2013 Nassau BOCES Education Partner Award Honoree
Duncan Quarless, Ph.D.
Director, Science and Technology Entry Program
State University of New York College at Old Westbury
A devout champion of education, Quarless believes that "access to quality education is an inalienable right" and he considers the opportunity to help students to achieve "both a privilege and a responsibility." His impact extends beyond the college campus to the middle and high school students of Nassau County through his work in the SUNY Old Westbury Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP).
Serving approximately 250 students per year, STEP is designed to encourage Long Island's underrepresented students to pursue careers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professions. Using a variety of proven instructional models of educational leadership and mentorship, STEP exposes students to the STEM fields through project-oriented research, field trips, conferences, and instructional and professional development workshops.
"Dr. Quarless has demonstrated a solid commitment to the growth of others -- regardless of age, gender or educational level -- through his tireless efforts to lead his students to their highest aspirations of achievement," wrote his Education Partner Award nominator. "Students and colleagues alike respect this outstanding educator, who believes that every person has the capacity to grow and who creates an environment to help every student to reach their potential."
A mentor to countless students, Quarless guides his pupils to participate in regional, statewide and national conferences. Many of his students have pursued their secondary educations to achieve doctoral and medical degrees.
For his work, Quarless has earned a Research and Scholarship Award from the SUNY Research Foundation and a SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching. He holds a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from the City University of New York College of Staten Island, and a master's degree and doctorate from the State University of New York at Stony Brook University.
A native Brooklynite his parents emigrated from the West Indies at the height of the civil rights movement, Quarless considers civic consciousness simply a "way of being." He has been a Little League coach, a member of the Little League Board, and a member of the Uniondale Board of Education. Quarless lives in Uniondale with his wife, Demovia. They have four children.