Catching Up With Kristin Quah

Former Vanderbilt bowling star updates life as a graduate student

by Andrew Maraniss

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Part of an ongoing series, catches up with former Vanderbilt bowling star Kristin Quah.

Quah was one of the more-decorated student-athlete in Vanderbilt history. She was the recipient of the Southeastern Conference’s McWhorter Award and an NCAA Today’s Top 10 Award.

A native of Singapore, Quah helped lead the Commodores to a national championship victory in 2018 and a national runner-up finish in 2019. Quah also led Vanderbilt to the Southland Conference title in 2017, was the 2016 National Tenpin Coaches Association Rookie of the Year, earned three NTCA All-America honors and was a a two-time recipient of the NCAA Elite 90 Award.

Quah recently took some time for a Q&A to update her life and career: What is your occupation these days?

Quah: “Electrical Engineering PhD student at Stanford University.”

How has COVID-19 affected you and your family? 

“I usually try to go home (to Singapore) once a year. With the current situation, I may not be able to see my friends and family this year. It’s also made work more difficult. We have to be more creative with running simulations since we are unable to go into the lab to run experiments.”

What has been the hardest adjustment?

“The inability to see people face-to-face. I have only been in the Bay Area for a few months and have just started to form connections with people. It’s difficult to remain connected during this time.”

What has been the most pleasant surprise in these circumstances?

“The amazing support and kindness shown by other people. I know a lot of people who are stepping up, volunteering to help high-risk individuals to pick up groceries, or groups creating donation drives to provide PPEs to local hospitals. There are so many more examples.

“Another thing that I have been pleasantly surprised by is the number of people that I have gotten in touch with that I haven’t talked to in a while.”

Any good books, movies or games to recommend?

“I enjoy board games and have found that I am able to play them online now and with friends that are all spread across the country. There are many games available, including Settlers of Catan, Codenames and Scattergories.

What was your all-time favorite moment as a Commodore?

“It is difficult to pick one. Winning the national championship is obviously something that I will remember for a long time.

“However, I think my favorite moments are the ones that we spend together as a team. Whether it’s celebrating the good shots together or opening Secret Santa gifts together in February because we did not have a free weekend until then.”

Any advice or words of wisdom to Commodore Nation to help us get through this?

“Stay calm, stay inside and we will get through this. Look out for others in your community that are high-risk and stay connected to friends and family.”