Catching up with John Quinn, Young Journalists in the Chips Quinn Program

I’ve been lucky enough to have some great mentors throughout the years, many of whom graduated from my alma mater, Providence College. Last weekend, I drove across the state of Florida to visit one of them.

John Quinn, who graduated from PC in 1945, 62 years before I did, held a Chips Quinn reunion at his Cocoa Beach home, where a group of local Chips Quinn scholars gathered to talk about their work as journalists, the low morale in their newsrooms and the entrepreneurial journalism opportunities they’d like to pursue.

Quinn created the Chips Quinn scholarship program in memory of his late son in hopes of bringing more diversity in today’s newsrooms. It’s worked, as about 1,200 scholars have gone through the program and been given journalism internships. Mr. Quinn likes to call me an “honorary Chipster.” I received a John C. Quinn scholarship in his name at PC, so he often invites me to the Chips Quinn reunions and other related events.

I’m grateful for his help and for how willing he’s been to help me when I’ve needed career advice or someone to share ideas with. Someday I hope to return the favor to other young journalists. Everybody needs a mentor, especially one who motivates you to be better at what you do and reminds you that, yes, the work you do as a journalist matters.

Published by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

Mallary is a mom of two young kiddos -- Madelyn and Tucker. Mallary absolutely loves being a mom and often writes about the need to find harmony when juggling motherhood and work. Mallary is the Assistant Director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas at Austin, where she manages the Center's various programs related to distance learning, freedom of expression, and digital journalism. Previously, she was Executive Director of Images & Voices of Hope and Managing Editor of The Poynter Institute’s media news site, Mallary grew up outside of Boston and graduated from Providence College in Rhode Island. In 2015, she received a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University. She now lives in beautiful Austin, Texas, with her kids, husband Troy and cat Clara. She's working on a memoir, slowly but surely. You can reach her at

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