Dr. Ron Quinta was originally hired by Ohlone College as an adjunct biology professor in the early 1970’s, when the college was housed on the temporary Serra Campus on Washington Boulevard. He came back as a full time biology professor in 1990. He became a Division Dean in 1997 and retired in December 2012 as Dean of Science, Engineering, Technology and Math, after 22 years of full time service. Upon his retirement, he was granted Emeritus status.
Dr. Quinta served as a vital and innovative member of the faculty, teaching a variety of biology classes and developed curriculum which challenged and motivated students to pursue careers in STEM areas. He was a strong advocate for student success while maintaining high academic standards.
Ron provided inspiring leadership in his role as Dean. He invited people to be part of decision-making, which made them feel empowered and invested. He was a great listener, with a sense of humor and a compassionate style. He was a strong defender of hands-on learning in the laboratory to help students develop the skills needed to further their understanding and educational goals.
As both a faculty member and Dean, Ron took the initiative to develop transfer degrees in the sciences. A few years later he was also able to assist in the development of the Biotechnology program. The outgrowth of this work was the LAB (Learning Alliance for Bioscience) program. LAB is an outstanding high school outreach program with special emphasis on motivating disadvantaged high school and junior high students in the surrounding area and as far as Modesto, to become involved in science. Ron was a key player in developing an award winning dislocated workers retraining program in biotechnology, for which Ohlone was awarded the Recognition of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Labor.
Ron provided strong leadership in the academic planning for the Newark Campus constructed with funds from the Measure A bond passed in 2001. The Newark Center for Health, Science and Technology opened in January of 2008 with an enrollment of over 3,00 students. The Center houses state-of-the-art science laboratories that would planned by Ron and his excellent team of faculty and staff.
Ron’s energy and creativity led to numerous successes in grant projects, bringing millions of dollars to support his program areas, including a significant National Science Foundation grant. He received numerous honors and awards. He started the NASA night series that is widely attended by Ohlone students, local high school students and the community at large.
He was honored by the State CTE Leadership award in recognition of his exceptional contributions in promoting the success of under-represented student population in the STEM areas.
Ron was a steadfast advocate for improving science laboratories at Ohlone. He was a driving force behind the strategy of initiating the $350 million Measure G bond and worked tirelessly for its passage in November 2010. His vision helped set the stage for the Academic Core project under construction now, a primary component being an new Science Center.