From MC Student to MC Professor: Ann Marie Flynn

By Jessica Quinn, Staff Writer

Ann Marie Flynn is a prominent professor here at Manhattan College. A valued member to the Chemical Engineering faculty, Dr. Flynn is an important asset to the Manhattan College community. Although, what most people do not know, is that Dr. Flynn used to be a Manhattan College student herself.

She began her journey at the school in the fall of 1977, where she declared her major in Chemical Engineering. Dr. Flynn first decided to attend Manhattan when she first visited the school, “I was standing on the steps by Smith and it just felt like home”.

Dr. Flynn was a prime participant in clubs like the Gaelic Society, the women’s crew team and AICHE. She also worked every weekend at the restaurant Rosie O’ Grady’s in the city. Prior to attending Manhattan College, she studied at a boarding school in Ireland during her high school career.

Before deciding upon Manhattan, she thought that Syracuse University was where she would study. Although, during her visit to the campus she changed her mind. She explained, “I went in to the admissions building, I applied, and by the time I walked out that day, I had been accepted into Manhattan College. It was bizarre.”

During the earlier years at Manhattan, it was predominately a male school. The college converted to being co-ed right before her acceptance, making her one of the few females at both a male dominated major and school. There were eight girls in her graduating class in 1981.

Although Dr. Flynn was part of the minority gender wise, she never considered her status as a female to affect her negatively whatsoever. She excelled, so she never considered gender to be an issue, “If you’re good at what you do, who cares? Male or female. I was always aware of that so I never cared,” she said.

She explained how “excellence is a great equalizer” and never thought twice about her gender affecting her career as an engineer at Manhattan College. She was a good student who dominated in her field, making her an ideal role model for any student at Manhattan College.

“I was aware that when I came back to teach, I wanted to be a role model for the girls. I wanted to dress like an executive female would dress. That you can be smart, an engineer, and still look like a woman,” Flynn said.

She was a resident of Overlook Manor for all of the four years she attended MC. She reminisced about the keg parties that used to be allowed on each floor, due to the drinking age being eighteen during that time.

Students used to attend bars like The Terminal, Pinewood, and Green Leaf. Dr. Flynn explained how “Manhattan College was known to have a very healthy nightlife. It was well recognized for its ability to enjoy itself.”

During her time at MC, Dr. Flynn admired the presence of the brothers and their effect on the campus environment, “It was kind of like the feeling you get when you’re in church. Sometimes when you’re in church, there’s a safety that you feel when you’re in church. The truth is the church is just another building, but when you walk into a church there’s this safety that encompasses you. The presence of the brothers brought that sense of safety to the school.”