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Strong sound

Sonos ecosystem support

Discreet design


No official support for custom images

No microphone for virtual assistants

Set-up requires a drill & screws

Our Verdict

The Symfonisk picture frame is an impressive speaker – especially for its unusual design – with the usual array of Sonos smart features and connectivity. It’s just a shame that it’s limited to Ikea’s range of pre-made pictures, which perversely means it can replace a speaker, but not an actual picture frame.

Updated 15 May 2023: This review has been amended to reflect the addition of new artwork designs to the official picture frame range, and a new unofficial custom option from Symfonx.

The picture frame is the third installment in the Symfonisk series, the collaboration between flat-pack furniture giant Ikea and sound specialists Sonos.

Much like the two Symfonisk speakers that came before it – one built into a lamp, the other designed to slot neatly into a bookshelf – the picture frame is designed to blend into the home without looking ostentatiously techy.

The name is a touch misleading because by any reasonable measure this is not a picture frame – but it is a speaker designed to look like a piece of art hanging on the wall.

Despite that, sound quality is impressive and compatibility with the rest of the Sonos ecosystem makes this a good buy as either a standalone speaker or an expansion to an existing Sonos setup.

Design and build


Swappable designs

Can’t display your own images

The picture frame speaker is a slim, rectangular block that measures 41 x 57cm – not quite wall-filling, but clearly designed to take a prominent place in a room. Ikea also includes set-up instructions for provocatively leaning the frame against something instead of mounting it, but I’m really not sure why you would, unless you’re renting and not allowed to drill holes in walls.

I’ve already said that it’s not, strictly speaking, a picture frame. That’s because you can’t mount your own artwork, photos, or prints on it, and are instead limited to Ikea’s pre-existing range of designs.

The two default options are a minimalist design of dots and lines, available in either white or black – with the frame’s body colour-matched to your choice. The fabric prints are replaceable, and at launch Ikea showed off a range of fourteen different designs, available for $22/£30/€30 each, though not all have gone on sale worldwide.

Since launch Ikea has added to the range with a trio of designs based on famous artworks: Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Van Gogh’s Starry Night, and Gustav Klimt’s The Tree of Life. Each of the three comes with a unique soundtrack from composer Franz Edvard Cedrins, inspired by the original painting.

The good news is that replacing or swapping the picture is easy – it’s as simple as popping the fabric mesh out from the body, as it’s only held in by lightweight plastic pegs. The bad news is that because the fabric image is attached to a plastic frame, there’s no easy way to adapt this to include your own artwork.

Luckily, third-party companies have stepped in to do what Ikea and Sonos so far have not. Companies like Unisk and Symfonx have expanded the range of options available, allowing you to either order from an expanded range of designs or even have your own images printed onto fabric covers for the frame.

Dominic Preston / Foundry

I tried out Symfonx, having one of my own photos printed out on a custom fabric panel. It’s easy enough to upload an image, with clear instructions on file size and quality. I did find the final version very slightly muted compared to the photo I submitted, so bear that in mind when picking a design.

The Symfonx panel is lighter weight than the official ones, and attaches with magnets rather than plastic pins. It’s only a few minutes’ work to swap the design over, though I did find that a couple of the magnets didn’t seem to hold as strongly as the others, so there are two spots where the print doesn’t quite sit flush in my frame – that’s a pretty minor complaint in the grand scheme of things.

Sound quality also seems entirely unaffected, and there’s nothing to stop you from swapping back to how you had it before if you want to sell the frame on in a few years.

At $79/£65 this is more expensive than any of the official options, but to me that’s a premium worth paying for the sake of a custom design, rather than Ikea’s bland hotel art.

The only other thing worth noting is that – at 60mm – the frame is fairly thick, so will jut out of the wall a little. That makes it a little more obvious that this is more than it seems, but the illusion still holds – I’ve had plenty of visitors taken aback the moment music starts playing from the artwork.

