Faculty member who advocated for STEMM, minority students passes away

March 16, 2018 | News, UToday, Advancement, Natural Sciences and Mathematics
By Meghan Cunningham

Dr. Anthony Quinn, associate professor of biological sciences and assistant dean for diversity and inclusion in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, died Wednesday at the age of 59.

Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday, March 19, at Warren AME Church, 915 Collingwood Blvd. Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 20, at the church. A funeral reception will follow from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Radisson Grand Ballroom on the Health Science Campus.

Quinn joined The University of Toledo Department of Biological Sciences in 2001 and was a renowned immunologist known for his work in deciphering the interplay between diabetes and immunity.


He was passionate about the recruitment and retention of underrepresented minority students and created in 2015 the We Are STEMM initiative to bring high-profile underrepresented minority scientists to UT in the fields of science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine as role models for University students of color, inspiring them to engage in STEMM fields of study.

“Dr. Quinn was a very valuable contributor to his home Department of Biological Sciences, the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, and the entire University. He was a tireless advocate who worked very hard toward increasing and supporting diversity in STEMM,” said Dr. Karen Bjorkman, dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Distinguished University Professor of Astronomy, and Helen Luedtke Brooks Endowed Professor of Astronomy. “Tony will be greatly missed by all of us. He leaves a huge hole that will be very difficult to fill, but his legacy will continue. We all feel fortunate to have had him as an important part of our lives.”

Quinn also co-directed the Multicultural Emerging Scholars Summer Bridge and Living Learning Community Program, and led the Brothers on the Rise mentoring program.

The University recently established the Tony Quinn We Are STEMM Initiative in recognition of his service to UT to expand the existing We Are STEMM lecture series to include fellowships for graduate and professional education and mentoring programs. The Tony Quinn We Are STEMM Fellowship Fund has been created to support the initiative. To make a donation, visit utfoundation.org/give/quinnfellowship.

Quinn’s service to the University included co-chairing the strategic planning committee that created The University of Toledo’s Path to Excellence plan approved last year by the UT Board of Trustees. He also served as president of the Association of Black Faculty and Staff.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Mid-American Nazarene University in Olathe, Kan., a master’s degree in biology from the University of Missouri in St. Louis, and a PhD in microbiology and immunology from the University of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City.

Quinn, who received the UT Outstanding Teacher Award in 2013, was a member of the American Association of Immunologists, Juvenile Diabetes Foundation International, Immunology of Diabetes Society, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, and Clinical Immunology Society.

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