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Patrick Quinton-Brown wins Moss Scholarship

Patrick Quinton-Brown. Photo: Diana Tyszko.

Patrick Quinton-Brown. Photo: Diana Tyszko.

Patrick Quinton-Brown, a voice for student activism and budding international security researcher, has been honoured for his contributions with this year’s John H. Moss Scholarship. The graduating Trinity College student will use the scholarship to attend Oxford University this fall where he will work toward a masters’ degree in international relations.

Each year, the Moss Scholarship honours one student who enhances the student experience for his or her peers at the university and is committed to outreach and involvement through extracurricular activities.

“Winning the scholarship has been a thrill for me,” says Quinton-Brown, who specialized in international relations. “Ultimately, my leadership at the university has been focused on two main goals: increasing civic engagement amongst youth and generating new thinking on our collective global duty to halt mass atrocity crimes.”

Quinton-Brown first became interested in the student voice in high school while serving as a student trustee for his district’s school board. After graduating with one of the highest academic averages in Ontario, he came to U of T where he became executive director of the Ontario Student Trustees’ Association and co-founded the Student Voice Initiative to promote and implement the student trustee concept in other school boards across Canada.

“The student trustee position not only enhances the quality of education in Ontario, it also introduces citizenship to young people,” he says. “This is exactly why we founded the group: to plant seeds for a stronger democracy.”

Quinton-Brown has also served as co-president of the International Relations Society and chairperson of the Canadian Centre for the Responsibility to Protect(CCR2P), a non-profit research organization that promotes academic and political engagement with international security. This year, under the auspices of the CCR2P, Quinton-Brown created the Syria Watch research division to generates awareness on campus of the ongoing civil war in the country. In 2011, he worked with Michael Ignatieff, former Liberal party leader and current U of T professor, to research countries that remain opposed to international intervention through the United Nations. In 2012, he presented his conclusions at an international research symposium in Brazil, and wrote a research paper for the Global Responsibility to Protect journal. He also co-authored an article for Brazilian international affairs journal Politica Externa with fellow student Victor MacDiarmid and Jennifer Welsh, the special advisor on R2P to the UN secretary-general. In 2013, he completed a research internship at the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect in New York City.

When his schedule allows, Quinton-Brown enjoys filmmaking and exploring how it can shape political change and public opinion. He founded the Whitby Film Festival and won the 2012 Ford Foundation’s student film festival with an animated short that defended the need for a free and open internet. He hopes that he can bring his passions for film and human rights together in the future.

“I feel that academia and film can play an important role in educating the public about urgent global issues while helping to foster the political will necessary for governments to stand up for international human rights,” he says.

This summer, before he heads to Oxford, Quinton-Brown will be researching at the United Nations University in Tokyo, where he will focus on questions of sovereignty and intervention in the Asia-Pacific region.

“R2P has been the central puzzle of my undergraduate career,” Quinton-Brown says. “Considering the international community’s inability to respond to ongoing tragedies such as the Syrian Civil War, it can be daunting to maintain one’s optimism towards conflict prevention. Becoming a Moss Scholar reaffirms to me we have a collective responsibility to pursue peaceable ideals.”