Meet the OIE Fellows & SPARQ! Peer Mentors

Student Staff

The Office of Intercultural Education is home to two distinct student employment leadership opportunities, the OIE Fellows and SPARQ! Peer Mentors. Through these positions, the OIE hopes to elevate students’ awareness of the power and effectiveness.

2016-2017 OIE Fellow Bios

Katherina Tran, OIE Fellow, is a sophomore studying biochemistry. At the beginning of her first year, she has a hard time adjusting to living away from home and making new friends. It wasn’t until she joined AASIA and went on the Bobcat First retreat that she started to feel like I found a home away from home. Through the OIE, she have been able to find genuine friends and a safe space to relax when she felt stressed out from school. She became a OIE Fellow hoping that she can create the same experience for other incoming and current students.

Keven Melvin, OIE Fellow, is a senior psychology major. Kevin loves to meet new people through different avenues at Bates. Kevin hopes that by serving as an OIE Fellow, he can connect with other students at Bates and provide guidance through her own past experiences. By doing so, Kevin hopes to make someone else’s stay at Bates a more enjoyable one.

Nicholas Lambert, OIE Fellow, is a sophomore exploring the idea of majoring in Spanish. He is excited to meet all of the incoming class, as well as, peers he has yet to interact with. Nicholas hopes his experience during his first year will be helpful in creating new workshops and events for the OIE.

Jissel Garay, OIE Fellow, is a sophomore exploring the idea of majoring in Sociology and a minor in Education. As a rising Sophomore, she has made sure to take full advantage of the resources that were being offered by OIE Fellows and other upperclassmen. Through this tremendous help, Jissel was able to access the what she needed and help her peers along the way. Jissel believes that every student has the right to an equitable education. As an OIE Fellow, she will have the opportunity to connect students with resources that will help them navigate through their first-year in college. The first year of college is the hardest for any student, particularly for any first-gen and/or student of diverse background, but if there is a team of students devoted to ensuring these new students are aware of the great resources that are available, then there is a higher chance these first-year students will succeed.

lidow_20151188506998-1Leslie-Anne Bernard, OIE Fellow, is a sophomore from Kingston, Jamaica, studying philosophy and theatre arts. She is involved in Bates Christian Fellowship, the Gospelaires, Africana Club, and Caribbean Students Association. Leslie-Anne is also a Annual Giving Student Intern. Leslie-Anne became a OIE Fellow because she has a desire to serve and be a resource for students. She is excited about improving the level of cultural and social awareness, education and sensitivity on campus to create a more informed and welcoming place for everyone. She hopes to help create a space where students can feel safe being themselves whilst enabling them to form deep connections through embracing and exploring their differences.

Kevin Tejada, OIE Fellow, is a senior from Westchester, N.Y. and is a double major in History and Spanish. At Bates, Kevin has always been very involved in various acivities happening at the OIE. The OIE is an inclusive space that provides students with multiple resources. As an OIE Fellow, he hopes to help facilitate many of these so that other students can learn to appreciate and take advantage of the valuable things that are always happening in the OIE.

IMG_8364Hanna Chipman, OIE Fellow, is a senior double major in sociology and women & gender studies. As an OIE Fellow, she hopes to foster and engage a safe community where she aims to support the diversity of identities. Hanna seeks to emphasize the voices of minority students, giving them the opportunity to feel comfortable, be able to express themselves, and most importantly not feel any sense of shame or exclusion as part of the Bates community. Hanna wishes to help give people from all background and identities their space to be who they want to be and to encourage them to continue to be proud of the individual selves.

2016-2017 SPARQ! Peer Mentor Bios


Yara Abdelhady, SPARQ! Peer Mentor & Educator, is a junior from Egypt. Yara is excited about being a part of SPARQ! because they want to take positive action towards making the campus more inclusive. Yara enjoys their spare time learning and advocating around Middle Eastern politics, philosophy, football (not the American kind), and scuba diving.

image1 (4)Deshun Peoples, SPARQ! Peer Mentor, is a senior Studio Art and Rhetoric double major and Chinese minor. In his sophomore year, as a Queer Peer Mentor in the OIE, he was able to help his mentees explore identity and navigate transitioning to college. Having gone through the coming out process almost entirely from Bates’ campus, Deshun understands how significant our Bates experiences are in shaping who we become as individuals. As a mentor, he was absolutely honored to have walked with several mentees through the coming out process-arguably one of the hardest things you’ll ever have to do a a queer person-and to this day, Deshun has yet to know a greater joy.

rachelRachel Marks, SPARQ! Peer Mentor, is a senior studying Women and Gender Studies from New York City. As a leader of Outfront for the past two years, Rachel is excited to continue her involvement in the LGBTQ+ community at Bates with SPARQ! Taking on a mentorship role, she is looking forward to providing support to all students at Bates regardless of what identities they hold. Rachel has also been involved with AASIA, the Women’s Rugby Team, and DJ society.

FullSizeRenderCameron Huftalen, SPARQ! Peer Mentor, is a sophomore from New Hampshire, currently studying history and European studies. As an incoming genderfluid, pansexual first-year, Cameron found great friends and support through SPARQ! and it’s programs, and is very excited to be a part of the team this year and to be able to help others to find the same success. Cameron has mentored with Outright L/A, and hopes to continue being engaged with LGBTQ+ issues and events both on and off the Bates campus.