His students could have gone on and on about him but managed in a one-minute video to fully capture what Ewen Ross meant to Loomis Chaffee robotics.
Ewen, who died on January 25, was the longtime robotics coach as well as a member of the Science Department, teaching physics, advanced physics, astronomy, an interdisciplinary course on the Model T, and courses in engineering design and robotics. Ewen grew the robotics team into the thriving and successful program that it is today. On Saturday, February 18, at the state championships at Wolcott High School, Ewen posthumously received the Compass Award.
The award is given to someone who is a “beacon and leader on the journey of the FIRST Tech challenge. … an adult coach or mentor who has given outstanding guidance and support and demonstrates to the team what it means to be a gracious professional.” Candidates are nominated in a video that can be no longer than 60 seconds.
Jen Solomon, the associate director of Innovation and a member of the Science Department faculty, coached robotics with Ewen for four years. She described the moment his name was announced as amazing.
“The students had worked hard for months to put together the submission video, interviewing current and former team members,” Jen said. “They started the process of designing the video back in October, and to see that their work resulted in the Connecticut robotics community recognizing Ewen’s contributions in such a public way was overwhelming. There were others at the state championship who had worked alongside Ewen from FRC [First Robotics Competition] and other FTC [First Tech Challenge] teams over the past 20 years, and it was special to share this moment with all of them.”
Students on the video called him creative, approachable, hard-working, vital to the team, and intelligent.
“He gave us the exact amount of freedom to explore ideas but was going to catch us if our ideas fell,” Jay Srivastava ’22 said on the video.
Asher Kornfeld ’22 said that no matter if someone was having a bad day or the robot wasn’t working like they hoped, he was always there “to lift us up and bring out the excitement in us all.”
Two other students spoke about the time the robot had to be rebuilt over a long weekend and Ewen was there beside the team every step of the way. A beacon, a leader, gracious professional for sure.