Quinn Fellow Testimonials

See how the Quinn Foundation has helped past and present Quinn Fellows. “It is with the interest and investment of foundations such as yours that new academics can focus on making valuable contributions to scholarship and the intellectual capital of our universities.”

– May 2010
James W. Roberts, Ph.D. Candidate
Johns Hopkins University, Dept. of History

“This is a feat I could not have accomplished without a dissertation completion fellowship from the Quinn Foundation. The Foundation’s duty-free grant has given me the necessary time to focus completely on writing; just as important, it has given me the time to rethink much of what I had written and to bring a greater depth of analysis to the project as a whole.”

– January 2010
Laura Keenan, recently completed Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania, Dept. of History

“The Quinn fellowship has allowed me to have a very productive year, and to position myself well to apply for academic jobs in the coming year.”

– May 2009
Joseph M. Adelman, recently completed Ph.D.
Johns Hopkins University, Dept. of History

“I would not have been able to finish this project without the Quinn Fellowship, which gave me time uninterrupted by teaching and other duties to do the heavy work of refining the argument and writing a final draft.”

– February 2010
Erin Park Cohn, recently completed Ph.D.
University of Pennsylvania, Dept. of History

“The Quinn Fellowship has been immensely valuable to me. Without this financial support, I would not have the time to focus on the completion of my dissertation writing. This award also enabled me to dedicate my energy to the job market. I have accepted a tenure track assistant professor position at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada which will start in July 2011. All of this would not have been possible if I had not been awarded the Quinn Fellowship.”

– April 10, 2011
Jing Jing Chang, Ph.D Candidate
University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Dept. of History

“Thank you once again. Please, also allow me to commend you and the foundation for the continuous support of graduate students like me. Without your generosity many of us would face challenges that would make the timely completion of our degrees impossible. Because of your help, I can work without interruption and worry, thus I will be able to complete and defend my dissertation by next spring. Thank you!”

– May 2011
Zsolt Nagy, Ph.D. Candidate
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Department of History

“Without funding, I would be forced into finding other employment either inside or outside of academia, inevitably delaying the completion of my Ph.D. and my movement into the academic job market. Because of your generous assistance, however, I know that I will be able to devote myself wholly to my writing for the coming year without distraction, thus producing a high-quality dissertation that will best showcase my research, writing, and analysis and contribute to the scholarly discussions in my field. Once again, I want to thank you for providing me with the means to realize my goals. I will begin a tenure track assistant professorship at George Washington University this fall.”

– June 2011
Jessica A. Krug, Ph.D. Candidate
University of Wisconsin — Madison, Department of History

“Due to the Quinn Foundation’s generous support, I will now be able to focus full time on this project rather than juggling my writing with other employment. Prior to receiving the Quinn Fellowship, it was unlikely that I would have been able to finish my dissertation in the upcoming academic year because of teaching obligations. However, the Quinn Foundation’s support will now enable me to finish my dissertation on schedule in May 2012. I want to thank you again for the vital assistance you provide to Ph.D. candidates such as myself. I have accepted a tenure track assitant professorship in Early Modern European History at Kent State University for August 2012.”

– June 2011
Lindsay Starkey, Ph.D. Candidate
University of Wisconsin — Madison, Department of History

“Now that I am facing the challenge of teaching, I appreciate even more the time your fellowship provided me this past year to concentrate on my dissertation. I also believe that being a Quinn Fellow made me a stronger job candidate and helped me obtain the position at Smith College. I thank you for your generosity and for your support.”

– June 2011
Sarah F. Hardin, Ph.D. Candidate
University of Wisconsin — Madison, Department of History

“The Doris Quinn Fellowship was absolutely invaluable to my progress this year. Without it the timely completion of my dissertation, not to mention a rigorous job search, would have been impossible. My academic job search produced an assistant visiting professorship in African American and Diaspora Studies at the University of Wyoming. I will be teaching introductory surveys in African American Studies as well as more advanced seminars in African American history. Please accept my thanks for your contribution to the history department and my scholarly work and professional advancement.”

