Meet the Educators
Who are the Peer Health Educators?
The Peer Health Educators are Bates students who are passionate about a range of health and wellness topics and are dedicated to working from within the Bates student community, in partnership with the office of Residence Life and Health Education, to make a positive change in the lives of Bates students. The educators have diverse backgrounds, majors, personal interests, and engagements across campus. Becoming a Peer Health Educator does not require any prior knowledge or experience in health promotion, just a positive attitude and a willingness to learn! Meet our educators below!
Abby Ford `20
Hi! My name is Abby Ford and I am part of the class of 2020. I work with the Relationship to Substances and Alcohol working group and my favorite thing about this group is that we had a paint and wine night (that was a huge success) and it was fun to see how many people came to this event. I played on the Field Hockey team at Bates for four years and I have also volunteered at the Lewiston District Court House.
Abby Ryan ’22
Hi! My name is Abby (she/her/hers) and I am going to be a senior studying sociology and education. When I am not at Bates, I am spending my time at home in Portland, Maine. In my free time I enjoy running and hanging out with my family and friends. At Bates you can catch me cheering on my friends at sporting events and hanging out on Alumni walk when it’s nice out. I joined Peer Health because I am passionate about cultivating a campus full of health and wellness in all sorts of different ways!
Anna Calame ’23
Hi everyone! I’m Anna, and I’m from Hingham, Massachusetts. I’m in the class of 2023 and am a member of the Mental Health working group. I joined Peer Health because I’m passionate about destigmatizing mental health and encouraging conversation about and awareness of the many different aspects of health and well-being. I’ve loved working with other students on campus who are committed to promoting healthy living at Bates and beyond!
Alexia Perugini `22
I’m from Guilford, CT. At Bates, I am an intended Neuroscience and Math double major, though I am incredibly interested in Ancient Greece and Rome. I love to read, write, and am of the opinion that dark chocolate is the best chocolate, hands down. I joined the Peer Health Educators in Winter 2019 and am extremely excited to help improve the wellness of the Bates community.
Alysse Cleasby ’23
Hey! My name is Alysse and I’m a proud New Hampshirite and member of the Class of 2023. I am really excited about the Nutrition Group’s focus on “intuitive eating” and am looking forward to finding some new Commons favorites next semester (the yogurt-covered trail mix raisins will still have a special place on plate.)
Amelia Keleher ’21
Hello! My name is Amelia and I grew up in a small town in New Mexico until my family moved to The Netherlands, where we lived for eight years. I am majoring in American Studies, which has allowed me to pursue my interest in cultural and regenerative food systems. I spend a lot of time reading for pleasure, playing tennis, and practicing the piano. I joined Peer Health as a sophomore and have enjoyed working with and learning from such an incredibly dedicated group. I am currently part of the Sexual Health group and believe strongly in bringing a holistic, inclusive, and creative lens to our work. Please approach me with any questions or ideas you may have- I’m happy to chat and eager to welcome new educators to our team!
Caroline Cai ’23
This is Caroline Cai, a Chinese bobcat in the Class of 2023. As a new member of Mental Health Group, I helped organize a tabling session of Sex Week this semester. I’m a huge fan of movies in general. Last year, I watched 196 movies in total. I’m also passionate about sports and new things. Meeting new people can be considered as one of my hobbies as well!
Charlotte Collins ’22
Hello my name is Charlotte Collins, I am part of the Class of 2022. I am a Bio major from Woolwich, Maine. I am part of the sexual health working group and I joined Peer Health after attending programs during Sex week of my freshman year. I have always been an advocate for increasing sex education and decreasing sex stigma on campuses, and after realizing that I could really make a difference in those areas as a Peer Health educator, I joined right away. To come full circle, I helped to plan Sex Week 2020 and the first program I led was Sex Ed 101! In addition to Peer Health, I am part of Coldfront (The women’s Ultimate Frisbee team), TakeNote, and American String Band.
Chidubem Umeh ’22
Hey, my name is Chidubem Umeh. I am from Randolph, MA, and I work with the Mental Health group. I decided to join Peer Health because I am interested in helping people in the medical sciences when I am older. I love playing chess, basketball, and learning about new people, so feel free to talk to me any time!
Darby Glenn ’22
Hi! My name is Darby Glenn and I am a sophomore from Charlotte, NC! I am a member of the sexual health and this year I helped organize Sex Week Trivia as well as Condom-Cabs across campus. I love to row, swim, fight for reproductive rights, and travel around the world.
