Impacts of Technology on the U.S. Tourism Industry in a Post-Pandemic Future

Technology is tremendously changing scenes of customer services and business operations in the hospitality and tourism industry. It has been already several years that humanoids greet hotel guests in Japan. Many robots are delivering food to customers at airports and hotels in Boston and Houston. McDonald’s recently opened a new robot-only store in Phoenix. People virtually travel to Europe and Asian countries through screens. Millennials and Generation Zs are buying luxury products for their avatars and enjoy their lives in a virtual theme park in a metaverse platform. We cannot help asking the question “how hotels, restaurants, or travel attractions in a post-pandemic world would look like?” This Zoom-recorded presentation titled “Impacts of tech on the US Tourism Industry in a post-pandemic future” was delivered in Korean by Dr. Seunghyun “Brian” Park of St. John’s University on November 24, 2021.

Integral Human Development and Land Tenure

October 29, 2021 9:00am EST
To thrive, we need the land.  Yet, what is the land and how do we secure our relationship to it?  Such is the role of tenure.  Over time we have answered the questions of tenure in ways virtuous and vicious.  Today, we live in their perilous outcome.  A new answer from Integral Ecology is that we belong to the land.
How might we now form tenure?

Sr. Alessandra Smerilli

Secretary, Dicastery of Integral Human Development, Vatican 

Edmund Klimek
AIA Partner, KSS Architects
Friar Joseph Blay
OFM, Conv.
Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation, Ghana, Africa
Grace Musser
Student, Sustainability Activist, St. John’s University, NY
Rev. Bolmax Pereira, Ph.D.
Scholar- Farmer- Activist,
Goa, India
Jenn Low
PLA, Integrative Designer/Landscape Architect, The Urban Studio,
Washington, DC

June 2, 2021 Webinar: U Helsinki / St. John’s University Communicative Agora

Inter-Cultural Communication – Reality. Axiom. Image.

Presented by Dr. Razan Jadaan – author of the book

It presents a kind of revolutionary state of thought, opening the space for thinkers, scholars, societies and worldwide public opinions to think and re-think about the perplex present inter-cultural communication, creating new dialectical syntheses approaching authentic Dialogue.

The book wanders in nine chapters between theory and realism: defining terms like culture and civilization, attempting to explain the ways of communication between the Arab cultures and ‘Western’ cultures in the era of globalization, comparing the construction of the Arabic ‘oriental’ and the (European & American) ‘western’ societies in the inter-cultural communication, concluding to the fragility of conceptual grounds -between the past, the present and the age of modernism and postmodernism-, studying the presence of mass media in societies and between them, also analyzing its role in influencing the worldwide public opinions. The book reflects the shape and content of the inter-cultural communication between dialogue and conflict from the different points of view, noting the barriers against a constructive inter-cultural communication, taking the technological revolution and its challenges into consideration. This work suggests new constructive approaches towards an authentic inter-cultural dialogue.

May 20, 2021 Webinar: Future Of Higher Education- Students Take

Courtesy UNICEF

On May 20, 2021 students of graduate programs International Communication and Integrated Advertising Communication and doctoral students from the School of Education engaged the graduate students from the Division of Mass Communication in an insightful and robust conversation about the future of education. Samuel Dieudonne, ICM, Claren Kaufhold, ICM, Kadijah B. Salawudeen, ICM, James Wheatley, ICM, Taryn Smith, ICM, Meghan Marin Ruelas, IAC, Pamela V. Eatman-Skinner, Gustavo Loor, and Kevin Scanlon (School of Education).

Please, take time to watch the video

In the vortex of death and despair: felled by Covid-19

In solidarity with my brethren in Goa, India

Basilio G. Monteiro

As death and despair assail us where do we find comfort? Tagore, our poet sage, reminds us that “Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.”

At this moment of the pandemic, death has lost its grace, meaning and dignity amid the abstraction of statistics.

Dom Moraes in his Absences yelps with anguish

Smear out the last star. No lights from the islands Or hills. In the great square The prolonged vowel of silence Makes itself plainly heard Round the ghost of a headland Clouds, leaves, shreds of bird Eddy, hindering the wind.

The unnecessary and avoidable death and despair our people are facing is benign neglect the governance hoisted on the people caught trying to eke out a living and to stay alive. With pain and misery, we often find ourselves broken and crippled. There is a sense of incompleteness; but then, the longing remains. And Tagore would call us to ponder:

The song that I came to sing remains unsung to this day.

I have spent my days in stringing and in unstringing my instrument.

The time has not come true, the words have not been rightly set;

only there is the agony of wishing in my heart.

The struggle to make meaning is daunting, while we are focused on survival, masks, sanitizers, quarantined life and emptiness that surrounds our existence.

Pablo Neruda, a Chilean poet and diplomat (1904-1973) has a poetic way to speak to our desolate hearts in his A Song Of Despair

The memory of you emerges from the night around me.

The river mingles its stubborn lament with the sea.

Deserted like the wharves at dawn.

It is the hour of departure, oh deserted one!

Cold flower heads are raining over my heart.

Oh pit of debris, fierce cave of the shipwrecked.

In you the wars and the flights accumulated.

From you the wings of the song birds rose.

You swallowed everything, like distance.

Like the sea, like time. In you everything sank!

It was the happy hour of assault and the kiss.

The hour of the spell that blazed like a lighthouse.

Pilot’s dread, fury of blind driver,

turbulent drunkenness of love, in you everything sank!

In the childhood of mist my soul, winged and wounded.

Lost discoverer, in you everything sank!

You girdled sorrow, you clung to desire,

sadness stunned you, in you everything sank!