Setup and installation

Requires drill and screws

Digital setup is simple

Power two speakers from a single power cord

There are two elements to the setup here: physical and digital.

The physical side is easy enough, but will demand some DIY know-how – and equipment. The frame comes with a metal bracket for wall-mounting, but because of its weight – 3.8kg – this will need more than a nail hammered into the wall.

Properly securing the bracket will require a drill and screws (not supplied), so you’ll need to be comfortable giving that a go – and have the right to, as not all renters are allowed to drill holes in the walls. Silicone rubber feet will at least stop your wall getting scratched while also dampening vibrations from the speaker.

You might think that all the drilling is why Ikea offers the option to just prop the frame up against a wall instead, but even for this the company recommends screw-mounting, presumably to stop the frame knocking itself over with vibrations.

additional power cable will let you daisy chain two Symfonisk picture frames together, both drawing from the same power socket.

The good news is that if you can get past the mild hurdles of getting the thing up on the wall, the digital half of setup is painless. You’ll want to use the Sonos S2 app, and once signed up it only takes a couple of minutes to get the speaker onto your Wi-Fi network (an Ethernet port is also included, if you prefer, though will give you an extra cable to worry about), with pairing handled by a quick tap of your phone against the spot on the speaker where the power LED is visible.

Sound quality

Surprisingly strong sound

Slightly thin bass

This won’t be one of the best speakers you’ve ever heard, but it doesn’t need to be. The best speakers you’ve ever heard are probably big, bulky, and quite obviously techy – three things that this isn’t.

I will say that the sound quality that Sonos has delivered here is remarkable given the frame’s slim form factor. It can’t keep up with the Sonos Playbase I have powering my TV audio, and will likely lag a little behind the Sonos One – but not by much.

On the default tuning the bass is fairly thin, with the propulsive bassline of ‘Out of Sight’ by Run the Jewels falling short of the pulsating oomph it demands. The Sonos app’s basic EQ – just treble and bass sliders – compensates for this somewhat, but has its limits.

The speaker’s strengths clearly lie in the higher registers, where the company’s bright, crisp sound profile shines through. If you stick mostly to pop and rock you’ll make the most of this speaker, with punchy vocals cutting through an open, balanced soundscape.

Smart features

Compatible with Sonos S2 app

Wi-Fi or Ethernet only – no Bluetooth or aux

Not a smart speaker

Like most Sonos speakers, the Symfonisk uses Wi-Fi (or Ethernet) to connect, rather than Bluetooth – and there’s no option for an aux lead either. You can play most streaming services over the speaker through the Sonos app – including Spotify, YouTube Music, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and even oddities like Plex, meditation app Calm, and various online radio services. Spotify Connect and AirPlay 2 support make it even easier to stream.

iPhone and iPad owners can also use ‘Truplay’ to tune the speaker to the room it’s in for optimised audio, though sadly there’s no equivalent feature for those of us on the Android side.

It’s worth noting that there are no microphones here, so this isn’t technically a smart speaker – though it can be connected to and controlled by other smart speakers and virtual assistants.

Thanks to the Sonos app you can link this up to other Symfonisk and Sonos speakers for multi-room audio, syncing the sound seamlessly across your home. You can also connect it to another Symfonisk picture frame to create a stereo pair in the same room.

The app can also be used for the basic audio options mentioned above, and to control the speaker. If you prefer, physical buttons behind the frame’s rim control play/pause and volume – though these won’t be much help if you mount the speaker high up on a wall.

Price and availability

The picture frame speaker is available exclusively from Ikea – either in-store or online. At £179/€179/$199 it’s the most expensive Symfonisk yet – you could buy a pair of the bookshelf speakers for the same price, while the lamp is closer to the frame but still runs a little cheaper.

Arguably the closer comparison is that it’s right up against the £199/$199 Sonos One, the core speaker in the company’s range. That will deliver better audio quality than the picture frame, albeit without the discreet form factor.


