Quest

Question • Understand • Explore • Serve • Transform

First Year Leadership and College Transition Experience

QUEST is an opportunity for first-year students to start a journey of self-discovery and personal leadership development, while gaining the confidence that will support a successful student experience. Trained peer mentors will guide small groups through the process during the fall semester.

This selective program is open to 105 students who demonstrate an interest in learning about leadership and who show a desire to thrive through engagement in the UD community.

Applications for 2024 will open in spring 2024!

Email Matthew Creasy with questions.

three students climb an outdoor rock wall while a Quest leader looks on from the ground

Participants will engage in activities both on and off campus. They’ll hear from keynote speakers, Marlon Smith and Tom Krieglestein. A day trip to Sandy Hill camp will include outdoor activities, such as ropes courses, boat races and an evening bonfire. Participants also socialize with other first-year students, join leadership workshops, identify values, set goals, perform community service and more. The full schedule will be released when the application opens!

Participants will:

  • Identify a set of personal values
  • Create a list of SMART goals for the fall semester
  • Identify their personal leadership style
  • Learn to work effectively as part of a diverse team
  • Articulate concepts of various leadership models
  • Learn to face fears, take risks and confront challenges
  • Identify tools for success at UD

Outcomes:

  • Foster connections among fellow first-year students, peer mentors and staff
  • Engage in experiences that contribute to an understanding of what it means to be a respectful and contributing member of an inclusive community that values human worth
  • Identify personal goals and learn how personal awareness and decision-making can impact one’s ability to achieve success.
  • Understand that developing as a leader is a process that involves self-awareness, relationships, skills and service to others and transformation

All Peer Mentors are Certified Peer Educators (CPE), as designed by NASPA, the association for Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education.

CPE training helps peer educators develop leadership skills to be able to successfully create and implement campus programs. The training includes eight modules covering the role of peer education, helping peers make a behavior change, listening skills, response and referral skills, how to take action and intervene, recognizing the role of diversity and inclusivity, programming and presentation skills, self-care and group dynamics.

CPE<br />
certified peer educator

2023 QUEST Student Coordinators

Natalie Baysinger

Natalie Baysinger

My name is Natalie Baysinger (she/her/hers) and I am a senior Public Policy major from Catonsville, MD with minors in Women and Gender Studies and Statistical Data Analytics! I’m also a Community Engagement Scholar and a World Scholar. When I’m not studying, you can often find me relaxing in the sun outside, with my friends in a dining hall or the library, or in Perkins playing games! QUEST gave me a safe space, amazing friends, and so much growth! I am so excited to be a QUEST Student Coordinator! I hope to bring all of you loads of laughter and joy, and the development that this opportunity offers. If I could offer you a piece of advice for the transition to college and UD, I would say to appreciate every moment you’ve got, and use this chance to become that person you’ve always wanted to be.

Jasmine Bioteau

Jasmine Bioteau

Hi everyone! My name is Jasmin Bioteau (she/her/hers) and I am from Abington, Pennsylvania, which is about one hour from UD. I am an honors senior chemistry and Spanish major. On campus I am involved in American Chemical Society Student Affiliates (ACS), University of Delaware Alternative Breaks (UDaB), and, of course, the Office of Leadership and Service. My favorite pastimes are reading, running, and watching Netflix. The Leadership and Service program has been a great experience for me, and I even met some of my best friends through QUEST. You can almost always find me in the Office of Leadership and Service if you want to chat. I am excited to meet you all and watch you grow as leaders!

Jalen Rogers

Jalen Rogers

Hi all! My name is Jalen Rogers and I am a first year graduate student pursuing a Master of Public Administration. I am from Dover, Delaware and I completed my undergrad at UD. I am associated with the Institute for Public Administration, and I am a member of my sorority’s Wilmington alumnae chapter. Throughout my undergraduate career I completed all 4 Tiers of the Blue Hen Leadership Program and have truly enjoyed my leadership journey. In my free time I like to connect with my friends and family, binge watch tv shows, read thrillers, and travel. Transitioning from a participant in QUEST to being a peer mentor for two years, and now my role as a Student Coordinator, has made me so eager to meet you all and I can’t wait to watch how each of you embraces your own leadership journey!

