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Dr. Patrice Flynn has recently published an article in Journal of Social Science Studies titled "Using an Autonomous Humanoid Robot as a Pedagogical Platform in the Business Classroom."

If you have ever taken a class with Dr. Flynn, which is something that I really recommend, you are familiar with PARO. A robotic seal that moves at the sound of voices and can adapt based on how it is treated.

The fascination with robots and robotics has been around for centuries and Hollywood has portrayed it even before it became fully possible. If you are interested in learning more about robotics it would be beneficial to you to read Dr. Flynn’s article on what has been going on in the world of artificial intelligence in connection with robotic engineering.

Paro Therepeutic robot
PARO, an advanced interactive robot developed by Japanese industrial automation agency AIST, is designed to look like soft white seal.


Mount students traveled to the Headquarters of the United Nations in New York City to participate in the United Nations 2015 Global Youth Forum on February 2-3, 2015. The focus of the forum was to maximize the engagement of young people in the transition from Millennium Development Goals (2000-2015) to Sustainable Development Goals (post-2015). More than 600 young people from around the world gathered to engage in the conversation.

The energy at the forum was high with ideas flowing between youth delegates, the President and Vice Presidents of the UN Economic and Social Council who hosted the event, plus Ministers of Youth and youth program directors from Member States, and Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives to the UN from Ecuador, Jordon, Austria, Ireland, Kenya, Netherlands, USA, Croatia, Gambia, Portugal, Albania, Spain, United Arab Emirates, Romania, Burkino Faso, Mexico, Tunisia, Norway, Guyana, South Korea, Congo, Russia, Argentina, Germany, Sri Lanka, Colombia, China, Sierra Leone, Burundi, Bolivia, and more. Participants benefited from simultaneous translation in Spanish, French, Russian, Chinese, and Arabic!  

The United Nations estimates that there are 1.8 billion young people aged 10-24 in the world today, close to one-quarter of the world’s population. Thus, youth engagement is not a luxury, but rather a necessity to provide a platform for young people to engage in action and policy making. Youth input in critical to address issues such as education, employment, poverty, health, environment, juvenile justice, leisure, globalization, technology, HIV/AIDS, and armed conflict.

The Mount delegation consisted of Emily Davis (International Studies), Brigid Flay (Economics), Regina Fleck (International Studies), John-Paul Heil (History, Philosophy, Italian), Phil Noto (Accounting), Brian Quigley (Political Science), and Kevin Rein (Political Science, Business). The trip was led by Dr. Patrice Flynn, the Morrison Professor of International Studies in the Bolte School of Business, as part of the Morrison global engagement program at the Mount.  United Nations

The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon opened the Youth Forum with a call for young people to “Challenge your leaders. You have the prerogative as young people. The Future is yours.” He focused our attention on a “new agenda with poverty and sustainable development at its core, where gender equality is a practical reality.” If we are to end poverty and hunger and bring about gender equality in our lifetimes, the delegates were encouraged by Dr. Ban Ki-moon to be bold, courageous and visionary, to bring creative ideas to the table, and to enter into partnerships with the United Nations and civil society to advance the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals so that “no one is left behind.”

Dr. Flynn believes that input from young people is essential in the development process if we are to devise innovative ways to effectively address poverty, sustainability, and gender equality. “I was thrilled to see our Mount students fully engaged in the conversation with such a prestigious group of diplomats, students, and world leaders. Having a youth lens is imperative to ensure that the Sustainable Development Goals are viable and relevant to young people as they move into adulthood.”   

The 2015 Global Youth Forum also marked the 20th anniversary of the World Programme of Action for Youth, the 20-year review of the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action for the benefit of young women and girls, and a new focus on the needs of African youth. The forum allowed young people an avenue for participation and input into intergovernmental discussions at the highest levels.

By the end of the forum, a set of recommendations were agreed upon and will be transmitted by youth delegates to the Members States in July of 2015. Some of the recommendations focused concretely on increasing the representation of young people in parliaments, securing line item funding for youth programs and transitions from school to work in national budgets, and inclusion of youth in the finalization and implementation of the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals.




The John Richards Teaching Award was established in honor of John Richards, former professor of physics, and is designed to honor excellence in teaching.  This year, the Richards Committee, composed of four faculty members, one from each school, and four students selected by the deans of each school, received over 100 nominations for fifty different faculty members.  This number indicates the quality of the Mount’s faculty and the quality of the teaching that faculty do.  Each of these nominations was asked to address ways in which the faculty member demonstrates creative course development, the ability to inspire and challenge students, concern for students’ intellectual, moral, and religious development, and the ability to explicate difficult ideas, texts, and concepts.

Our faculty are excellent teachers – caring, engaged, inspiring, demanding.  This makes it all the more challenging to pick out a single winner in any given year.  This year was particularly competitive, with a number of outstanding faculty discussed by members of the committee.

Patrice Flynn was selected as the winner of this year’s Richard’s award.  Patrice began at the Mount in the Fall of 2011 as a full time professor and since then has garnered the following comments from students over the years:

This professor always asks challenging questions to expand the way students think about the world’s problems and pushes students to think outside of the box.

This professor works especially hard each semester to create a classroom culture for students that is inviting, engaging, and comfortable but also rigorous, stimulating, and professional.

This professor cares deeply for students, encourages students to develop personal goals, and pushes students to go beyond what they believe is possible.

She is purposeful with her classroom time – using a perfect mix of lecture, discussion, group activities, and real-world examples.

She has an incredible rapport with her students, investing so much energy and passion into her relationships that her deep commitment to her students is evident to her colleagues and to the entire Mount community.

She was originally hired to design and develop a new introductory course in a major – this course has not only increased student learning in the major’s upper level courses, but it has become wildly popular across campus for students from all majors to learn more about how businesses operate.  She has had a great impact on our students – teaching them about global capitalism, taking them to the United Nations, 

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