Dr. Fazlul Zubair, Fuzz, is the lead mentor and father of our family. Literally, as he founded our team and works to recruit and maintain our student body. Figuratively, as he walks into the shop and gives everyone a fist bump, beaming smile and genuine inquiry of how we are doing.
Fuzz spends hours training students to be experts in wiring, systems design, strategy, presentation and more. His clear explanations in combination with hands-on learning are such that the students he trains are equipped to teach future members.
When I think of Fuzz’s impact on the team, I think of Julliana, who wanted to be on pit crew but others were less confident in the idea. Through Fuzz’s patient questioning and understanding, she realized she wanted to be valued. He guided her into pit hosting where her interpersonal skills shone. If there is a concern or dispute, students go to Fuzz as he will listen and provide a solution that makes everyone happy. To him, every concern is worth listening to.
In 2018, team tension threatened to pull us apart. Fuzz called students aside for one-on-one conversations listening to concerns, unraveling issues and then identifying conflicting goals and values as the root cause. His support and unwavering belief in the team helped everyone through the difficult season. He empowered the students to lead a culture change, redefining our vision and realigning the team to these core values which now drive our team. Fuzz’s support continues to encourage student leaders to work through problems and build a team that puts fun, cooperation and learning first. Besides team culture and administration, Fuzz has been a main mentor in our Chairmans’ efforts. As the Head FLL Referee for the region, Fuzz mobilizes dozens of our students to support more than 35 local FLL teams and several competitions.
Fuzz’s vision extends past our team. He works to inspire students everywhere, including underprivileged locations like Watts, California where he and his wife founded a new FRC team, The TeraWatts. Fuzz worked to obtain funds and mentors each year while also being their lead mentor and drive coach. His desire to provide the FIRST experience to any student includes breaking down financial and technical barriers for over 90 teams. He is the voice of FIRST at his work, Raytheon, where he worked to increase support of FIRST teams to $65000 and secure $50000 for the LA Regional.
Fuzz is also the driving force behind our practice field where he works with parents and students to ensure accurately built game elements and that teams have the best possible experience when visiting. His host attitude makes him an invaluable member of the LA Regional committee as he cleared the way for the regional to be hosted at our school, working with students and parents to ensure a successful event. Fuzz cares for everyone. He looks after the well-being of all who step through the shop doors, and he constantly seeks to expand our family and help any other FIRST family that he can.