Livonia Warriors FIRST Robotics

2832 GEAR UPdate

March 21, 2016

Build Management Teams Interviews

Interviewed by Jordan Pompa, Stevenson High School

Mentor Spotlight

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Nominated by the Livonia Warriors for the Woodie Flowers Award 2016.

Woodie Flowers Award is presented to an outstanding Mentor in the robotics competition who best leads, inspires and empowers their team using excellent communication skills.

Submitted by Mya Constantino, Stevenson High School

The best mentors not only inspire and teach, but also give students a sense of belonging, contributing, and a passion for their work. As an electrical mentor, Jeffery Tumavitch is an excellent leader, who guides and encourages instead of just managing. He is an important member of “The Livonia Warriors”, where he teaches by example and his enthusiasm is contagious.

“Mr. T,” as he is known, went to Michigan State University where he received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. He currently works at Ford and has been there for twenty-two years. Presently, he is a supervisor for transmission safety.

His love for electrical engineering comes from his love to tinker. He likes being on the robotics team not only because his daughter is on the team, but also because he enjoys what he does. This includes teaching his all-girl electrical team. Now, his younger daughter is going to be joining the FTC team, so he became an electrical mentor on the FTC team. Again, he is transferring skills and shaping young minds to have a passion for technology. Mentors and students grow when they are around him, and he grows in turn. He truly enjoys being on the Livonia Warriors and FTC “RoboEagles” team.

Mr. T brings new ideas to help the team be the best that we can be. He brings in supplies such as lights, instamorph (a moldable plastic), and metal etching. If there is a design plan or vision that the students want to create, he shows them how to think outside the box to produce the effect. He helps the students go beyond obvious boundaries – to explore, discover, and experiment. He has sparked a discipline that is fondly referred to as “electrical aesthetics” – fusing art and electrical technology. The team won two imagery awards in the 2015 competitions because the robot was stunning on the field.

Mr. Tumavitch has additional roles and contributions on the team. He is the pit mentor; he helped the team receive the UL safety award, and brought in sponsors. He is dedicated to the success of the students and the team.

The experiences on a robotics team give students training for all career paths where a product is created. It is a process--a developmental process. A good mentor, however, imparts more than that. He knows it also takes dedication and energy. It is a way of thinking and appreciating how things work and how to make them work for you. Mr. Tumavitch makes building and creating a fun process. The team meets the challenges of the competition with a positive attitude and an appreciation for the building process that will make the students great leaders and an inspiration to others in whatever profession that they pursue.