Eliza Fischer ’21
Hi! I’m Eliza and I’m from Chicago! At Bates, I’m a Math and English double major and I am on the Varsity rowing team. In my free time (which is not a lot) I like to read books to kids at McMahon Elementary, ski with my friends, and hang out for hours in Commons! I joined Peer Health in the fall of 2018 and I love collaborating with my peers to come up with programming to help Bates be a healthier and happier place!!
Emily Pardi `20
Hello everyone! My name is Emily and I am a senior from Arlington, Virginia. I am a Psychology major and Spanish minor. I am a part of the Relationship to Substances and Alcohol working group and I joined PHE because I was interested in creating fun and educational programming that can make a difference! Don’t hesitate to start up a conversation with me about alcohol and substance use or about anything else!
Gretchen Lindenfeldar ’23
Hi! My name is Gretchen and I’m in the Class of 2023! I’m from a small town in New Jersey called Pennington. I joined Peer Health to make a bigger impact in the Bates community! My favorite thing about being part of Peer Health is getting to know a bunch of different kinds of people.
Ian Robertson `21
Hey there – my name is Ian and I’m a Math and Music double major in the Class of ’21 from Annapolis, MD. I’m a member of the Nutrition working group. As a member of Peer Health, I have enjoyed meeting passionate people and working together to help our peers live healthier lives at Bates and beyond. To maintain my own health, I enjoy getting outside to go for a run, hike, or ski trip as well as singing with the Deansmen, playing music with friends, and multi-track recording my own compositions.
Jared O’Hare ’23
Hey everyone! I’m Jared ’23 from Hamden, CT and I’m super excited to be working with Peer Health. Outside of the classroom at Bates, you can find me spending time in the great outdoors or playing pickup basketball with my friends. With Peer Health, I’ve worked in the nutrition group and have developed a passion for understanding how food can fuel our bodies. I can’t wait to continue promoting health and wellness strategies and ideas in relation to nutrition at Bates.
Joanna Cloutier ’23
My name is Joanna Cloutier and I am from Portland, Oregon (west coast best coast)! I am in the class of 2023 and am in the Mental Health working group. I am a Psychology major at Bates and am also on the Women’s soccer team! I was drawn to Peer Health Educators because I had heard about the work that they were doing and wanted to be involved. However I was specifically drawn to the mental health side of things because, on college campuses especially, I believe that mental health is not given enough priority. I was also excited to work to break down mental health stigmas and, in general, bring people factual, relevant, and fun ways to improve their health!
Julie Jesurum ’22
Hi! I’m from Weston MA and I’m a Biochemistry major. I joined Peer Health Short Term of 2019 and have mostly worked in the Substance and Alcohol working group. I love being part of a group that is addressing health issues that students are directly experiencing on campus, and having conversations that are often avoided and uncomfortable. During Sex Week 2020, I helped out with a program that created space to talk about asexuality which was a really nice conversation to have. I love music from singing in TakeNote to playing french horn and trumpet to DJing for WRBC. I’m excited to keep working on programming in the future!
Katherine Faulkner ’22
Hi! My name is Katherine Faulkner from Barrington, Rhode Island. I am a Biochemistry major, Spanish minor at Bates College, class of 2022. I love to spend time with friends, travel, hike, and ski as much as possible. Right now, I am currently learning how to skateboard, which is going questionably okay. Although I am on the pre-med track, I am most interested in public health which led me to working with the Peer Health Educators. I have been part of this group since the Spring of 2019 and am excited to continue more programming!
Kayla Braverman ’21
Hi, I’m Kayla! I am from Seattle and I’m in the Class of 2021 here at Bates. I am a Psychology and Gender and Sexuality Studies double major. Outside of class, I love traveling, animals, the ocean, doing crafts, and eating chocolate. I’m a huge advocate for breaking down barriers to health education, so I’m so excited to be working with Peer Health in the sexual health working group!
Lindsey Adriaansen `21
Hi, I’m Linds from Doylestown, Pennsylvania. I am a Psychology major, and I am minoring in both Education and Anthropology. I am the President of the club lacrosse team on campus. In my free time, I enjoy hiking, running, swimming, and boxing. I am a scuba diver, and I enjoy traveling, and this past semester I was abroad in Melbourne, Australia. I joined Peer Health during the short-term of 2018; this year, I am working in the nutrition group. I am very passionate about being active and staying healthy. I enjoyed helping plan Sex Week this year, and I can’t wait to work on it next year.
Liv LaMarche, `20
Hi all! I’m Liv from Lynnfield, MA and I absolutely love being a Peer Health Educator. I am in the nutrition group and I love sharing the knowledge I have gained as a Peer Health Educator with the Bates Community. At Bates I’m an Environmental Studies major and Chemistry minor, a member of the Cross Country and Track and Field teams, an an EcoRep. I love living in New England and getting to hike, swim in the ocean, go apple picking, ski and enjoy the outdoors, and fall is my absolute favorite season. I am passionate about student wellness and am so fortunate to be a part of the peer health community!
