Quinlan receives Distinguished University Teaching award

Dr. Quinlan, Department of Computer Science, is the recipient of the Mathematical Association of America’s Distinguished University Teaching Award for his support of students in the classroom. Quinlan is committed to supporting students outside of the classroom as a mentor and advisor, which is equally vital to his role as a teacher. He has organized a professional speaker series, accompanied students on conference trips and competitions, and in the past procured sizable grant funding for STEM student scholarships from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Additionally, having mentored students applying for employment in quantitative fields and have connected students with potential Maine employers by actively cultivating professional partners seeking STEM students. He has taught mathematics and computer science at the university for over 15 years. Dr. Quinlan is also a member of the MAA’s national Committee on Technologies in Mathematics Education (CTME) and the webmaster for its regional section.

Building a strong community of learners is the first step in ensuring student success. By taking an interest in each student, he creates a safe and welcoming learning environment where everyone feels valued and supported. He recognizes the importance of diversity in the classroom and strives to differentiate instruction to meet the unique needs of each student. “I strongly advocate the ‘spiral curriculum’ approach outlined by psychologist and educator Jerome Bruner.” This approach recognizes that learning is a gradual process that builds upon itself over time. By revisiting topics repeatedly, each time at a deeper level, students can solidify their understanding and develop mastery of the material.