The Symfonisk picture frame is another qualified success for the collaboration between Ikea and Sonos. It can’t quite match the sound quality or simplicity of the lamp – still the best product in the range – but what the two companies have pulled off here is undoubtedly impressive.

The biggest hang-up is the restriction to Ikea’s limited range of pre-made picture designs, which perversely means it can’t actually replace a regular picture frame in your home unless you happen to love some of the prints on offer here or are willing to pay extra for a third-party solution to bring out the speaker’s full potential.

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Nixplay Seed Wave Frame Review

Our Verdict

There’s no denying the Seed Wave is smart, with cloud storage, Spotify controls and even Alexa support if you’re in the US – and that’s what you pay for. Though trimmings aside, if you’re just interested in picture quality, you won’t be disappointed. Photos look vibrant and crisp on the 13in display, though you may need to turn the brightness up to full strength. You’ll just have to be willing to part with a couple hundred pounds.

The Nixplay Seed Wave offers a host of features and stunning picture quality that makes it desirable, but the integrated speaker and connected features adds a premium to the price that may startle some. We take a look to see if its worth it.

Price and Availability

The Nixplay Seed Wave is available for £249.99/ US$259.99 directly from Nixplay. You can also pick it up from Amazon. The Seed Wave is only available in the 13in size.

The US model is also compatible with Amazon Alexa when paired with an Echo device.

Also see our dedicated round up of the best digital photo frames.

Design & build

The first thing you might notice about the Seed Wave is, surprisingly, the back, which hosts the speakers in an attractive copper finish. You’ll also find the braided power input cable that doubles as a flexible yet durable stand. While this is an innovative feature, common to other Nixplay frames, it does mean you will need to find a way to hide the cable when you have the frame on display, as on its own it is unsightly.

There isn’t an internal battery either, so it will have to remain plugged in when in use – thought the benefit of this is you don’t have to worry about it suddenly turning off (unless you’ve set it to shut down automatically when it’s inactive for a certain period of time). The Seed Wave is on the chunkier side too, weighing nearly 1kg. 

On the front of the frame, you get a simple black bezel around the matte-finished screen. The border is also matte, with a silicone finish. While the classic black look is simple enough to blend into most decor, it does make the device look more like a tablet than a photo frame, which is unfortunate – especially since Nixplay manufacture options with more imaginative borders. Mirroring the copper finish on the front would have been a nice touch.

What’s unique about the frame is its Spotify support. While you can’t access Spotify directly on the device as a pre-loaded app, you can pair it with your phone to listen to audio via the frame’s speakers. This does leave us in want of more audio/visual functionality, like access to YouTube or other streaming services, but this might push the frame further into the tablet or smart display territory.

We found sound quality to be decent but not mind-blowing on the Seed Wave, with a slightly better output in the treble and middle range than in the bass. You might expect a more satisfying sound quality given the frame costs over £200, but it’s equally understandable for Nixplay to prioritize picture quality over audio.

In terms of photo controls, you can control the display either from the provided remote control, or via your phone from the Nixplay app (free on Android and iOS). In our experience, it’s much easier to just use the remote directly as the phone to frame response can lag.

Before you can actually add pictures to the frame, you’ll have to create a Nixplay account and register your frame’s serial number. There are a couple ways to add photos. You can either use the app or log on to your Nixplay account via a browser.

Though the app is a great way to control the settings of the frame and to invite others to share photos with you, it wasn’t the most intuitive to use. For example, to display photos on the frame, you need to a create a playlist, which confusingly, is separate from creating an album. As a cloud-based device, it also took a few moments for the frame to update when new pictures were added to the playlist via the app.

Otherwise, the app offers a fairly clean UI with setting controls you would otherwise access on the device. You can set a sleep schedule, motion sensor timings, transition types, brightness, volume and pair you Spotify account.

