James J. Whalen Academic Symposium Keynote Speakers

Come and hear Professor Carole Dennis and seniors Hannah Shade and Margaret Crowell talk about their work and experience with her presentation titled: "The Essence of Exploration: Tots and Thoughts on Robots" on Thursday, April 12, at 8:30 AM in Emerson A, Campus Center.

This presentation will explore the process of collaborative, theory-driven, interdisciplinary research, as illustrated by the Tots on Bots Project. Researchers and clinicians propose that the desire to explore fuels the drive for independent mobility in infants. In their research they use the WeeBot with pre-crawling infants to explore whether this independent robotic mobility exerts a positive influence on development across multiple domains. The contributions of faculty and students from the project's inception to its present form will be discussed, with examples of how the project has focused personal and professional growth.

Carole Dennis is a professor in the Occupational Therapy Department at Ithaca College. She completed her bachelor's degree in occupational therapy at the University of New Hampshire, her master's in Special Education at the University of Connecticut, and her doctorate in therapeutic Studies at Boston University. Her current research focuses on the effects of experience with robotic mobility on development of infants with and without disabilities.

Carole Dennis