Notre Dame de Namur University’s Sister Catherine Julie Cunningham Scholar Chair Named

Geophysics Expert, Brian B. Quinn, Ph.D.

Notre Dame de Namur University has awarded its prestigious Sister Catherine Julie Cunningham Scholar Chair to Brian B. Quinn, Ph.D., a geophysics expert who will assist students in solving social problems with the University’s newly-launched Geographic Information System (GIS) lab.

The chair, named in honor of Sr. Cunningham who was the 15th President of the University, was established to bring in outside scholars and outstanding academicians. The scholar is selected on the basis of their distinguished accomplishments and specialized knowledge that they can offer the University to enhance curriculum and provide a learning benefit to the student body.

Dr. Quinn currently works for the city of Berkeley’s InformationTechnology Department as an application programmer/analyst in the Geographic Information Systems Division. He has also worked in the InformationTechnology Department for Charles Schwab & Co. Inc., and as a senior geologist for Bechtel National, Inc. He received his MS, and Ph.D. in Geophysics from Stanford University.

This spring Dr. Quinn will teach Spatial Analysis for Policymakers, PA-295, a course geared for future leaders who use spatial technologies like GIS to make informed business and public sector decisions.

Earlier this year, NDNU received a $500,000 grant from the W. M. Keck Foundation to support the development of course curricula that use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as a learning tool. GIS is a technology that analyzes, compares, and integrates data from a geographic perspective. The grant is being used to build a state-of-the art GIS laboratory and to purchase the latest ‘smart classroom’ technology. The infrastructure will be used to take community-based problems, such as community health needs, and embed those problems in course curricula for faculty and students to research and resolve.

“Dr. Quinn has a solid track record in applying GIS to real-world problems as well as having knowledge of the theory and concepts underlying the application of this technology, “said Dr. James Fogal, NDNU Associate Professor, and Director of Graduate Programs for the School of Business and Management.

“He has spent many years both in private and public sector service implementing GIS technology and using it to solve problems that our students will in all likelihood face at some point in their professional careers,” Dr. Fogal added. “His exemplary background, a passion for his field, and values that match NDNU’s mission made him the clear candidate.”

For more information regarding the course, contact NDNU’s School of Business and Management at (650) 508-3609.