Picture quality

Now the most important part. The Seed Wave offers 1920×1080 Full HD resolution and handles both photos and videos. Colours appear vivid and images are sharp and well-defined. This of course, depends on the quality of the photos you upload to the device. I was surprised how nice my pictures looked on the frame, given they were all taken on a phone, the Huawei P20. Shots looked rich and bright with striking contrast.

We operated the frame at maximum brightness as this is what looked best for us.

There are also several different image transitions to choose from, though some can be slightly on the silly side (think: PowerPoint presentation animations). There’s also an auto-rotate feature, so you could prop the frame up in portrait mode – but we preferred the view in landscape to make the most of the widescreen display.

Undoubtedly, if it’s image quality you’re after, the Nixplay Seedwave does a fabulous job. You’ll just need to think about whether you’d want all the extras that come with it.


Photos on the Nixplay Seed Wave look incredible. Even though most of the images we added were taken on a phone, the results were still vibrant, rich and colourful. Professional photos or ones taken on an actual camera will no doubt look even punchier.

We would be excited to see improved aesthetics on the frame border, stronger bass on the speaker, and battery support in the future. These adjustments would better justify the Seed Wave’s £200/$200-plus price point. Simpler app navigability would be an added bonus.

Support for Spotify when paired to your phone is a nice touch too, though non-essential if you’re really just interested in a digital frame to show off your pictures. The Nixplay Seed Wave ultimately caters to anyone willing to splurge, but there are cheaper options to choose from too.

How To Turn On Profile Picture Guard For Facebook.

If you are looking for a way to prevent people from downloading your Facebook profile pictures, it’s now possible thanks to Facebook’s long overdue Profile Picture Guard option. A new feature of Facebook that lets you disable all possible download profile picture options. Though there is one loophole that can’t seem to be addressed. Either way, this is a great deterrent. 

Related: How to block or filter keywords from your Facebook timeline.

Stolen profile pictures and fake accounts have always been one of the most annoying and seemingly unavoidable parts of social media. Stealing a profile picture is as simple as visiting a person’s page, viewing their profile picture and selecting the save image option. After more than a decade Facebook has finally added a feature that seems so simple it should have been something years ago, Profile Picture Guard.  

With Profile Picture Gaurd enabled, it becomes impossible to quickly and easily download your Facebook profile picture. The only possible option left to acquire a profile picture with PPG enabled is to load the image, take a screenshot of the image, then crop out all the junk attached with the screenshot. For most people looking to steal a profile picture, this is far too much work so they’ll generally skip your profile and move to an easier target.

As is typical for social media platforms… This feature is being rolled out slowly, region by region, so you may not yet have access to it when you follow the steps shown below. However, it shouldn’t be all that far away. Well let’s hope so, it could end up like the famous no show of dark mode for Facebook…. 

Quicksteps for turning on Profile Picture Guard on Facebook:

Make sure Facebook is up to date.

Open Facebook on your device.

Tap the Hamburger menu icon.

Go to your profile picture.

Tap and hold the image until you see a menu appear.

Enable Profile Picture Guard and you’re done.

How do you turn on Profile Picture Guard on Facebook? Block Facebook profile picture downloading.

To enable profile picture guard on your Facebook account, you’ll need to do the following. First, make sure your Facebook app is fully up to date. Now that your app is up to date proceed.   

Open Facebook on your device, then tap the Hamburger icon (3 horizontal lines) to open Facebook Settings. 

Next, tap your profile picture in the top left-hand corner (or wherever it is on your device) 

This will take you to your profile, with your profile picture at the top of the screen. Now tap and hold your profile picture until you see a new menu appear. This may take a couple of seconds. 

Finally, select the Profile Picture Guard option from the bottom of the list. You’ll see another screen that explains what this feature does showing the following information:

Other people cannot download or share your profile photo on Facebook.

