What team wouldn’t benefit from a Robot Whisperer?


I would say Andy Baker, but he’s married.

So I’ll go with Katie Widen.


Allen Gregory


I’d have to pick Danny Berkson from 2491.

Great scout, great guy, overall great asset to a team:p


While we wouldn’t end up on anybody’s list, two other 3504 mentors and I essentially did this. We’re grad students who joined the team this year and won’t be around next year. It’s a strange experience, because trying to change too much can backfire and trying to teach too much can result in too much information to grasp (and you won’t be around to reinforce it later).

Yes, having new technical knowledge on your team for a year is great, and introducing new ideas and new ways of doing things is great. But I think the biggest impact a person can make in a single year is in team culture. Any team where all the members are constantly striving will do just fine.

That said, I do think a lot of the folks mentioned in this thread would make big positive impacts on team culture as well as technical excellence.


I’d poach back Ryan Nazaretian. I was incredibly fortunate to work with him for a year on Garnet Squadron, and he was even tapped to take over from me when I took the AndyMark job before Intel relocated him to Austin. Incredible help on the software side, including making a lot of stuff for the ill-fated REV Digit board during Robot in 3 Days. And when I’m set to entrust someone with the team I helped start, yeah he’s got a good head on his shoulders.

If that’s cheating because I’ve already worked with him, I’m poaching Marshall Massengill. Certainly meme-ier than Ryan, but from when we’ve talked at North Carolina events and Championship I get where he’s coming from and I think he’d fit well in several of the last few teams I’ve worked with.


Honestly, reading through JVN’s blog this year has brought a whole new kind of joy to my build season, and I honestly wish I could have the kind of team culture that 148 has built over these years. I’m sure that JVN has had a large impact on that team, and I really wish I could have him (or someone like that) to help strike that almost perfect balance of work/play at their meetings. We seem like to have far too much of one or the other at any given any meeting.

EDIT: This latest blog post seems to reinforce my point even further about him: https://johnvneun.com/blog/2018/4/25/robowrangler-victory


2468 is very happy to have had Ryan join our team this year.


Allen Gregory, for sure.


Mark McLeod, he may not be that high profile but every time someone has an issue he’s there to fix it. He does that with a smile on his face every single time.


Paul Copioli


Step away from Ryan… :slight_smile:


Awwww <3.


I had a spirited discussion with my fellow captains about this. I would have to say JVN from 148.

If we’re talking about students as well, my pick would probably be Madison from 148. Anyone sense a theme?


Dr. Earl Scime from 2614 or Ed Barker from 1311. MARS and Kell Robotics are great programs.



Aww… This means a lot to me to be so loved within the FIRST community. :]


Would you say you appreciate it?


^ +1