– June 2012
Kerry Pinblott, Ph.D. Candidate
University of Iliinois Urbana/Champaign

“I am extremely grateful for to the Doris G. Quinn Foundation for this grant which will permit me to complete the Ph.D. in an efficient timeframe and without the stress and difficulty associated with working and taking out loans in order to afford to complete the dissertation. This is truly a wonderful gift and I hope that my work can honor the intention of Mrs. Quinn and her legacy.”

– June 2012
Laura Bothwell
Columbia University, Department of History

“The ability to focus solely on the dissertation during my final year is rare in my situation and greatly appreciated.  Only the dedicated and yearlong funding from a source like the Quinn Fellowship will allow me to complete so quickly.  Many thanks.

– September 2012
John A. Coakley, Ph.D. Candidate
University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of History

“I write to express my gratitude to your foundation and its officers for awarding me the Doris G. Quinn dissertation completion fellowship for the 2013-2014 academic year. This generous fellowship has allowed me to put the finishing touches on my dissertation totally unencumbered by any teaching, research, or work obligations that would – and, for those who do not benefit from the munificence of the Quinn Foundation, do – require not only time but also mental energy and invariably draw out the process of actually finishing the PhD. In fact, I might suggest that calling this award a “dissertation completion” award actually sells its significance a little short, for, in my case, at least, the Quinn fellowship made it possible for me to set my sights beyond simply finishing the dissertation and focus instead on perfecting its every angle, contour, and line. This is a rare privilege, and I can only think that being able to hone one’s dissertation (and book project) with such leisure and pleasure is the dream of every scholar – not just graduate students. The Quinn fellowship thus allowed me to do much more than complete my dissertation; it fostered its enrichment and perfection, and I should think that calling it the Doris G. Quinn Foundation Dissertation Perfection Fellowship might better befit such a wonderful award. Whatever its name, I am so very thankful to the Doris G. Quinn Foundation for its support this academic year. I am extremely proud of the dissertation your support helped me perfect, and I am confident that I will forever look back upon this year with gratitude to those who made it possible. The Quinn Foundation is at the top of that list. Thank you.”

-February 10, 2014
Tyler Carrington, PhD Candidate
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Department of History

“It is with deep appreciation I write to you to express my gratitude to the Doris G. Quinn Foundation. The generous support provided by the Quinn Fellowship for 2014-2015 afforded me the invaluable opportunity to devote my time and energies exclusively to producing, enriching and refining my dissertation, entitled “Occult Communism: Culture, Spirituality and Science in Late Socialist Bulgaria.” Uninterrupted by teaching and other duties, I could simultaneously write, keep up-to-date with all the latest secondary literatures pertaining to my project, extend the scope of my dissertation beyond my case study, and re-conceptualize and re-frame my chapters so as to eventually produce an innovative and original contribution to the field of East European studies. On the threshold of my academic career, I am confident that the support of the Doris G. Quinn Foundation will prove instrumental in my quest for scholarly employment. Thank you once again for your contribution to the University of Illinois History Department and to my scholarly work and professional advancement.”

-May 2015
Veneta T. Ivanova, PhD Candidate
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Department of History

“I am deeply grateful to the Quinn Fellowship for enabling me to immerse myself in my research and writing.  Thanks to this wonderful opportunity I have had an extremely productive year, participating in academic exchanges through conferences and publications, and preparing my dissertation for completion.  My dissertation, and I believe my future career, are much richer thanks to the luxury of extra time and undistracted focus with which the Quinn provided me.”

-May 2015
Irina Spector-Marks, PhD Candidate
University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Department of History

“I have been fortunate enough to secure various funding sources throughout my entire academic career.  This has not always been an easy task, however, and I know that these challenges that I have faced are far rom unique amongst students in the humanities throughout the country.  I therefore genuinely appreciate the Foundation’s ongoing support of graduate research.  It is only thanks to such support that research in the humanities continues to thrive during the current atmosphere of fiscal stringency in institutions across the country.  It is comforting to know that there are still those who care to invest in such endeavors!”

-June 2016
James Homsey, PhD Candidate
University of Wisconsin- Madison, Department of History

“The support of the Doris G. Quinn Fellowship freed me up to write a simple and clean story of real people living real lives in cross-cultural relationship.

“As a second-career student, who began graduate school after a decade of professional life, I came to school with children (curently ten, eight, and four) and a host of other adult responsibilities.  During the last seven years, I have often needed to fit my coursework and research into the margins, while simultaneously holding one, two, and sometimes three jobs.

