Meet the Coordinators

AESOP is student-led with support from the Office of Residence Life and Health Education. We are free to explore new trip ideas and keep the program fresh and student-focused! We love our school and we love what we do: a wonderful combination that allows us to infuse our own joy about AESOP, Bates, Maine, and Lewiston into the beginning of your four years here.

We are dedicated to making this the best AESOP possible! We work steadily throughout the school year to prepare for the upcoming AESOP program and will work continuously throughout the summer in preparation for your arrival on campus in August. We look forward to meeting each of you and hope you are all excited about coming to Bates. If you have any questions, feel free to email us at We’ll answer your questions as quickly as possible, but bear in mind that there are many of you and only a few of us, so please be patient!

Sam Faasen ’23 – Head Coordinator

Hometown: Dover, NH

What AESOP did you participate in as a First Year? Franconia I

How’s it going Bobcats! First off, welcome to the Bobcat family! I am so excited to meet and get to know you all in the coming years, and be able to be a part of such a fundamental experience at Bates! AESOP is by far one of the best and most enjoyable experiences of your first year, and the rest of the coordinators and I are going to work hard to make it the best possible experience for each one of you! Again, congrats and welcome to Bates!

Not too far from Bates, I was born in Dover, New Hampshire, a town you’ll easily pass right on by if you drive up to Bates. Living so close means I’m pretty acclimated to the Maine weather, and I promise you it gets cold, and it gets cold quick. I absolutely love hiking in the outdoors, and know some pretty sweet spots around if you need suggestions. Other than that, you can find me on the water as a part of the Bates men’s rowing team, or spending my life at Bates in Pgill (Pettengill Hall) grinding on seemingly endless homework. Aside from that, you can find me scattered around our academic buildings, fulfilling my math and neuroscience majors. In the little free time I seem to have, you can find me
sprawled in my room watching something Star Wars related, or jamming to music.

I just want to close and say that college is a big step, and a big transition. What I hope, though, is
that AESOP can provide you with a great time and help smooth that transition, and, again, we (the Coords) are working hard to make it perfect. I hope you will love your AESOP as much as we all did. Have a great summer, and see you in the fall!!

Ayah Ghazi ’23 – Head Coordinator

Hometown: Canton, MA

What AESOP did you participate in as a First Year? Mahoosuc II

Hey Bobcats class of ’26 !! I cannot wait to meet you all. AESOP is one of the first experiences you will have on campus as a freshman, and it will consist of some very memorable moments that you will remember. We are so excited to put together a welcoming and inclusive pre-orientation program for you all !

Let me tell y’all a little bit about myself! I am from Canton Massachusetts. I love spending time in the outdoors; some of my favorite outdoor activities are hiking, cross-country skiing, and biking- I also love going to the beach. I love challenging myself which is why I loved my AESOP trip where I was able to hike the most difficult mile of the Appalachian trail.

At Bates, you can either find me in the basement of Ladd library stressing over some foreign chemistry concept or in commons chatting it up with my friends and teammates (not so much now that we are in the midst of a pandemic). I am a Neuroscience major on the pre-dental track, with a  concentration in public health. Enough about me though! I cannot wait for you all to experience AESOP and create your very own little AESOP fam!! Enjoy your summer and see you soon!

Khadeeja Qureshi ’23 – Head Coordinator

Hometown: Princeton, NJ

What AESOP did you participate in as a First Year? Mahoosuc II

Fellow bobcats! I hope y’all are STOKED to embark on your AESOP journey because I certainly am stoked to get you out there! It is so important to me that each and every one of you has a safe, inclusive, & momentous experience to kick off your four years at Bates. And as we set sail for adventure, let’s remember that we are living on stolen Wabanaki land.

I’m no native to Maine’s mountainous terrain and breathtaking scenery— I’m from the quiet town of Princeton, New Jersey where you might find me running through my neighborhood while jamming out to Kano, biking downtown to redeem açaí bowls and smoothies, or reading articles behind the FitzRandolph Gate on the Princeton University lawn. At Bates, I fostered a new love for layering up in turtlenecks, exploring parks & trails, eating lobster, and learning from the truly resilient residents of Lewiston that continue to make history. Navigating a new environment can be scary but our goal is to open you up to a whole world of different opportunities that range from culturally rich to physically intense experiences.

