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Physiology professor retires after 21 years at TAMIU

Physiology professor retires after 21 years at TAMIU

By Melissa Garza
Copyeditor

Published Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021

Students of anatomy and physiology courses bid adieu to one of their favorite professors at the end of the Fall 2021 semester.

Associate Professor of biology Fernando Quintana decided to retire after 21 years at Texas A&M International University.

“I really believe that TAMIU is very important for the region,” Quintana said. “The [students from South Texas] now have an opportunity to go to university and they also have the opportunity to transfer to other schools to study medicine, law, dentistry, veterinary medicine, etc.”

Associate Professor Fernando Quintana
Joy Davis | Bridge
Associate Professor of biology Fernando G. Quintana stands next to a model of internal human systems on Friday, Oct. 8, in one of the LBV classrooms on campus.

During his tenure, Quintana became a staple of the Department of Biology and Chemistry; in addition to anatomy and physiology, he taught courses in human physiology, animal nutrition, biometry, topics in biology and undergraduate research.

“I also have taught some courses in math—like statistics,” Quintana said.

He expressed admiration for the school, regarding it as a place of ambition for residents of South Texas and emphasized the importance of students in a university setting and advised fellow professors to identify with their pupils.

“I hope that the professors understand that the most important thing at TAMIU is the students: try to give the most you can to the students and to understand them and to see when they have a need for help,” Quintana said.

Regarding the University’s future, he expects the school to grow but hopes faculty will keep students’ best interests at heart.

“I think that TAMIU has to grow and it will grow—very slowly,” he said. “But I really think that we should never forget that TAMIU exists for the students, not for the professors. The professors have to dedicate their time and do everything they can do for the success of the students—especially for the students of South Texas.

“Before, they didn’t have any opportunity to go to university, and because their families never went to university, they [didn’t] know how to help them or how to motivate them. It is our responsibility as faculty to do that.”

His recent research focused on the impact of health insurance and people crossing the border for medical services in the Laredo area. He also collaborated with the City of Laredo Epidemiology Department. After his retirement, Quintana says he will dedicate more time to his family.

Former students of Quintana warmly recall the professor, noting his kindness and love for science. 

“I’m currently a junior in the nursing program and I did not forget the basics that he taught us during A and P. He made it possible for me to learn the essentials of human anatomy that are going to follow me throughout my whole career as a nurse,” nursing major Estefania Flores said.

A former nursing major, Andrea Alarcon, said, “Dr. Quintana is truly passionate about what he teaches. I took him for Anatomy 1 and 2 when I was a pre-nursing major. I absolutely loved going to his lectures to learn more about human anatomy. Dr. Quintana, thank you for always being so kind, understanding and patient with your students. I will miss you.”

During his tenure, Quintana helped secure grants in the following areas: statistical analysis and evaluation of the Si Three integration of 3D health services; BMI in children during development; mapping the prevalence of Borrelia in humans and ticks in South Texas; and Laredo-Webb County workforce needs assessment.

Quintana received several awards for his academics: Who is Who Among America’s Teachers in 2006, Mexican Association of Swine Practitioners Contribution Award in 1983, Honor Society of Agriculture Gamma Sigma Delta honorary member in 1983 and Mexican Association of Swine Practitioners honorary member in 1983.

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