St. Edward's University Professor Selected as USDA-HSI Fellow
Biology Professor Bill Quinn came to St. Edward's University with a passion for forestry. After 22 years of teaching with the St. Edward's educational philosophy, his interests also include a heart-felt desire to help underserved populations. This combination of traits has helped him be selected as a 2005 United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)–Hispanic Serving Institute (HSI) Fellow this summer.
Quinn is one of eighteen professors selected nationwide to participate in the program.
To be eligible, you must teach at a Hispanic Serving Institution — at least 25 percent of your total student enrollment is Hispanic. There are 35 HSI institutions in Texas.
"At St. Edward's, through the Brothers of Holy Cross, I have seen demonstrated a long-standing, impassioned commitment to the educational needs of the under-served," said Quinn. "Over the years, this exposure has influenced me to help, among other groups, the less wealthy members of the Hispanic population of the southwest."
Quinn has a history of partnering with the USDA on biological research supporting agriculture. Previously, he won several USDA grants, including a USDA-HSI Circuit grant for the university's Biology Program to help increase retention and participation of minority students in agriculture. Through this grant, 24 students were able to participate in research at the university. Of the students, 10 did subsequent work at Monsanto Labs in St. Louis or the University of Texas at Austin.
Quinn, who continues to seek better ways to serve the Hispanic student population, jumped at the opportunity the fellowship promised. "I will be working in Washington D.C. for six weeks, improving my understanding of the potential links between USDA agencies and St. Edward's University students, staff and faculty. This informed and enhanced connection with the USDA should make SEU more flexible and effective in its response to Hispanic students and their community needs."
For anyone interested in more effective service to this population, this fellowship would yield tangible benefits including access to accurate, current information regarding grants, employment opportunities, and partnership development. The appointment will also lead to personal contacts for securing students internships and faculty/staff fellowships.
Quinn hopes to strengthen the relationship between St. Edward's University and the United States Forest Service, which is under the auspices of the USDA. Ultimately, Quinn hopes to establish and enhance opportunities for students in the biological research that supports forestry and agriculture.
Quinn earned degrees in Forestry at Colorado State University and North Carolina State University. He came to St. Edward's in 1983, and has been active in a variety of teaching, advising, and research activities since that time. His research interests are in terrestrial ecology, botany and the physiology of photosynthesis. He is currently working with two biology students on the light harvesting mechanisms of chloroplasts.