As a Politics and English major, I am super passionate about community organizing and social work! One way I bring ~power to the people~ is through slam poetry which has served as the perfect outlet for me to exchange stories with others and break barriers. In the future, I hope to pursue international human rights law to tackle the colonial legacies within the global world.

But for now, I’m here to help you tackle the outdoors, so let’s get cracking!

Maeve McSloy ’22 – Assistant Coordinator

Hometown: New York City, NY
What AESOP did you participate in as a First-year? Field Games (Covid AESOP)

Hey Newly Minted Cats!! We’re so super excited to welcome you onto campus so soon and wave you off on your fantastic AESOP trip! Even though my AESOP was during peak Covid times, I still had a great time. AESOP to me is the best way to get acquainted with Bates, meet people in your grade, and the coolest upperclassmen leaders who are full of knowledge to share. I can’t wait to meet all of you!!
Here’s a little bit about me! I grew up in New York City, but have been going to a wilderness sleepaway camp in Maine since I was 10, so I know the trails and rivers of Maine pretty well. The winters…. I’m not as fond of. On campus, I’m on the Women’s Track & Field team as a sprinter and a thrower. I’m a double major in Politics and Economics so I spend a lot of time in Pettengill hall (Pgill), and my favorite study spot is the Ronj on Frye St. I spend a lot of time finding fun food places all around, so if you ever need a recommendation I’m your gal!

I’m beyond excited to see all of you go on your AESOP trips and hear all the fun stories when you get back!!

Faith Nwando ’22 – Assistant Coordinator

Hometown: Queens, NY
What AESOP did you participate in as a First-year? Woodshop (Covid AESOP)

Hello Bobcats, welcome to the Bates community, it’s a pleasure to be part of your Bates experience. AESOP was a significant part of my first-year experience. I made friends while doing something I have never done before and enjoyed every part of being with my peers. What more could you ask for?!

A little about myself, I am from Queens, New York. I spend my time home reading with my best friends by any trees we find while drinking boba tea. I enjoy gardening with my neighbor and mom. My favorite thing about our garden is our tomatoes (between you and me it’s because that’s what I honestly know how to garden well). During the summer I love camping, hiking, and canoeing with my friends and family in upstate New York near the Hounsien river. Though mainly growing up in the city before the summer of 2009 when my family began going camping the outdoors were scary but I began to love it. I think you would love it too if you are interested in the outdoors and looking for how to get outside. Our goal is for you to feel comfortable trying uncomfortable things and you will be supported along your process.

My life in Bates is not so different from back home; I enjoy spending time with my friends instead of reading under trees we cook dinners together and read. I am in the gospel choir group here at Bates, the Gospelaires. I am a community engagement organizer in Bonner where I get the privilege to interact with the community at Lewiston by volunteering for local organizations around the Lewiston and Auburn area (so if you want to know more about Lewiston/ Auburn I am very well versed for that ). The rest of my time is spent in the library, in office hours, and in my room studying as a physics major.
I am so excited for you to experience all the great things that Bates offers and I know you will have a great time here starting with AESOP. Good luck!

Casey Shultis ’22 – Assistant Coordinator

Hometown: Portland, Oregon
What AESOP did you participate in as a First-year? Nature 1 (Covid AESOP)

Hey ‘cats! I’m pumped to see y’all on campus for AESOP and watch you embark on your new chapter here at Bates! Your AESOP trip will be one of the first core memories that you will look back on during your time here. Spending time with new people while exploring what makes Maine so special is the best way to get adjusted to your new home. I know you’re going to have an incredible time on your trip!

I knew that I wanted to go to school in Maine, even though I only visited Maine once before coming to Bates. I’ve lived in four different places before Bates, hopping around from California, Texas, Denmark, and Oregon all before knowing that Maine, and Bates specifically, was the next step in my journey. Here on campus, I am an Environmental Studies major with a concentration in Ecology and Earth Systems. I love exploring everything Maine has to offer, and as a trip leader for the Outing Club, I try and get out to explore new trails and things to discover. When I’m not outside, you can find me spending time with friends, doing homework in my favorite secret study spots, and even making an occasional TikTok video.

College can seem daunting, but the goal of AESOP is to allow you to have a smooth transition to the new people and places around you. I’ve had a blast at Bates so far, and I know you will absolutely love it here! See you soon!