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 ’21 is from the golden (and sunny) state of California and is interested in studying American History and Religion. A lifetime lover of family, food, and the outdoors, she loves to garden and bake as an excuse for hanging out with her family and pets. Here on campus, she believes that the Multifaith Chaplaincy provides a haven for students to absorb rather than produce and connect rather than simply interact. In the winter semester, she cannot wait to become a Hearth coordinator and facilitate the wonderfully nurturing atmosphere for which Hearth is known.

Through the Multifaith Chaplaincy, I have found an opportunity to make personal, deep connections with those around me through the equally important mediums of silence and storytelling. The bravery others have while sharing such personal stories is humbling, and I have enjoyed witnessing the often unspoken bonds that are formed from a simple story.


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 spends much of his free time volunteering in the Lewiston-Auburn community, particularly in the area schools. Austin is also a history buff. He likes to read, listen to podcasts, and closely follow political developments in Maine and at the federal level. He has a deep passion for the subjects that he loves. He is also very close with his parents and his siblings, including his identical twin brother. Austin’s quiet and reserved nature allows him to be a very keen listener, and he looks forward to leading a community in thoughtful reflection and silence as a Hearth coordinator next winter.

The Multifaith Chaplaincy has provided me with space for the quiet time and deep reflection that I very much need. In a world and in a college environment that is often fast-paced and in which many rarely take the chance to pause, the Multifaith Chaplaincy is filled with individuals that take the time to slow down and delve deep into topics that get at the heart of human nature.


Fabian Miemietz ’21


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.

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.


Matt Suslovic ’21 is (in no particular order) a history major, gardener, aspiring high school teacher, unironic croc wearer, and Mainer. Matt grew up attending a Congregational Church where he repeatedly nailed the performance of Shepherd #2 in the annual Christmas pageant before taking a long hiatus from religion. After participating in an interfaith dialogue in high school he’s been dedicated to learning about other people’s religious and spiritual outlooks on life by inviting warm conversation and thoughtful reflection on spirituality and identity. For this reason, Matt is so excited to be co-running Telescope again for the second year as one of our Interfaith Engagement Fellows. When he’s not disliking cheese and avocados, Matt can be found walking along the Androscoggin with friends, grappling with his humanistic beliefs, and doing his best to smell like campfire

I have found some of the goofiest, heart-wrenching, thought-provoking, and elevating experiences through the people and spaces I’ve been exposed to through the Mulitifaith Chaplaincy. From these experiences, I have gleaned wisdom about how to be a better listener, empathizer, thinker, and friend. But more importantly, I have found a community which not only reminds me, but makes me want to strive, to be the best person that I can be. And here I have found others who reciprocate the effort to genuinely listen to and build others up. For having some of my most favorite memories and meeting some of my most beloved friends at Bates, I am truly thankful for this community.