Del Quest, PhD, MSW
Areas of Research & Specialization
My primary focus both as a researcher and a social work educator, is on suicide prevention and intervention. I study suicide because, as a clinical social worker, I know many of the people I work with are impacted by the issue. My goals are to help those impacted by the death of a loved one to heal from the loss, and also to support other clinicians as they cope with the loss of a client.
PhD in Social Work and Social Research, Portland State University, Portland, Oregon, in 2014
Masters of Social Work, University of Denver, Durango, CO, in 2004
Bachelors of Social Work, Colorado State University, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, in 1985
Why I study social work
I knew from my young childhood that I wanted to be a person who got to help others. At first, I thought that meant I was going to be a teacher. My mother was a teacher and, from watching her, I learned that it meant to care for those who were struggling. I can’t remember the number of times she invited students to our house so she could tutor them on the weekends. There was never much actual book work during those days but there was lots of laughter and food. Looking back, I realized she knew who didn’t have enough food or a safe place and figured out a way to support them without it looking like a handout. She was more a social worker than a teacher and she was good at both. I had several friends who were teachers and watching how hard they worked made me decide I wanted to be a counselor instead. And here is where Fate stepped in. I applied to the counseling program at Colorado State University. An admissions person called me to let me know that program was full but I could enroll in the Social Work program for a semester and then transfer over to the counseling program. I was all set to “endure” the social work courses and then start the real courses in counseling as soon as I could. Then I attended my first class and met my first social worker. I had found “home”.
Thanks to my social work degrees, I have been with people at some of the hardest moments of their lives. I have witnessed courage, compassion, and unimaginable strength. Social workers have the unique responsibility of being with people “from the cradle to the grave” and at all the times in between. Social work is a calling first, and then a profession. I am passionate about the field because of my deep commitment to social justice and improving the lives of those most marginalized. It is an honor to teach social work courses because I know I am helping to shape people who will carry on the social justice fight.
What I would tell a student considering a major in social work
Social work is the hardest job you will ever have. And the best. You will never be bored, or lonely, or wealthy. But you will be making a difference in people’s lives every single day. Social work isn’t for everyone so it is important to be sure of what you are getting into. Take an introductory course in social work, or volunteer with a social worker so you can see some of the realities of the profession before your change your major. Do some research to see all the different types of jobs social workers can do and what kinds of tasks you would have. Social work might be right for you if:
- You are passionate about the rights of others
- You are a good communicator
- You believe the world can be a better place
- You like to solve problems.
The best thing about being a social worker? Knowing that somewhere out there in the world, one person is happier, safer, warmer, less hungry, less scared, or less sick because of something a social worker did for them. Sure beats being an accountant J
Advisor, Social Work club, Masters program at Pacific University
Peer Reviewed Journal Publications
Quest, A.D. & Nedegaard, R., & Koch, C. (In review, 2017). Closing a gap: Including suicide-related content in MSW education.
Coleman, D. & Quest, A.D. (2014). Science from evaluation: Testing hypotheses about differential effects of three youth-focused suicide prevention trainings. Social Work in Public Health.
Blakeslee, J.E., Quest, A.D, Powers, J., Powers, L.E., Geenen, S. Nelson, M. et al. (2013). Reaching everyone: Promoting the inclusion of youth with disabilities in evaluating foster care outcomes. Children and Youth Services Review, 35 (2013), 1801-1808
Quest, A.D., Fullerton, A., Geenen, S., & Powers, L. (2012). Voices of youth in foster care and special education regarding their educational experiences and transition to adulthood. Child and Youth Services Review, 34(9), 1604-1615.
Recent Popular Publications
Quest, A.D. (2017, September 22). Postvention is prevention. Trauma Informed Oregon Talk
Quest, A.D. (2015, October). CSWE Annual Planning Meeting, Out from under the LGBTQ umbrella: Meeting needs of “bisexual” youth, Denver, CO.
Quest, A.D. & Ellingson, W., (2015, July) 40th National Institute for Social Work and Human Services in Rural Areas, Maintaining the integrity of the field education pedagogy: comparisons of two frontier distance programs, Vermillion, SD.
Quest, A.D. (2015, April) 50 Ethical Shades of Gray: When Mistakes Happen. Ethics presentation. Presented at Evergreen Youth Services Conference, Bemidji, MN.
Quest, A.D. (2015, April) LGBTQ Youth in out of home care. Presented at Evergreen Youth Services Conference. Bemidji, MN.
Quest, A.D. (2014, April). My mother wishes I was a lesbian: Coming out experiences of bisexually attracted young adults. Presented at Adolescent Sexuality Conference, Seaside, OR.
Quest, A.D. & Coleman, D. (2012, January). Predictors of response to suicide prevention training: Towards maximizing training impact. Presented at Society for Social Work and Social Research, Washington, D.C.
Quest, A.D. & Anderson-Nathe, B. (2011, April). Lessons from school: LGB students and the Oregon Healthy Teens survey. Presented at Adolescent Sexuality Conference, Seaside, OR.
Gil-Kashiwabara, E. & Quest, A.D. (2010, September). Suicide prevention in the school setting: A qualitative investigation of the ASIST and RESPONSE trainings. Presented at the Oregon Prevention Conference, Eugene, OR.
Coleman, D. & Quest, A.D. (2010, March). Three gatekeeper trainings: Six-month effects on suicide prevention knowledge, attitudes, and behavior. Presented at the SAMHSA/CMHS GLS Suicide Prevention Grantee Meeting, Las Vegas, NV.
Coleman, D. & Quest, A.D. (2010, January). Three gatekeeper trainings: Six-month effects on suicide prevention knowledge, attitudes, and behavior. Presented at the Society for Social Work and Research, San Francisco, CA.
Veres, K., Pommier-Satya, S., & Quest, A.D. (2009, June). Building hope: Supporting youth in both foster care and special education as they transition into adulthood. Presented at Building on Family Strengths Conference, Portland, OR.
Quest, A.D., Phillips, L.A., & Welch, M. (2009, February). Building hope: Supporting youth in both foster care and special education as they transition into adulthood. Presented at Oregon Special Educators Conference, Hood River, OR.
2004-2008 Administrator and therapist, Presbyterian Medical Services Adolescent Residential Treatment Center, Farmington, NM
2004-2006 Hospital Social Worker, Mercy Medical Center, Durango, CO
2003 Mercy Medical Center MSW internship, Durango, CO
Honors and Awards
Fall 2015 Invited Commencement speaker, Social Work, University of North Dakota
Summer 2015 Invited Commencement speaker, Social Work, University of North Dakota
Fall 2014 Invited Commencement speaker, Social Work, University of North Dakota
Winter 2014 Nominated for Founder’s Day award for Outstanding Graduate Faculty, University of North Dakota
Fall 2013 New Faculty Scholar Award