When John Mellencamp sang that he was from a small town, Quinn understands: he hails from that very small town. Born and raised in Indiana by a family of elementary and high school educators, Quinn studied Philosophy and International Affairs at Butler University in Indianapolis, IN. He promptly decided that this had been a thoroughly sufficient amount of time in his home state, and flew off to Mali to join the Peace Corps. Cut short by an ill-timed coup d’etat and evacuated to Ghana and Burkina Faso, Quinn worked as an education volunteer in north India, where he’d previously studied development in various villages and small towns. Upon returning to the US, Quinn received an MA in South Asian Studies from the University of Washington-Seattle, where he received Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship on five separate occasions. His is currently a PhD candidate in the Religion Department at Columbia University, where he is writing a dissertation on religion and politics for which he received the Fulbright-Nehru Scholarship.
Quinn’s teaching experience is wide and deep. He began tutoring low-income students in the Peace Corps and while working for NGOs abroad. After beginning his PhD work at Columbia, Quinn gained experience teaching and TAing undergraduates there, which exposed him to a very different demographic of students. While sponsored by the Fulbright Student Program, he worked closely with Indian college and high school students and served on Fulbright selection committees, which gave him unique insight into the real-world mechanics of selection procedures. Quinn has a firm commitment to education, effective communication, and cultivating curiosity both in himself and in his students. From India to Indiana, he’s honed his interpersonal communication skills across seven languages, a handful of countries, and various cities in the US. His “first career” in international development taught him that communication is all about connection.
Outside of his professional life, Quinn can’t take the “India” out of “Indiana.” He spends as much time as possible escaping Brooklyn to get outdoors to hike, fish, camp, play tennis, or run. He’s a half-rate banjo player and a full-time philosophy geek.