Volunteer Spotlight on EA Quinn
My name is Elizabeth (EA) Quinn. I'm an associate professor of anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis. I have the coolest job in the world: I get to teach about human biology to undergraduates and during the summer I work with mothers and infants living in rural communities in the Himalayas. It is super fun research - we are trying to understand how infants growth and how mother's bodies support infant growth in a really extreme environment (high altitude, low oxygen, and cold!). I moved to St. Louis in 2011 after completing my PhD. I share my life with my husband Brad, and our 15 year old cat Audrey. We enjoy bad sci-fi, going to the zoo, and learning how to cook really odd things (like making our own cheese). I was never actually a real runner until I moved to St. Louis. To deal with the stress of a new job, i started running three times a week in Forest Park after work. I fell madly in love with both St. Louis and running. I had a few 5ks with my brother years ago, but hadn't really run with any kind of training before. That all changed here, and now I've run a bunch of 5ks and 10ks. My next big running goal is the Peachtree Road Race - my older brother asked me to run it with him for his birthday next year.
What is the most rewarding thing about Girls on the Run?
Working with the girls! I love being a coach. It is such a joy to watch the transformation that can occur in the girls on a team. The girl who struggles suddenly blossoms across seasons. Other girls become really committed to becoming better runners or doing big physical challenges.
How has GOTR-STL impacted your life?
GOTR-STL has really helped me find balance outside of work. It has made all the stressors of work and life and seem more manageable. I wish a program like this had existed when I was younger.
What is your favorite memory from your time with GOTR?
My first season, we had a girl who really struggled. I honestly didn't think she would come to the 5k as she was always making excuses to not run. Her aunt brought her, and they ran the 5k together. The look on her face when she finished - when she realized she could do something that big if she worked at it - was amazing. She came back the next season and was a completely different girl - confident, determined, thoughtful.
What are your hopes for the future of Girls on the Run as an organization?
I'd like to see the organization do a better job of increasing the diversity of the girls who participate and the coaches. I know this happens on a school by school basis, but more inclusion within schools would be awesome.