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Pictured is Patrick Mulvihill, D.Ed., visiting assistant professor of business. | Photo by Victoria A. Mikula

Patrick Mulvihill, D.Ed.
, was recently appointed a visiting assistant professor for Point Park University's School of Business. Prior to this position, Mulvihill was an academic information analyst at Point Park and a part-time instructor for both the School of Business and Department of Criminal Justice and Intelligence Studies. Before joining Point Park, Mulvihill held positions with South University, PNC Bank and Fisher Scientific.

Tell us about your research interests and why these topics are important to you.

My primary research interests are rooted within both organizational leadership and systems theory. To me, the two are inextricably linked. If you really take a deep dive through history's greatest leaders, regardless of the era, you get a sense that we have become complacent with use of the term "leader."

When an individual is exhibiting clearly defined characteristics of leadership, we are often quick to label them as a leader. In reality, these individuals might be better described as a charismatic CEO, skilled manager or incredibly talented athlete. Examining organizational leadership through this lens really challenges, and in some cases, refines our existing mental models.

In similar fashion, when applied to a given event or phenomenon, the core principles of system thinking have the ability to move us from a state of situational awareness to that of situational understanding. For example, one can make the case that military operations are likely one of the more complex human activities. When approached from a systemic frame of reference, the complex and interrelated components become illuminated for purposes of strategic planning. This non-linear pattern of thought is one critical element that needs to be developed and sustained within all levels of an organization.

Describe your teaching style.

I believe that learning is an active process which requires motivation, effort and most importantly, persistence. Therefore, I see it as my responsibility to develop a community of learning inside and outside of the classroom that is both challenging as well as supportive. It is through this collaboration that my students are able to take on lead roles in the construction and transfer of knowledge. If I do my job well, understanding is ultimately strengthened, reinforced and refined.

What do you enjoy most about teaching at Point Park?

I find the diversity within the Point Park community incredibly exciting. An event or phenomenon cannot always be defined by one individual's understanding. The collective academic and professional experience that exists within our University provides a unique lens through which we can explore and advance the body of scholarly knowledge within career fields.

What advice do you have for our School of Business students?

Hold yourself accountable to achieving the things that you dream about accomplishing. Life has a funny way of diminishing our expectations over time. If you do one thing each day related to that vision, no matter how small or irrelevant it may seem at the time, you'll be prepared to capture the opportunity whenever the moment presents itself.

Do you have a favorite quote?

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

Photo by Victoria A. Mikula, junior mass communication major


More About: Rowland School of Business, faculty research, organizational leadership, faculty, business management