Only you and your Facebook friends can tag your profile picture

The shield icon shows people that they should respect your profile picture

As we mentioned above, there are a few shortcomings of this feature, The first is that screenshotting will totally override any profile picture protection. The second is that this feature is only available from the mobile versions of Facebook. So if someone wants to copy your picture than can easily do so from the web version… 

This Lidar Smart Speaker Imagines Alexa With Eyes

This LIDAR smart speaker imagines Alexa with eyes

LIDAR may be best known right now for helping power autonomous cars (and infuriating Elon Musk), but the same technology could improve how we interact with smart speakers, a team of Intel-backed researchers suggest. SurfaceSight speculates on the potential for more useful IoT devices when they understand what’s around them, including object and hand recognition.

The goal was to give existing smart speakers and the applications they run some situational awareness. By stacking an Amazon Echo or Google Home Mini on top of a compact LIDAR sensor, researchers Gierad Laput and Chris Harrison of Carnegie Mellon University demonstrated how the devices could make inferences based on shape and movement about what was nearby. They’ll present their findings at ACM CHI 2023 today.

LIDAR uses lasers for range-finding, effectively bouncing non-visible light off objects and then building up a point cloud map based on the time it takes for that light to be reflected back. While it’s out commonly associated with autonomous car projects, where being able to create a real-time plan of the surrounding area is useful for avoiding traffic or pedestrians, it’s also commonly used in robotics, with UAVs, and other applications.

Importantly, it’s also moving into the realm of relative affordability. While high-range and high-accuracy LIDAR for automotive applications is still relatively expensive – something manufacturers are looking to change with new production processes – smaller, more affordable sensors are available. SurfaceSight, for example, relies on a sub-$100 unit, and the researchers speculate that the broader availability of solid-state LIDAR will only reduce that further.

For SurfaceSight, the applications are varied. One possibility is using fingers and hands to do gesture input; alternatively, a smart speaker could track when a smartphone is placed down on the table nearby, and then automatically recognize that as the user intending to stream music.

Since SurfaceSight can also estimate which way a person is facing, it can prioritize command recognition when the user is actively pointed in the direction of the speaker. That, it’s suggested, could help in situations where voice commands can’t be heard over background audio. Defined boundary areas, only within which gestures are recognized, are also supported, and these can even themselves be established by hand gestures.

The plane of recognition needn’t be horizontal, either. In another demo, SurfaceSight could track movement against a wall, with a LIDAR integrated into a smart thermostat. That could recognize taps, swipes, and circular motions against the wall, effectively turning the surface into an extended control pad. Think along the lines of Google Soli, but on a larger scale.

LIDAR does have its downsides, of course. For a start there’s the occlusion question: the sensor relies on line of sight. Different objects that have the same profile could also confuse SurfaceSight. The researchers suggest some combination of camera or even reflective barcodes could be used to differentiate between them, with the smart speaker also warning users to declutter the area surrounding them if they want the system to operate effectively.

It’s fair to say that smart speakers are at the commodity level right now, with Amazon and Google racing each other down to the most affordable price. While both companies have bet on voice being the preferred primary method of interaction, however, they do so at the expense of other modalities. Baking in LIDAR might not be the only way to solve that, but there’s no denying that a home hub-style device could be a lot more useful if it knew what you were doing, not just what you were telling it.

Commencement Student Speaker: “Always Keep Your Mind Open”

Commencement Student Speaker: “Always Keep Your Mind Open” With classmates from all over the globe, Adolfo Gatti felt at home at BU

“The message that I will share is to always keep your mind open to all the different obstacles and different cultures and ideas that are around you,” says Adolfo Gatti (CAS’13). Photo by Kalman Zabarsky

Soon-to-be-graduate Adolfo Gatti is the embodiment of BU’s mission as a global university. The dual international relations and economics major grew up in Rome, interned in Geneva, and speaks three languages.

This Sunday, Gatti (CAS’13) will deliver the student speech at Boston University’s 140th Commencement. He plans to draw on his experiences as an international student as he addresses fellow graduates and an estimated crowd of 20,000. He will talk about how BU taught him to embrace different cultures and ideas—something he’s written about as a blogger for the Italian edition of The Huffington Post.