I made the wall of shadow draw back,

beyond desire and act, I walked on.

While caught in the vortex of death and despair, it is good to be awakened by the Tagore’s sublime prayer:

This is my prayer to thee, my lord—strike, strike at the root of penury in my heart.

Give me the strength lightly to bear my joys and sorrows.

Give me the strength to make my love fruitful in service.

Give me the strength never to disown the poor or bend my knees before insolent might.

Give me the strength to raise my mind high above daily trifles.

And give me the strength to surrender my strength to thy will and love.

The Future of Higher Education in Post-Pandemic Era

Melissa Labonte, Fordham University, NY // Paul Levinson, Fordham University, NY // Paivi Oinonen, Aalto University, Finland

Fr. Dennis Holtschneider, CM,University, Association of Catholic, USA // Chantal Line Carpentier Chief, UNCTAD, New York Office // Yvonne Pratt-Johnson, St. John’s University, NY

The existing order of higher education has been up-ended by COVID-19. This experience provides an opportunity for all stakeholders of the educational process to reevaluate and reshape this order in a way that is more equitable, inclusive, accessible, affordable, and valuable.

Innovation, technology, and the digital divide has moved from the margins to the center of our education systems, and there is an opportunity to identify new strategies and pedagogies, which will help our youth not only obtain the education that they need but the one that they deserve and that prepares them for our changing times.

Now is the time to reimagine how higher education can emerge stronger from this global crisis than ever before and propose a path for capitalizing on education’s newfound support in virtually every community across the globe. It is a moment in history to understand the central role of education in the economic, social, and political prosperity and stability of nations.

De Terris, Aquis et Aeribus: Laudato Si’ 5-Years on…

Friday, March 26, 2021 @ 11 AM (EST)

Click the photo to view the WebEx recording.

Five years ago, Pope Francis changed the global conversation and directed our attention to our Common Home: the planet earth. The hard, painful and imminent consequences of climate change cannot be ignored. Laudato Si has become a transformative encyclical, which has grabbed the attention and the imagination of people across the world, and particularly of younger people. The global conversation focused on the impact of Laudato Si on different sectors in different parts of the world.  

His Eminence Cardinal Turkson, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development discussed the ongoing efforts of the Dicastery to keep Laudato Si front and center of public policy making across various sectors by engaging the principals of these sectors. Mr. Satya Tripathi, Asst. Secretary General of UNEP, New York Office, emphasized “action-oriented” work of the United Nations to accelerate the climate related policies. Mr. Marco Mari, President of Green Building Council, Italy, detailed how the engineering work of the Council has taken an aggressive lead to build and refurbish exiting building and also promoting sustainable cities.  

Presenters Dr. Juan Chebly, World Food Program, Dr. Luca Rosi, Istituto Superiore di Sanita, Italy, Friar Joseph Blay, Climate Justice Activist, Ghana, Adv. Monica Mhatre, Waste Management Activist, India, Ms. Cristina Parenti, Mechanical Engineer for Sustainable Development, Italy, Mr. Edmund Klimek, Architect for Sustainable Development, USA, Ms. Julia Theilen, Digital and Strategic Communication Specialist, Germany, Ms. Natalia Guendel Bueno, Graduate Student of International Communication, St. John’s University, NY, focused on their respective sectors and regions.  

Link to event flyer:

Dante-Morrison Intellectual Engagement

Thursday, March 25, 2021 @ 9:30 AM (EST)

Click the photo to view the WebEx recording.

Commemorating the 700th death remembrance of the beatific poet Dante Alighieri called for an engagement with is trans-centennial pupils. Toni Morrison, the noble soul achieving immortality, engaged Dante with vehemence and sublime subtlety. Dr. Kathleen Marks, an unfathomable Dante-Morrison savant, unpacked the richly embroidered subtleties of this sublime cerebral engagement. The eminent Dr. Annalisa Sacca, a distinguished poet herself, who entrenched herself early in life at Liceo Classico in Dante, discovered in Morrison’s Paradise a symbiotic soul with Dante. Dr. Florence Russo, a Dante connoisseur, took the audience to the Infernal Dante-journey rung by rung of the canto. Dr. Luca Iandoli, an Engineer, and Dr. Giuseppe Zollo, an Architect, both enchanted by Dante’s poetic mathematics, exposed Dante’s trans-national soul, mind and heart connecting fundamental innovations of Arab numerals and the zero invented by the Indian mathematicians and the Fibonacci’s Abacus – a testament to intellectual engagement in an open and interconnected world.   

Link to event flyer:


The endlessly provocative and perennially in search for a satisfactory answer was the subject of global conversation: media and trust. It reflected different regions of the world with respective cultural, historical and political traditions shaping the notions, dynamics and political exploitations of trust. The conundrum of trust is as old as human beings as they came to live a shared community life.

The presenters from their respective convictions shaped by their respective lived experience and intellectual assessment succintly shared their highly regarded deliberations.

Dr. Minna Aslama-Horowitz along with Dr. Janne T. Matikaine, University of Helsinki, Finland, representing the state of trust in the Western European countries, offered a quantitative methodology to make sense of the why and how of trust play out in the society. Dr. Josepf Trappel of the University of Salzburg, Austria, explored very evocatively the philosophical perspectives of trust in relation to media. Dr. Razan Jardan and Prof. Roozbeh Ali Kafi of the American University of Dubai compellingly provided a historical, cultural and religious background to help us to make sense of the conundrum of trust in media in the regions of the Middle East, better understood as the Arab world.

Please click on the image to view and listen to the presentations.

Basilio G. Monteiro