The Art Quinn award is the highest regional award one can receive from the association and nominations are submitted by the ASPIRE Board members that are comprised of the ASPIRE state presidents from CO, MT, WY, ND, SD and UT. The recipient shall be selected by the ASPIRE Board and typically receives a plaque. Nominees must be an ASPIRE member, or in the case of a retiree, an ASPIRE member at the time of retirement; must have been employed in a TRIO/EOP program for 10 years or more; must have excelled in providing services and/or support to TRIO and/or ASPIRE at the institutional, state, and/or regional levels; and must have demonstrated a sincere desire to assist students beyond the general expectations of the project guidelines.
2021 Marion BlueArm, Director of Talent Search, University of South Dakota
2020 Darlene Samson, Director of TRIO Student Support Services, University of Montana
2019 Patrice Giese, McNair Program, University of North Dakota
2018 Maria de Lourdes Zavala TRIO Programs Colorado State University
Who was Art Quinn (the person for which the Art Quinn Memorial Award is named)?
Art Quinn was director of Upward Bound at what was then Black Hills State College (now Black Hills State University) in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. Art’s commitment to his students was without bounds; he would stop at absolutely nothing to support and advocate for them. To see his students in the wide UB target area, Art cruised western South Dakota in his giant old Chrysler. The Chrysler was also his office, and the back seat was crammed with files and resources. Art was known first for his commitment, but also for his humor and infectious laughter. He served as State President for South Dakota in the early 1980’s as ASPIRE was in its early stages of growth and development.
Art passed away while awaiting word on project funding during a grant competition. He will be forever be remembered as the epitome of unlimited and heart-felt commitment to first generation and low income students, to TRIO, and to ASPIRE.