“The message that I will share is to always keep your mind open to all the different obstacles and different cultures and ideas that are around you,” he says. “You have to be able to make them yours, transform them, and then use them.”

The beauty of BU, Gatti says, is that it’s impossible to describe a typical student. “You will always have someone in your group of friends who is not like you,” he says. “Even though it’s a campus and one university, it’s a city, a hub.” His theory may be borne out by recent BU admissions statistics: applicants to the incoming Class of 2023 came from 149 foreign countries, and the University saw a 39 percent increase in applications from international students.

As he prepared the speech he’ll deliver Sunday, Gatti says, he was mindful of the importance of keeping the audience’s attention.

“The speech will be sort of emotional,” he says. “I want to make the audience familiar with me, tell some jokes, and then have the speech turn into a more serious note. I was a bit inspired by Obama’s speeches in that sense, because he shoots off funny jokes in the beginning, and then suddenly you hear a change of tone, and he starts pacing slower and almost whispering his message. Finally, he turns right back on with a passion and emotion that he wants to throw into the crowd.”

This blending of emotion, humor, and passion may just be what landed Gatti the gig. Each spring, graduating seniors are invited to submit a potential Commencement address to a faculty committee. This year, the committee weeded through the applications and settled on six finalists, who were then asked to deliver their speeches in a mock Commencement setting. After careful deliberation, the committee chose Gatti.

“Dean Elmore actually called me the morning after my audition and woke me up,” Gatti says. “When he told me I would be the Commencement speaker, it took me a few minutes to understand what I was being told. I mean, I thought I had completely screwed up my audition. A friend told me it was too honest.”

Gatti attended an international school in Rome, with classmates who came from all over the globe—places like India, Japan, and Australia. “I grew up with people who didn’t share my culture and weren’t like me, mentally and physically,” he says. “Arriving at BU was just like being at home.”

Over the past four years, he’s managed to keep many of his Italian traditions alive: he’s famous among his friends for his freshly brewed espresso and homemade lunches. He tends to gesture wildly when he speaks. And like most Europeans, he loves soccer, so much so that he was a member of the BU Football Club and the BU Soccer Club.

Last year, Gatti studied abroad in Geneva, where he interned for the Centre for Socio-Eco-Nomic Development, an environmental think tank. Since February he has interned for the Consulate General of Italy in Boston as assistant education officer, traveling to local schools to talk about Italian culture. As part of his internship, he also tries to answer questions about scholarships for Italian students who want to study in the United States and US students who want to study in Italy, helps to find schools for families moving between the two countries, and assists Italian educators to find jobs in the United States.

When his internship ends in June, Gatti plans to return to Rome, where he has several interviews lined up. He wants to go to graduate school to study international relations within the next few years, and says he imagines himself returning to Italy one day to become a statesman, which, he is quick to point out, is different from being a politician, “because Italian politicians tend to be corrupt.”

With Senior Week drawing to a close, Gatti turns reflective about his last year on Comm Ave. “I definitely learned a lot,” he says. “I think I settled myself emotionally. I stopped worrying a lot about many things. I enjoyed this year the most because I was more accepting of myself by the end of it.”

And if any of his classmates travel to Italy after graduation, he wants them to track him down. “Everyone comes back saying they liked Paris more than Rome, but that’s because they only saw the Colosseum and went to bed too early,” he says. “I get mistaken for a tour guide all the time. Call me, and if I’m there, I’ll give you a tour.”

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Commencement Student Speaker: Responsibility To Tell The Truth

Commencement Student Speaker: Responsibility to Tell the Truth Maxwell T. Robidoux (CAS’17) will take to the podium Sunday

Maxwell T. Robidoux (CAS’17) practicing his speech for Sunday’s Commencement ceremony on Thursday morning. Photo by Jackie Ricciardi

Graduation has been a long time coming for this year’s Commencement student speaker. Maxwell T. Robidoux entered BU as a freshman in 2010, but left after just three semesters.

