Coming to a new environment can be extremely daunting for many individuals. However, for Ed Quish, a new Political Science professor, arriving on campus felt rather familiar.
Before becoming a professor at a liberal arts college, he was a graduate of one. From a small town in Connecticut, Quish studied Philosophy at Wesleyan College in Middletown, CT, 40 minutes from his hometown, and graduated in 2009 with high honors. Sensing another HWS connection to Wesleyan, the Herald asked him if he knew President Jacobsen prior to HWS. Interestingly enough, he revealed that she had been his Economics professor his freshman year, making HWS feel even more familiar.
After graduating from Wesleyan, Quish worked as a cook in New York City for four years. Through his experience, he became interested in the class politics of food and the restaurant industry, specifically the “Good Food” movement and its impact on low-income migrant workers. The movement is about supporting our local farmers and the “good” or organic and natural food that is produced. This grew into a deep interest that led him to study and learn more about the subject, which brought him to Cornell University to study agrarian and labor movements, thus shifting his focus to political science. He spent five years in Ithaca before graduating this past summer with a PhD in Political Theory.
Literature had grown this innate interest in the world around us in Quish in high school—it had the ability to open up new worlds and expose them to him. Philosophy eventually became his outlet, but in his words, “Political Theory allowed [him] to think about questions of power and collective action and social change.”
Although Quish is used to the liberal arts campus, being new is never easy. Fresh out of graduate school, it was “more of a transition than [he] thought,” particularly with the class setup. He has had to transition to a new teaching style, from seminar discussions to lectures.
What’s helped this transition, however, is the campus community. And that did not come as a surprise—HWS is known for having a strong community feel to it, one of the perks of a small college. According to Quish, not only does the campus feel very supportive, but “people made me feel like they wanted me to succeed here as a professor,” and that sentiment has made him want to do the same for students, to see them succeed and give back that feeling of support.
Aside from academia, Quish has an affinity for cooking and music. What’s nice about living in upstate New York is that he also enjoys the great outdoors and hiking. So, it was no surprise when he claimed that the lake is his favorite spot on campus.
Here at HWS, Quish teaches two sections of Introduction to American Politics. Through our conversation, it was evident that he has a deep passion for learning, which he wants to share with his students by encouraging them to think critically about the world around us, similar to his interest in being able to explore the questions he has had. Especially with his desire to give back to his students and help them succeed, it’s safe to say that Quish’s educational philosophy will make his classes a great environment for his students.