A Q&A With Dr. Kimberly Quinn, Champlain’s Well-Being & Success Coach/Wizard

But you know, happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.

Albus Dumbledore

Dr. Quinn teaches cognitive and positive psychology and is the Well-Being and Success Coach at Champlain College. She’s also a workshop facilitator who frequently speaks on a variety of topics related to positive psychology, well-being, trauma-informed education, and mindfulness training. She hosts a weekly podcast called Mindcraft: Become the Boss of Your Brain & Live Your Best Life and writes for Psychology Today on everything from positive stress to overcoming shame. Her recent research is on the influence of social media on the well-being of college students. 

Dr. Quinn is also about as passionate about life as any college professor you’ll meet! Students tell us it vibrates off her while she’s teaching and that you can’t help but get inspired in her classes. It’s her long fascination for understanding connections between the mind and the body that inspires her scholarly interests.

Besides teaching, she worked for many years treating people with addictions, as well as a family therapist. She has published three books and three documentary films on topics relating to media psychology and gender development.

How long have you been at Champlain?

10 years.

What are the advantages of industry experience as a professor?

Lots of great stories to share with students that relate to the topics discussed. A real-world application.

What do you think makes Champlain such a powerful experience for students?

The authentic atmosphere that invites and encourages individuality and acceptance.

What’s the most surprising thing you’ve found about Champlain or your experience here?

That no one has ever said a word when I walk across campus dressed like a wizard.

What do you like about teaching in your major/division? 

I LOVE teaching psychology as it’s learning about real life, how and why we think, feel, and behave. Our division is more like a close family than a work environment. 

Teaching in general? 

Teaching fills me up and over the top. It is what I am meant to do. Teaching is my calling.

Why did you choose to teach?

I didn’t. Teaching chose me.

How is teaching different at Champlain?

We attract students and faculty who dance to their own beat.

What is your favorite class that you’ve taught at Champlain?

Mindcraft: the Scientific Study of Optimal Well-Being & Life Satisfaction. Students take Mindcraft as they are thirsty for a better, more authentic existence, where they learn to take charge of their minds.

What is your most memorable moment at Champlain?

There are so many. When students have a light bulb suddenly go on that is life-changing. The charge from witnessing this cannot be put into words.

Most memorable teaching moment?

Again, so many. When a student has a revelation that changes their young adult life in that moment and everyone in the room can see it. There is such a charge that cannot be put into words.

What have you learned from your students?

That every day I am blessed with the gift of doing what I love, and that young adult enthusiasm is fuel for the world.

What do you like about Burlington?

Basically everything, the good vibes, the food, the eclectic atmosphere.

What is your favorite spot on campus?

The Vista Room on the 3rd floor of the library. It has a killer view of Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks.

Dr. Kimberly Quinn checks in with a student in Champlain’s Vista Room, which is located on the top floor of the Library.

Are you involved with any on-campus organizations?

I’m involved with the Defense Against the Dark Arts Club. It’s a student-led club that meets weekly to discuss positive mind sets, social media, and strategies to reduce anxiety.

What advice do you have for students thinking about coming to Champlain?

Reach out to us. Come visit campus and talk with some of our students. Have lunch in our beautiful caf which has a view better than any restaurant in Burlington.

Why did you choose to study and teach psychology?

I am fascinated with the brain. I love being immersed with young adults eager to learn about the many wonders of the mind.

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