Mary Corcoran ’22
Hi! My name is Mary and I’m a Sociology major and Spanish/Education minor from Brookline, MA (actually JUST outside of Boston). At Bates, I am on the cross country and track & field teams, work at the Center for Purposeful Work and love to spend as much time as possible vegging in Commons and chatting with friends 🙂 I joined Peer Health Educators in the Fall of 2019 because I see health and wellness as a priority in our Bates community and wanted to join a group of motivated and energetic peers who are leaders in that work! Within PHE I am in the Mental Health working group and very excited to continue the awesome work to come!
Meghan Lapar ’22
Hi everyone! My name is Meghan Lapar, I’m class of 2022, and I am from Wolfeboro, NH. I am a psychology major, Spanish minor, and I am on the field hockey team! I joined Peer Health Educators winter semester my freshman year and I have loved it ever since! I am part of the sexual health working group and the reason I joined PHE was because I wanted be a part of the Bates community in a bigger way. I knew PHE would allow me to immerse myself and give me an opportunity to make positive impacts on campus!
Mary Richardson ’22
Hello! My name is Mary Richardson (some call me Maru) and I am a Peer Health Educator, and I work in the Nutrition Group! My first program would’ve been the Aphrodisiac Cooking Class had it not been canceled due to COVID-19, but I’m now working on some ways to keep people motivated through the PHE Instagram! I hail from Blue Hill Maine and am on the Cross Country and Track and Field teams here at Bates and am a part of the class of 2022 (WOOT WOOT!!) I am a Psychology and Art and Visual Culture double major, my spirit animal is a baby lion, and I own my own card business; selling my greeting cards at local shops and bookstores in my area!
Noah Cowper ’20
Hi there! My name is Noah Cowper, and I’m a senior from Rye Beach, New Hampshire! I am part of the Relationships to Substances and working group, and I joined Peer Health because I’m really interested in helping improve the health of the Bates student population, especially the newest of students! I am a Japanese major, doing pre-med, and I’m also part of Bates EMS. I spend my free time playing traditional Japanese drums as part of Taiko Club!
Rob Strain ’20
Hi! My name is Rob Strain. I am a senior from Montclair, New Jersey. I chose to be in the mental health group because it is a topic that is extremely important to me. As a Student Athlete, I have learned about the pressures of our academic schedule and the simultaneous demand of sports, both of which need help regularizing mental health discussion on campus. My escapes for campus stress are walks in Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary, skiing at any of the nearby mountains, fishing the local rivers, and sitting around fires with my friends. Keep talking 🙂
Sam Alexander, `20
Hi, my name is Samantha Alexander, but I go by Sam. At Bates I am a Psychology major and Education minor. I generally spend my days hanging out with friends and working off-campus at Edward Little High School as a tutor. I joined the Peer Health Educators during Short Term 2018 and had an awesome time discussing ways to improve health and wellness in the Bates community. Currently, I am working with some awesome Batesies on Alcohol and Substance Abuse programming, so if you have any cool program ideas come talk to me!
Sophia Zhang ’23
My name is Sophia Zhang, Class of 2023. I am from Kunming, China. I love cooking, dancing, and napping. I am a member of the mental health working group. The reason why I joined is pretty simple. Mental health is an area that demands more attention as it has actively impacted so many people. As a Psychology student who is eager to help build a stronger and healthier community at Bates, I want to spread awareness and increase conservations around this topic to demystify and destigmatize it. I am also very proud of our work during Sex Week.
Susu McGrady ’22
My name’s Susu McGrady, and I’m from Madison, Connecticut but am now living in Falmouth, Maine! I joined Peer Health in the second semester of my sophomore year, and I am thrilled to be a part of this passionate group of students working to support the health and well-being of the Bates community! As a member of the sexual health working group, I had the opportunity to help organize Sex Week 2020 and am already looking forward to Sex Week 2021! My favorite programs so far have been Anal 101 (credit to Meghan and Austin) and Paint and Wine night (credit to Relationship to Substances and Alcohol working group)! I’m a Psychology major, and I like to focus my studies on the connection between mental health and physical health as well as nutrition and exercise. On campus I am also a tour guide and a member of the women’s ice hockey team. I’m extremely grateful that I’ve been able to learn more about health and well-being, program organization, leadership, cooperation, communication skills and so much more through Peer Health and I hope that through Peer Health I can promote healthy habits that help Batesies to be their best self!