By Paulina Diaz
Contrary to what many students may think, Dr. Cornelius Quek is not a karate master, but he is a retired professional soccer player from Singapore.
Quek joined the Singapore Football National Team when he was 12 years old. Even though he showed a special ability for soccer at a young age, he was always involved in many sports. Quek made multiple appearances for the national team until he became a missionary at 19 years old.
As a former athlete, he says student-athletes should use the gift that God gave them and follow their heart and passion.
“When I was about 19 years old, I just felt like God told me he had a different path for me. He wanted me to pursue Ministry. I guess you could say that was part of my destiny,” Quek said.
Ministry allowed Quek to travel a lot. By the time he was 25 years old, he had visited over 25 countries. Not only has he visited a lot of countries, but he has lived in many. Before coming to the United States in 2005, he lived in England and Germany.
Before moving to Redding, Quek had only lived in metropolitan areas, not rural areas like Redding. Now, he says he has fallen in love with the outdoors. He said he had never lived somewhere surrounded by so much nature.
“If you look at the places where I have lived, they are all big cities. I had always been a city boy. I had always been around skyscrapers and tall buildings. I had never lived in a place with a lot of nature,” he said.
Quek has lived in Redding for eight years. For three years, he was an adjunct professor at Simpson University. This year, he was hired as a full-time professor. He teaches courses like Faith and Society, Hermeneutics, and Bible Study Methods. He says his favorite part about teaching at Simpson is getting to know his students.
“I love getting to know my students so much that I have stuffed up my office with “goodies.” I have an entire shelf full of those things,” he said.
More than being a professor, Quek says he wants to help students navigate through adult life.
“My job is to help students. I love getting to know their stories, their hobbies, their passions… I think that is the difference about being a professor at Simpson.”