2023 QUEST Peer Mentors

Lola Babalola

Lola Babalola

Hi! My name is Lola Babalola and I’m from Malvern, PA. I am an honors sophomore studying Economics & Music Management. On campus, I founded a songwriting club called Music Makers and I am also a member of Concert Choir and The Women’s Network. Outside school, I am a Grammy U member of the Recording Academy, a summer camp counselor, a singer songwriter, and I love spending time with friends and family. QUEST was one of the most incredible experiences of my first year and I’m so grateful for the friends, leadership skills, and memories this program brought me. I cannot wait to be a Peer Mentor and bring QUEST to a new entering class. I’m so excited to meet you all and help you transition into UD!

Danielle Blachar

Danielle Blachar

Hi everyone! My name is Danielle Blachar (she/her/hers) and I am a sophomore from Westchester, New York. I’m majoring in Elementary Education with a concentration in English as a Second Language and minoring in Leadership. Here at UD, I’m in the Honors College, the Access: Ability Scholars program, and Tier 2 of the Blue Hen Leadership Program (BHLP). Outside of BHLP, I’m involved on campus as a Site Leader for UDaB (UD Alternative Breaks), the Student Engagement Chair for UDance Dance Marathon, and a Blue Hen Ambassador/Diversity Enrichment Leader. I love having picnics on the green with my friends, listening to music, and watching the sunset. Participating in QUEST was the highlight of my first year on campus and the relationships I established made my transition to college so much smoother. I am so excited to be part of this experience with the incoming group of QUESTers and I can’t wait to get to know all of you!

Connor Coyne

Connor Coyne

Hey everyone, my name is Connor Coyne, and I am a junior majoring in Biomedical Engineering from Baltimore, Maryland. At UD, apart from my involvement in the Creative Leadership, Innovation and Service office, I am involved with the AMT club, UDANCE, and the Men’s rugby team. When I’m not studying or doing homework most of my free time is spent at practice, but I also enjoy getting dinner with friends and throwing around a baseball or a football on a nice day. You can usually find me in the library, at the little bob, or biking around campus! QUEST gave me an amazing opportunity to meet new people and to get a feeling of the UD campus before the semester started, all while developing new leadership skills along the way. QUEST is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to leadership at Delaware and is such a valuable program to jumpstart your involvement! I’m super excited to meet you and help kick off your college experience!

Lukas Demskis

Lukas Demskis

Hey! My name is Lukas Demskis and I am a sophomore from Newtown, Pennsylvania. I am a Sports Health major in the 3+2 program for Athletic Training and I plan to study Physical Therapy. On campus I am currently involved in the Blue Hen Leadership Program, Athletic Training Student’s Association, and I am a member of the Men’s Volleyball Team. In my free time I enjoy rock climbing, going to the gym, playing all types of sports, learning songs on the guitar, and hanging out with friends. The QUEST program made my transition to college a super smooth experience and helped me find a great group of friends early on. I’m super grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in the program and I can’t wait to meet you all!

Erin Fitzgerald

Erin Fitzgerald

Hi everyone! I’m Erin Fitzgerald (she/her/hers), I am a junior from Wilmington, DE. Here at UD, I study Human Services (Pre-Social Work/Counseling) with a Minor in Medical Social Services. I am a part of our programs here in the Leadership and Service Office, Greek Life, the Human Services Honor Society, and a Peer24 Lead over at Sean’s House. During my free time, I love getting coffee, spending time with friends, and going to the gym. QUEST has truly been the most amazing experience, both as a PM and a participant. Not only have I learned so much about myself and how I can grow as a leader, but I have found a family in this program! I cannot wait to meet you all and be a part of your QUEST experience!

