East West

I am proud to nominate Mike Johnson for the Woodie Flowers Finalist Award. Mike Johnson is one of the most influential people I have ever met. Since my first year on NoMythic, Mike has been there without reserve, supporting everyone he can. 

Starting on the team, I was unsure of what to work on or how to do anything. In the first few months, I learned to drive our robot and Mike stood by my side, guiding my decisions and giving me feedback on my mistakes. Through his one on one coaching, he taught me how to approach challenges in a way that has affected how I have worked through problems both on and off the team. 

Right before our 2019 season began, a sudden accident occurred while skiing that broke part of his back. Even during his recovery, Mike was still engaged with the team through his mentorship and encouragement. Although the injury temporarily hampered his physical capabilities, it did nothing to stall his passion for robotics and the students. 

As soon as he was able, Mike arrived in a wheelchair ready to renew his efforts. By sitting with each group, asking the right questions, and lifting everyone’s mood, he made the day he returned a turning point in our season. His fortitude has been an inspiration to all of us. No matter what happens, he keeps calm, moving us forward with care and diligence. This mentality changed how I work; each challenge is now just the start of a new experience. 

Mike has always taken an approach to mentorship that encourages each student to think for themselves and discover their thoughts and ideas. Just by asking simple questions, he opens the door for the involvement of others. He ensures that everyone he works with walks away with a knowledge exceeding that of when they started.