This Summer, Where in the World is QUEST?

Article by Alex Bansleben (Q18)

After the completion of yet another academic year, summer provides a much-needed chance to relax, unwind, and escape the normal day-to-day routine. This summer, members of the QUEST community are off to the far ends of the globe to volunteer, embrace different cultures, and enjoy time with family and friends.

Mercedes Valero (Q19):

This summer I’ll be traveling to Europe in August, more specifically London, Amsterdam and Edinburgh. In London, I will be attending various Olympic events and cheering on Team USA! And my family I decided to take the opportunity to visit Amsterdam and Edinburgh as well, two cities I have never visited, so I’m very excited. Besides that, I will be working with high school girls at the Exploring Engineering camp here at UMD as a camp counselor.


Chul Kwon (Q18):

On May 19th, I will be leaving for Taiwan with Melinda Song (Cohort 18). We hope to visit their night market and Taipei 101 — the second tallest skyscraper in the world. Two days later, we will rendezvous with Alex Bansleben (Cohort 18) in Bangkok, Thailand! After five days of staying in Bangkok, we will leave for Hanoi, Vietnam, where Olivia Sulaeman (Cohort 19) will join us and travel down to Saigon, or officially, Ho Chi Minh City.

Following my Southeast Asia trip with QUEST will be my internship at GE Capital. I will be working as part of the Information Technology Leadership Program in Danbury, CT. Because of its proximity to New York City, I hope to hang out with some of my QUEST buddies who will also be in the New York metropolitan area.

I will close my summer break with a trip to South Korea, where I will be visiting my old friends, as well as my family and my relatives. I will be coming back to the United States on August 24th!


Hannah Henningsgaard (Q17):

This summer, I will be in: Chicago (1 week), Thailand (2 weeks), Bali (1 week), Florida (2 weeks), and road tripping in New Orleans, San Antonia, Austin, New Mexico, California, Montana, Minnesota, and Michigan (5 weeks). I’ve got every day of my summer planned with my family 🙂


Dr. Nicole Coomber (QUEST Assistant Director):

I am excited to be traveling with Tony to visit my mother in Florida and spend some time at the beach. We’ll also be heading up to the Catskills for a pig roast with family and friends at the end of June. Other than that, I’m looking forward to some “summer reading” and finally seeing the Hunger Games.


Sahil Rahman (Q17):

I will be traveling to Kenya and volunteering with an organization called Volunteer HQ. While volunteering, I will be working on sport development, where you introduce a new sport to the school children. As a result, I will be teaching the kids how to play ultimate frisbee, and will be bringing many discs over to Kenya with me to teach them how to play. Then, I’ll possibly be taking a US road trip when I get back!


Val Kravets (Q17):

This summer, I plan to travel to 10 different countries in Europe for a month with another QUEST Cohort 17 member, Tshikuna Muanankese. Also, I will be starting a new job with the Department of Defense after I get back in July.


Nelly Desmerattes (Q17):

I will be volunteering and working in Thailand with International Student Volunteers. I will be there for a month working at the Mae Kok foundation with underprivileged children. I will also be touring Thailand and Cambodia. I will be back by early July to start work at Capital One by mid-July!


Dr. Joe Bailey (QUEST Executive Director):

I am looking forward to making progress on some work projects as well as some family vacations.  On the work front, I hope to be working on some new material in the 190 class so business students will learn more about technology development and design.  On the family front, my family and I are schedule to go to Nantucket, the Adirondacks, and Montana.  My son, Nicholas, and I hope to do a road trip to see some baseball games (minor and major league) out West.

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