Colin Jarnutowski

Colin Jarnutowski

Hey everyone! My name is Colin Jarnutowski, I am a junior Sport Management major from Monroe CT. On campus I am a part of the Sport Management Club, an intern for the Sports Science and Analytics department, and a pitcher on the Club Baseball team. In my free time I love to be active, whether that’s hiking, playing pickup sports, or just hanging out with friends. Being a part of QUEST allowed me to build a base of solid relationships I’ve maintained all through college. It helped me develop my skills in both communication and leadership while also having tons of fun. I’m thrilled to help build a culture for others to enjoy a similar experience!

Maddy Lowe

Maddy Lowe

Hey everyone! My name is Maddy Lowe and I’m a sophomore medical diagnostics pre-physician assistant major from Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. I just want to start off by saying you can make such an amazing decision by applying for QUEST. QUEST not only exposes you to incredible leadership strategies, but also acts as a time to get you accustomed to college life, establishes amazing relationships, and opens your eyes to the amazing opportunities available on campus. Here at Delaware I’m involved in club volleyball, Christian Challenge, pre-PA club, UD alternative breaks, and I also work as an EMT at Aetna Hose Hook and Ladder company. I love listening to Luke Combs and Noah Kahan, playing football and spikeball on the turf, working out, and getting food on main street! I’m so excited to get to know you guys and see all the amazing things you accomplish!

Siena Norcross

Siena Norcross

Hi y’all! My name is Siena Norcross (she/her/hers) and I am a Sophomore in the honors college majoring in Food Science. San Antonio, Texas is my hometown but I am a military kid so I have lived all over. Here at UD I am involved in the Agriculture College Counsel (AgCC), Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources & Related Sciences (MANRRS), Food Science Club, Dsharps Acapella, and I also work at the UDairy Creamery! I am extremely passionate about food and love to cook/learn about food culture and history. In my free time I love playing volleyball (court or sand) and softball. My college experience started with QUEST and I highly recommend it. My best connections with friends/university resources came from QUEST. I cannot wait to meet the new round of QUESTers. I’m rooting for all of you already!

Richard Oboryshko

Richard Oboryshko

Hello, awesome students! My name is Richard Oboryshko (he/him/his). I am a junior English Education and History double major from Hockessin, DE. Beyond the classroom, I am interested in reading, writing, and tiffs in antiquity. I tend to read non-fiction, although I am also a big fan of historical fiction. I was an Orientation Leader and a UDAB spring site lead; now, I am super excited to be a Peer Mentor! I am exceptionally glad you signed up for QUEST. My experience with this program was excellent because I felt there was a proportionate return on my commitment, and I am willing to bet that you will feel the same way. I can’t wait to see how you will grow as a leader and as an individual over the course of your first semester!

Jason Puza

Jason Puza

Hey! My name is Jason Puza and I am a Junior Biology major, Neuroscience minor on a pre-med track. I’m from Dallas, Pennsylvania, which is a small town about 20 minutes away from Scranton. Besides being a member of the Blue Hen Leadership Program, I am involved in UDANCE, a member of the Making Doctors Club, an Undergraduate Researcher, and a member of the UD Men’s Rugby Team. When my time isn’t occupied by school and extracurricular activities, I am usually playing video games, reading, hanging out with friends, or watching anything Star Wars related. The QUEST program made the transition to college light years easier, and I am so thankful I was given the opportunity to participate in it. QUEST was an incredible experience and I can’t wait for you all to experience it!

Jadah Ricks

Jadah Ricks

Hi! My name is Jadah Ricks (she/her/hers) and I am from Upper Marlboro, Maryland. I am a Women’s and Gender Studies, Human Services double major, with a minor in Domestic Violence Prevention. Around campus, I am a Mental Health Peer Educator for the Well-Being Center, and love to participate in events at the Center for Black Culture. Outside of campus life, at home I work at the International Spy Museum in the retail store and love to spend time with friends and family whether it’s going to the beach, eating good food, or watching comedy movies. I love to cook and bake, my favorite food to eat is tacos or french fries and I always enjoy reading a good book. BHLP and QUEST have introduced me to amazing people that have become my support system, even meeting my best friend through this program. I am so excited to be your mentor and give you the room to grow, speak your mind, and be your authentic selves as you transition into your lives at UD!