“I matriculated in 2010, and was here a year and a half before taking time off and moving back home to Seattle,” says Robidoux (CAS’17). “I was sure I hated Boston and the East Coast, and I wanted to move back home where everything made sense. But after a while, I realized that Boston wasn’t that bad and wasn’t that different, and that I had made the right choice originally. It was a period of self-discovery.”

Robidoux had taken classes at a local college while he was back in Seattle, and after returning to campus in fall 2023, he hit his stride, changing his major from social work to psychology and sociology and becoming vice president of the BU Pre-Law Review. The 25-year-old is now waiting to learn whether he’s been accepted to BU’s School of Law for the fall.

This Sunday, Robidoux will address an estimated 25,000 people at the University’s 144th Commencement. Each spring, graduating seniors are invited to submit a potential Commencement address to a faculty committee. This year, the committee weeded through 62 submissions before settling on 5 finalists, who then had to deliver their speech in a mock Commencement setting.

His speech will focus on the importance of intellectual integrity, an issue that has taken on increased urgency after President Donald Trump accused CNN of reporting what he calls fake news. “What responsibility do we as college graduates have to uphold intellectual integrity and propagate its values?” Robidoux asks. “It’s a scary time. I personally put so much value in empiricism and objectivity, reason and rationality, and I feel like all of those values are under assault right now. It’s something I really wanted to address.”

Robidoux’s speech “stood out for its passionate commitment to the intellectual values of integrity, humility, the courage to probe, and the mandate to question the status quo.”—Elizabeth Loizeaux

Selection committee member Elizabeth Loizeaux, associate provost for undergraduate affairs and a College of Arts & Sciences professor of English, says Robidoux’s speech “stood out for its passionate commitment to the intellectual values of integrity, humility, the courage to probe, and the mandate to question the status quo. He boldly challenges the Class of 2023 to recognize the responsibility that comes with their education: to ask critical questions, to speak against injustice and dishonesty, to make decisions informed by fact and reason—in short, to improve the global society they are now entering as Boston University graduates.”

Not surprising for someone who lists Law & Order as one of his favorite shows and its fictional district attorney, Jack McCoy (played by Sam Waterston), as one of his personal heroes, Robidoux hopes to become a criminal prosecutor. “I’ve always known I wanted to be a trial attorney, and I was passionate about speech and debate early on,” he says. “In college, I really honed my focus on criminal law, through my study of psychology and sociology.” He won an American Sociological Association Departmental Prize and is a member of the Alpha Kappa Delta International Sociology Honor Society.

In addition to his academic work, Robidoux is a court mediator, certified to mediate in Boston Municipal Court, Massachusetts District Court, and Massachusetts Superior Court. He believes he is the only college-age mediator in the city.

One of the highlights of his undergraduate experience was visiting Bridgewater State Hospital with one of his classes. The medium-security prison, run by the Massachusetts Department of Correction, houses individuals who cannot be kept in regular jails.

When he’s not focused on legal issues or catching up on Law & Order reruns, Robidoux enjoys horses. He’s a former equestrian show jumper, and part of the reason he decided to move back to Seattle sophomore year was because he missed being around his horses. “I competed in the amateur divisions in middle and high school, all up and down the West Coast, and I wanted to try my hand at professional competition when I moved back,” he says. “I fell off at my first show and got a concussion; first time I’ve had an injury that bad at a competition. Then my horse got injured. It wasn’t meant to be.”

Although he’s a practicing mediator and was a member of the debate club in high school, Robidoux acknowledges being a bit nervous about speaking before an audience of thousands of people Sunday.

“I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous to some extent about giving the speech,” he says.

“I’m really excited. I believe that if you’re an effective speaker you can transfix people, influence the way they think and feel. It’s something that I can use to do a lot of good in the world.”

More information about Commencement can be found here.

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