“As my graduate studies transition into a second career, I will proceed in a mindset of humility, in the full awareness that these accomplishments were made in a framework of support and hospitality by a wide variety of people, and the Doris G. Quinn Foundation’s was a pillar to its success.”

-June 2016
Paul Grant, PhD Candidate
University of Wisconsin- Madison, Department of History

 “I especially appreciate your foundation’s support because it is a rough time to be a graduate student, particularly in the humanities.

“The year before I recieved your fellowship, I cobbled together funding from five different sources- teaching positions, hourly administrative work, and research assistantsships were all in the mix together- and although I was very happy to have those jobs, constantly bouncing between them made it very hard to focus at all on my own work.  I do not think I could have finished my program in this upcoming year without your foundation’s support.

“In short, your foundation has made an overwhelmingly positive and tangible impact in my life.  I greatly appreciate what your foundation has done for me, and thank you for continuing to provide financial support to departments acrss the country.”

-August 2017
Deirdre Ruscitti Harshman, PhD Candidate
University of Illinois- Urbana- Champaign, Department of History

 “This funding allowed me to focus entirely on writing my dissertation.  Though I love to teach, the best way to write is to focus entirely on the writing process.  During this fellowship period, I submitted two articles based on research from my dissertation and finished a chapter of my dissertation.  This simply would not have been possible without support from the Quinn Foundation.  As funding becomes scarcer and scarcer, opportunities like this fellowship become even more precious.  I am grateful to the donors for this opportunity, which will not only make me more competitive on the job market next year but has also made me a substantially better scholar by giving me time to focus solely in my dissertation.  Thank you.”

-July 2018
Garrett Wright, Recently Completed PhD
University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill, Department of History

 “The generous support of the Quinn Fellowship has allowed me to focus on completing my dissertation without comprising the scope and quality.  The ability to dedicate myself to writing enabled me to write three dissertation chapters this year, one of which was unplanned but significantly enriches the project and its contribution to the field.  Without the financial support that the Quinn Fellowship allowed for I do not believe I could have completed my dissertation this year.  Because of your generous support I will be defending my dissertation in June 2019, thank you!”

-April 17, 2019
Raquel Escobar, PhD Candidate
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of History

“I was a Quinn Fellowship awardee for the 2020-2021 academic year.  I want to thank you for the fellowship, as it allowed me to complete my dissertation, “Savage Reds:  US Settler Colonialism, Anarchist Scares, and Anticommunism, 1840s-1920s.  I am a parent of three children.  Completing a PhD while parenting is difficult in any year, but is doubly difficult during a global pandemic.  Your fellowship was very helpful, and I appreciate your commitment to funding graduate student research and writing.”

-June, 2021
Tariq Kahn, Recently Completed PhD
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Department of History

“It was only through the generosity of the Doris G. Quinn Foundation that I was able to focus fully on my research and writing.  The quiet, painstaking work involved in the study of medieval history often goes overlooked in the academy, but through the funding provided by the Quinn Fellowship, I was able to spend my days poring over 12th-century Latin texts, my nights reading and re-reading the materials offered through UNC’s research library, and almost all my time in between carefully constructing my written analyses.  I would therefore like to personally thank the donors; it is difficult to express my gratitude for the time that this support allowed me to spend in contemplation of the past and the people who lived in it.”

-August, 2021
Daniel Morgan, PhD Candidate
University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill, Department of History

“I write with extreme gratitude and thanks for your decision to extend to me a Quinn Fellowship during the 2022-2023 academic year. The fellowship has assisted greatly in the completion of my dissertation project – Making the Paper Come Alive: “Mass” Media and Print Socialism in the People’s Republic of China (1949-1966).

In particular, the dissertation completion fellowship has granted me the much-needed time and funding to step away from teaching duties and concentrate fully on completing the dissertation, which I am now scheduled to defend in March 2023 thanks to the assistance of this fellowship. As grants and funding oriented exclusively towards writing the dissertation are extremely rare, I am beyond grateful to the Quinn Foundation and its members for maintaining this fellowship both for the benefit of myself and future scholars.”

-November 3, 2022
Donald Santacaterina, PhD Candidate
University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill, Department of History