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Anthony Quinn


1958 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Anthony Quinn Obituary
(News story) Anthony Quinn, a research immunologist and a University of Toledo associate professor who encouraged minority students to pursue science and technology-related fields, died Wednesday in ProMedica Ebeid Hospice Residence, Sylvania. He was 59.

He had pancreatic cancer for more than four years, his wife, Belinda Quinn, said.

In his laboratory, Mr. Quinn, who had a doctorate in microbiology and immunology, explored connections between immunity and diabetes.

He also was a UT assistant dean for diversity and inclusion. The university announced Monday that a program he created in 2015 would be called the "Tony Quinn We Are STEMM Initiative." The acronym stands for science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine.

The renamed initiative will include fellowships, plus professional education and mentoring programs, with the aim of recruiting and retaining underrepresented minority students.

Mr. Quinn helped revive UT's Charles Drew Society, named for the physician who helped develop blood banks, as a support among African-American and other minority science and math students, and a black graduate student association.

"He did it out of love and out of seeing students succeed," his wife said. "He worked a lot of late hours. It was something he thought was needed at the university, and that's what he did."

Mr. Quinn, a UT faculty member since 2001, first became concerned that the university was not retaining the black and minority students it had. He vowed, "'Not on my watch,'" his mother, Minnie Sampler, said.

It became a call to action, said Willie McKether, UT vice president for diversity and inclusion.

"He wanted to make sure he was on the right side of history and he was making a difference while he was here," Mr. McKether said. That led to the formation of a mentoring program, Brothers on the Rise. Later came a program in which high school graduates would be on campus for six weeks of summertime preparatory classes.

His approach to mentoring was hands on and no-nonsense, Mr. McKether said, "being direct with students about what they needed to do to be successful. I watched him do that masterfully. Students knew he knew what he was talking about, and they knew he would give them as much attention as possible to be successful."

He was a former president of the Association of Black Faculty and Staff, another group he helped revive, Mr. McKether said.

He was born June 4, 1958, in St. Louis to Minnie Quinn Sampler and James Wells. He was a 1976 graduate of Riverview High School.

In childhood, "he liked the idea of mixing different chemicals together to see the fizz and reaction," his mother said. That became an interest in how the body functions and what triggers such conditions as diabetes, his wife said.

He received a bachelor's degree in biology from MidAmerica Nazarene University, Olathe, Kan., and a master's degree in biology from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. During much of his schooling, he worked full time as a hospital research technician. He received his doctorate from University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and continued post-doctoral studies at UCLA.

Mr. Quinn, of Sylvania Township, was a member of Warren AME Church.

Surviving are his wife, the former Belinda Brooks, whom he married Jan. 6, 1989; son, Colin Quinn; mother, Minnie Sampler, and brothers Keith, Darren, and Christopher Sampler.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday in Warren AME Church, where the family will receive guests from 4-7 p.m. Monday and after 10 a.m. Tuesday. Arrangements are by Newcomer Funeral Home.

The family suggests tributes to the Dr. Tony Quinn We Are STEMM Fellowship Fund through the UT Foundation.

This is a news story by Mark Zaborney. Contact him at:[email protected] or 419-724-6182.
Published in The Blade on Mar. 18, 2018
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