OIE Staff

Dri Huber (they/she), Assistant Dean, LGBTQ+ Programs

ahuber@bates.edu
207.755.5981

Bio

A first generation college student born and raised in Portland, ME, I attended the University of Southern Maine (USM) and received my Bachelors in Social Work. It was at USM that I quickly found community and support for my identities as a queer person and a first-generation college student. I quickly became involved on campus, from residence life to LGBTQ+ work and mental health advocacy. This experience motivated me to pursue a masters in Social Work from Smith College.

Post-Smith, I worked as a clinical social worker with young adults. I loved the relationship-building of 1:1 therapy, but I felt pulled to use my skills to create change on a community level; I saw higher education as the perfect opportunity to make this transition, and accepted a position in the Office of Residential Life at the University of New England. There I  engaged in student support and mentorship as well as the community level work of co-teaching the Diversity Leadership Certificate, and engaging in policy review and change. 

I am excited to bring my passion to Bates College as a community that is prioritizing the work of equity and inclusion. In my free time I enjoy adventuring with my wife, Sam, and our rescue pup, Rosie, and searching for the best iced coffee. 

Primary Responsibilities in OIE

  • Design and implement educational and community building programming for LGBTQ+ students
  • Collaborate with and advise the SPARQ Mentors to support programming efforts
  • Provide drop-in office hours at the OIE
  • Serve as an advisor to students who seek assistance, and connect them to necessary college resources

Dr. Ray O. Grant (he/him), Assistant Dean for First Generation & Bobcat First

rgrant@bates.edu

207.753.6912

Bio

Ray brings more than 15 years of experience championing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) through student advising and advocacy, program development and student engagement. Ray comes to Bates from Colby College where he serves as the Class Dean for First-Year Students and Programs. In that role, he has developed and implemented strategies to advance first-year student learning, engagement, resiliency, and retention. Prior to Colby, Ray served as the Assistant Director of Advising and Mentoring Services at DePaul University in Chicago. A first generation college student himself, Ray has a Doctorate of Education from DePaul University and a Master of Science in Urban Affairs from Hunter College of the City University of New York. 

Ray’s favorite hobbies include playing chess (he was a former national junior chess champion), cooking, and global exploration. His travels have included China, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, Morocco, Iceland, and other countries throughout Europe and the Caribbean. 

Primary Responsibilities in OIE

  • Manage and coordinate the Bobcat First program
  • Supervise and Bobcat First Fellows
  • Provide office hours
  • Serve as an informal advisor to students who seek assistance, and connect them to necessary college resources

Mana Abdi (she/her), Program Coordinator

mabdi3@bates.edu
207.786.5980

Bio

I am ethnically Somali but was born in Kenya and then came to the United States when I was eleven. Two years later, my family decided to move to Lewiston, Maine and we have been here since. Growing up in Maine with multiple identities has not been easy. Floating in between – never feeling fully “American” or “Somali” – has led me to seek out and support others who may feel different or “othered” in their communities. I firmly believe that we all have the right to have a sense of belonging.

I attended the University of Maine at Farmington (UMF) and earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and International and Global Studies. It was at UMF, that I found the power of my voice. I realized nobody else was coming to change things on campus and it was up to people like me to build an environment where all students would have the same opportunities for success. This realization led me to create initiatives and programming to bring awareness to campus culture in the areas of equity, inclusion, and diversity. My greatest achievement was spearheading the creation of the Diversity and Inclusion Action Team, a task force of students, staff and faculty working together to address the needs of students of color.

As a working professional and community member, I have continued to educate and advocate for social justice and equity. At Disability Rights Maine (DRM), I advocated for and provided essential resources to individuals with developmental and physical disabilities. In my role as the Vice President of the Maine Youth Network, my focus is to uplift and empower youth who share my experience as a refugee. Like the mission and work of the organization, I am passionate about providing immigrant children and young adults the necessary tools to compete
and succeed in life.

My professional goals and personal vision are one in the same – creating a just, safe, sustainable, and collaborative community. I am thrilled to join the Bates community and assist students in the Office of Intercultural Education and across the campus in embracing their many identities and strengths to carve out their own unique path to success.

Primary Responsibilities in OIE

  • Supervise OIE student employees to assist with programs and to staff the OIE space
  • Develop the OIE staffing schedule, ensuring availability and accessibility of professional staff and student staff
  • Manage OIE room reservation requests
  • Serve as an advisor and mentor to students who seek assistance, and connect them to necessary college resources
  • Collaborate with OIE colleagues to design and implement BIPOC, first generation, and LGBTQ+ student programs