Meet our Multifaith Fellows!

If you are wondering what a “multifaith” community is, it is a group of people who create spaces for sharing and exploring identities, perspectives, convictions, and practices. At Hearth, {Pause}, or any of the programs of the Multifaith Chaplaincy, you will meet some of these student leaders and many others who bring unique stories and perspectives. These Multifaith Fellows plan all the activities of the Multifaith Chaplaincy, so you will see them around. Below, you can find a few words about what they have found in this community.

Joan Buse eating a very large donut

Joan Buse ’21 hails from the enchanted hills of California (but most agree she actually grew up in a house under a hill in the J.R.R. Tolkien world of the Shire). She is the first Bates student to quadruple major in American history, religion, ballroom dance, and SunChips catering. To know Joan means to accept these three axioms: 1) baking is love, 2) pickles are gross, and 3) when Tony Bennet sings about San Francisco the world makes sense. Joan is so excited to help run Horizons and Hearth from California.

Khushi Choudhary ’23 is a psychology and religious studies double major from India. She is an aspiring therapist, a sensitive, empathic, and curious person who is constantly looking for authentic and meaningful conversation and openings for expressions of vulnerability. She’s very excited to answer the big life questions about love, fear, meaning, and happiness that she’s been carrying around in her head through her role as Arts and Spirituality Coordinator. On campus, you can find her silently talking to trees and squirrels with a hot beverage in hand or walking around in the snow with her arms spread.

Yueh Qi Chuah ’22 is a neuroscience major from the other side of the world, Malaysia. An adventurer who travels often between her home, China, and the States, Yueh loves connecting with nature through hiking, kayaking, or just simply lying on the Quad to appreciate the moment. She also loves expressing herself through arts and crafts as a form of self-love. Yueh is super excited to be an interfaith engagement coordinator in the coming year to bring joy and love at Bates!

I found myself in Multifaith. I learned that it’s okay to be different and it’s what makes us who we are. Here, I was able to explore new interests, look at the world through different perspectives, and embrace myself wholeheartedly. It is the trust we have between one another in this safe space that encourages everyone to be themselves.

Austin Dumont ‘21 is a Politics major and an Education minor from Auburn, Maine. He loves to spend time in his home state of Maine, enjoying its natural beauty and all four seasons — though his personal favorite is autumn. He enjoys going for long walks and hikes. Though as an unabashed homebody, Austin can be found at his happiest inside, on a cold night, reading a good book or engaged in deep conversation! Family is also very important to Austin. He cherishes the time he spends with his parents, his siblings, and his nephew! He is very excited to facilitate the Telescope program this year. During these difficult times, he hopes others can find spiritual fulfillment through reflection and by being a part of the Multifaith community!

Dianna Georges ’22 is an environmental studies major from the beautiful, and often underrated,  state of New Jersey. Her passion is to connect activists and organizers on campus working on similar goals, which is incredibly aided by being a Stringfellow fellow. When not working towards world peace, Dianna can be found yelling or napping across campus, planning for Halloween, or bragging that she was on Zoom before Zoom was cool. For the spring semester, Dianna will be frolicking through Iceland learning about climate change, and trying to pet a wild, but small and gentle, horse. Please feel free to visit her growing plant collection in Hedge! 

Cyan Hunte ’22 is a studio art and politics major from Brooklyn, NY. They get excited about indie rock,  and seeing a full moon, among other things. Cyan also likes to doodle in class and play songs on the guitar. They’re 5’6″ on a good day.

Hannah McKenzie ’21 is an anthropology major from Baltimore, Maryland who currently lives in an underwater-themed apartment in Lewiston. Beliefs include: sweet and savory pairings, charm bracelets, and small utensils for dessert. She loves learning random facts about songs and musicians, spinning globes, and collecting tiny things. Reflecting with the Multifaith community has been one of the most meaningful parts of Hannah’s time at Bates, and she is so excited to join the Fellows as co-coordinator of baccalaureate this year!

Fabian Miemietz ’21

Mamta Saraogi ’21 is an English major with a deep passion for poetry and a wild fascination with the rain. She cherishes the gift of words on paper, especially when outdoors! She calls Kolkata, India home and believes that when the colors pink and gold come together, they create magic. At Bates, she continues to uncover the energies of meditation and spirituality as essential elements in forming meaningful friendships, and igniting the quest to learn and evolve. As an Interfaith Engagement coordinator, she looks forward to spreading love, soulful energy, and laughter on campus!

Through the heat of summer and the ice of winter, the Chaplaincy has remained warm: it has been a home, one that seems to smile at the thought of being a welcoming, accepting, and cozy sanctuary for anyone who peeks inside. In a few inadequate words, I have found love’s magic at the Chaplaincy.

Ahimy Soto-Garcia ’21 has a “Hi” in the middle of her name. Coincidence? I think not. Although she does own a pair of glasses she is still unable to make out faces, especially with these masks; so don’t be afraid to say hi. I promise you could probably pick her out in a crowd.

Ahimy is a Psychology major born in Guatemala, Quetzaltenango or xela to most locals, but was raised in New Jersey for most of her conscious life. What will she be doing after college? Unsure… perhaps you can help her out if you don’t get derailed by her existential crises that her suitemates know all too well. She is excited to be joining Multifaith in creating meaningful conversations with students from all walks of life!

Matt Suslovic ‘21 is a history and cereal-eating double major from Portland, Maine. He is a full-time philosopher (bringing existentialism to every conversation), part-time plant whisperer, lifelong crocs and socks enthusiast, humble watercolor prodigy, and little-known picky eater. His idols include Neil deGrasse Tyson, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, his friend Muskan, Bob Ross, and whoever remembers to bring tea to a social gathering. His hallmark traits are his infallible positivity, dorky laughs, and unconditional empathy which he will bring to Horizons and Multifaith Banquet this year.

This community not only reminds me, but makes me want to strive to be the best person that I can be. Here I have found peers and mentors who reciprocate the effort to genuinely listen to and build others up. For having some of my most sacred memories and meeting some of my most beloved friends at Bates, I am truly thankful for the Multifaith Chaplaincy.

Frances White ‘23 is a religious studies major with an interest in the performing arts. She is a fan of bandannas, chicken nuggets, a brisk wind, and humorous socks. From New York City, her passion for religion comes from being surrounded by a variety of spiritual groups. This year she will be joining the Multifaith Chaplaincy as a coordinator for Arts and Spirituality in the hopes of using this medium to bring productive and fun conversations to foster community! She can be found wandering around campus in a large sweater with her friends!