Jan 01, 2014
“Looking back, it is clear I chose the right path,” says Professor Flynn on his decision of leaving the filed of law after practicing for five years. “To have the students say you’re doing a good job, it makes you realize you are doing what you are supposed to be doing.”
This is the second time Professor Flynn has won the award since he began teaching a full course load in 2008-09. Unfortunately, he was unable to personally accept his most recent award at the March 20 Teaching Awards ceremony as he was teaching at the time. Other 2014 Teaching Award nominees representing the Faculty of Social Sciences were Geraldine Voros, Nicole Goodman and Mark McKerrow.
In addition to proving that he made the proper career decisions, Professor Flynn recognizes the significance of being honoured in a profession that is typically associated with rejection and criticism.
“The academic world can be tough because it is so personal,” says Professor Flynn, who completed his completed both his masters and PhD at McMaster. “Nobody takes a paper you wrote and says that it is perfect. Students also have a right to be demanding. I’m very flattered that they would recognize my efforts and in such a public way.”
Professor Flynn recognizes, however, that teaching in the social sciences provides him with the opportunity to interact everyday with groups of open-minded students.
“I think we do a good job in political science and the social sciences of fostering engagement. So, when you approach a class with an open mind, they are prepared to be persuaded.”