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Humans of De Anza: Jill Quigley, the warm demander

Quigley shares her passion for literature, talks about the “series of doorways on the academic journey” De Anza offers
Jill+Quigley+and+her+son+Kingston%2C+picture+taken+by+her+eldest+son+Donovan+Dambrowski
Jill Quigley and her son Kingston, picture taken by her eldest son Donovan Dambrowski

Editor’s note: This article has been corrected to reflect that Jill Quigley has worked at De Anza for 23 years. A previous version of this story said she worked at De Anza for three years.

 

English professor Jill Quigley sat down to chat over her passion for writing, teaching philosophies and the powers that shaped them, as well as the things she loves most about De Anza.

“What I’m passionate about might not be their (students) thing,” Quigley said. “But I want to invite them into the passion of finding out what it (passion) is for them and give them as many choices as possible.”

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Quigley began her journey at De Anza in the spring quarter of 2001 after graduating from Boston College. Chasing after love, she ended up in the Bay Area where she finds comfort in the Pacific Ocean as it reminds her of home.

“I think the thing I missed the most (from home) I already have here, which is the ocean. It’s just a different ocean.”

Literature has always been a big part of Quigley’s life, the same way it had always been a passion of hers since she was a little girl.

“I always found refuge in reading. I always liked reading because it made me feel less lonely and also that I could access different worlds,” said Quigley. “To me, reading was a way to understand people more–and their stories–so I’ve always been fascinated.”

When it comes to her teaching philosophy, Quigley takes inspiration from Zaretta Hammond in Culturally Responsive Teaching and the Brain.

“I consider myself a Warm Demander; I expect great things from my students, convince them of their brilliance, and help them reach their potential in a disciplined, structured environment.”

“I love that idea that the classroom is a place of possibility, because that’s exactly what it feels like to me. That’s the magic that I return to and work really hard to create,” Quigley said. “It’s a threshold experience, like whether you’re returning to school, or it’s your first college experience, or you’re a first generation, or your 19, or whatever. It’s definitely a liminal space of folks trying to get somewhere, but they’re pausing here in order to do it.”

“When I reflect on the fact that De Anza campus used to be strawberry fields, I’m humbled by all the ways we till the soil every quarter in a collective belief of that harvest,” Quigley said. “To me, De Anza is strawberry fields forever, sweet and abundant, but you know how English teachers love metaphors.”

 

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About the Contributor
Nayeli Garcia
Nayeli Garcia, Staff Reporter
I'm a journalism major interested in exploring all of the different aspects of media and communication. I love art, film, reading and writing, photography and football (soccer). I hope to forge new connections with the community at De Anza and, hopefully, get to know myself a little better.

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