Melissa Quinn, PhD, named 2022 Professor of the Year

Exceptional teachers aren’t just teachers — they’re mentors who guide students toward their goals and help them become better people. Especially at The Ohio State University College of Medicine, where medical students face rigorous coursework and high stress levels, having supportive instructors can make all the difference.

One professor who embodies empathy and support is Melissa Quinn, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Education and Anatomy at the Ohio State College of Medicine. She’s also the director of outreach and community programming for the Division of Anatomy as well as the central regional director for the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society (HAPS).

Dr. Quinn was awarded the prestigious Professor of the Year Award by the Ohio State College of Medicine’s Class of 2022. Beloved by many of her students, Dr. Quinn strives to transform the college’s daunting anatomy courses into a space of encouragement and growth.

Dr. Quinn’s teaching methods focus on putting others first. According to her students, she often puts herself in her students’ shoes to make anatomy content more accessible and manageable. She takes feedback to heart, and she adapts her lectures to make them as interactive and engaging as possible.

Dr. Quinn considers herself a “cheerleader” in the classroom, and her passion for anatomy shines when she teaches.

“During lectures, she will use her body to explain the action or motion relevant to the part of anatomy we are studying, and this is quite effective in a large lecture hall,” one student says. “You can tell she teaches because she loves doing it.”

Dr. Quinn also emphasizes improvement and development in the classroom. She believes a student is not defined by exam grades — what matters is taking steps to improve and moving forward.

“It’s important for our students to know that foundational knowledge,” Dr. Quinn says, “but it’s also important for students to know that they’re in a safe space, that it’s an environment where everybody is there for each other.”

Dr. Quinn doesn’t just teach her students how to grow into successful medical professionals, she also helps them become successful human beings. And to her, this means supporting her students outside the classroom as well.

Dr. Quinn’s vibrant Twitter account allows students to stay connected even after they leave the anatomy laboratory. Filled with inspirational quotes, supportive comments and funny memes, this platform is a positivity powerhouse that helps her students feel seen. Each of her posts reflects the encouragement Dr. Quinn believes her students need in that moment, ranging from exam advice to speaking out about real-world issues. The top of her Twitter page displays her favorite quote: “Be somebody who makes everybody feel like a somebody.”

Dr. Quinn’s Twitter account has allowed her previous students to keep in touch. She continues to mentor students long after they have passed her class, and even years later, they still feel the influence of her teaching methods and support.

“Her generosity and humility are simply next to none, and Dr. Quinn personifies the mission that the college strives to achieve. I cannot speak highly enough of Dr. Quinn,” one of her former students says.

Many of her students believe no instructor is more deserving of the Professor of the Year title. Dr. Quinn says she is honored to receive the award.

“Obviously there’s always something better I can do,” Dr. Quinn says, “but it really does affirm that something is working, and I’m making an impact.”

To see more of Dr. Quinn’s uplifting messages, you can follow her on Twitter at @DrMQuinn08.