Ethan Roseman

Ethan Roseman

Hey! My name is Ethan Roseman and I am a sophomore Biology major with a pre-med track hoping to become a dermatologist. I am from Mount Laurel, New Jersey. On campus I am currently involved in UDance, the Blue Hen Leadership Program, and National Society of Collegiate Scholars. My favorite things to do in my free time are playing golf, hanging with my friends, watching movies, and going to the gym. Participating in QUEST my first year here was an amazing experience. I met some of my current best friends doing this program and it helped to make my transition into college a whole lot smoother. I am excited to meet you all and see all that you will accomplish.

Casey Schaeffer

Casey Schaeffer

Hi Everyone! My name is Casey Schaeffer and I am beyond excited to be one of your QUEST Peer mentors this year! I am a Junior from Yardley, PA majoring in Leadership with a minor in Event Management. On Campus, you can find me in The Women’s Network Club, traveling within our alternative breaks program, and sailing on our club sailing team. I also serve as the Leadership representative within the Biden School and a member of the Community Engagement Scholars program. I love listening to music, playing volleyball, and going on drives with friends in my free time! I cannot wait to see what comes next in the Blue Hen Leadership Program as I am entering my third year in the Fall! QUEST has provided me with a sense of family and lifelong friends and truly eased my transition when entering college as a freshman. I cannot wait to meet all of you and share laughs, joy, as we grow together as people.

Marykate Sharkey

Marykate Sharkey

Hey everyone! I’m Marykate Sharkey (she, her, hers) and I am from Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey. I am currently a sophomore majoring in Leadership and hoping to double minor in Public Policy and Medical Social Services. On campus, I work as a Creative Leadership, Innovation, and Service Ambassador and participate in UDAB and certificate programs through the Lead & Serve office. During my free time, you can find me lost in a good book, hosting movie marathons, or whipping up something good in the kitchen. I love quality time with loved ones and soaking up the sunshine whenever possible. My journey with QUEST has been transformative, shaping me into the leader I am today and helping me find my community here at UD. I am so excited to meet you and have an absolute blast! This is a fresh start, so I encourage you to dive right in and enjoy every moment! 🙂

Pierce Smith

Pierce Smith

Hello all! My name is Pierce Smith (he/him/his) and I am a 3rd year from Wilmington Delaware. My major is human relations administration, and I have a minor organizational leadership. When I am not peer mentoring, I can usually be found playing sand volleyball, or playing racquetball at little bob! I am involved in the student chapter of society, human resources management!  I also am an avid player of video games, my favorite is horizon zero Dawn, but I often can be found in the Hen Zone playing on the switches, I tend to favor playing Super Smash Ultimate or Mario cart. I would not be where I am now if it weren’t for the friendships I gained through QUEST. I’m excited to meet you all and watch grow!

Maddy Thompson

Maddy Thompson

Hi, everyone!! My name is Maddy Thompson (she/her/hers), and I’m so excited to be a peer mentor this year! I’m a junior from Pittsburgh, PA and an Honors Human Physiology major pursuing minors in Leadership and Spanish for Healthcare. On campus, I’m involved with the Leadership and Service office, Writing Fellows, and Greek Life (both Panhellenic and professional). When I’m not studying at ISE or the library, you can find me grabbing coffee with friends, going on walks, reading, or listening to music. I love bagels, hugs, and all things pink! My favorite leadership memory is traveling to Puerto Rico for an Alternative Winter Break Program and forming meaningful connections with new friends there. QUEST has provided me with a safe space to grow as a leader, build confidence, celebrate the little wins in life, and find a family away from home. I can’t wait to meet all of you!