Meet the Coordinators


AESOP is an entirely student-run operation- top to bottom, inside and out. This means that while we work within First-Year Programs, we are pretty much 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 highly dedicated to making this the best AESOP yet! 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 aesop@bates.edu. 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!


Josie Gillett ’19 – Head Coordinator

Hometown: Seattle, WA

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

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Hey friends! We are so stoked to welcome you into the Bates community and even more stoked to give you the time of your life on AESOP 2018!

I’m from Seattle, Washington and am a Pacific Northwesterner through and through. I decided to come to Bates and give Maine a try because I was curious about things like blueberries and toothpicks and winter. Here at Bates I’m an Environmental Studies major and I dabble in French and Education. When I’m not doing my homework, you can find me on the Frisbee field, in one of the kitchens on campus, hanging out with Lewiston’s finest kindergarteners or playing in the snow.  I love to hike and have had an awesome time taking advantage of all the terrain that Maine and New England have to offer. I can eat Nutella like no other, have a flock of chickens, enjoy long walks on the beach, and most importantly I am so excited to make AESOP the best week ever!! Let’s get this party started!


Chandler Ryan ’19 – Head Coordinator

Hometown: Delmar, NY

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

Heya to our newest 2022 Bobkittens! Coming to Bates will be one of the best decisions you’ve made in recent years (especially considering all the tests you likely studied for only dubiously during your senior spring)! AESOP is organically certified as the best way to start out your college career. You knew you were coming to college in Maine, right?! Getting to spend time outside in Maine & New Hampshire is one of our greatest privileges as Bates students, and all 120 of our amazing AESOP Leaders are stoked to get to introduce you to this lovely place we get to call home for four years.

I’m from upstate-ish New York, close to the Adirondacks and the Berkshires, and all the best apple orchards. I discovered the great outdoors for real when forced by my mother to spend a week crawling through dark damp caves at the young age of 13, during which I contracted poison ivy that covered my entire body just in time for the midnight release of the 7th Harry Potter book. At Bates I’m an English and Studio Art double major. As a real life working gal I was a JA in Rand Hall and also work at Post & Print making sure your Amazon Prime orders truly get to you in two days. I’m a fan of yoga, photography (check out the AESOP instagram @batesaesop), canoeing, hiking, swimming in fresh bodies of water and working on my chaco tan.

We are all SO excited for y’all to get here, and we’re already busy making sure each and every one of you has an amazing AESOP experience to write home about.


Zach Guion ’19 – Head Coordinator

Hometown: Arlington, MA

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

What’s up class of 2022?! I hope you’re as stoked for AESOP as I am, it’s going to be the greatest four days of Bates College with the craziest crew of friends you never knew you had. A bit about me, I’m a rising senior with a double major in Politics and Rhetoric. When I’m not in class or the library, I enjoy skiing, hiking, backpacking, canoeing, and all sorts of chilling in the great outdoors with the rest of the Outing Club. I’m also the most highly respected cake connoisseur in Commons (Pro-tip, pumpkin cake is the best, blueberry quinoa cake is not worthy of the title cake). Although I’m from J.O.B. (Just Outside Boston), I spent most of my childhood weekends and vacations roaming the White Mountains and exploring Maine, so I can vouch for how dope all your trips are going to be. Can’t wait to see all your smiling faces carrying trays around Commons this August!


Grace Warder ’20 – Assistant Coordinator

Hometown: New York, NY 

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

How goes it bobkittens??!!! I am so excited to meet you all and see all of your shining faces on campus so soon! AESOP is an exciting and wonderful time and I am beyond stoked that the other coords and I get to share it with you this coming year! Alas, you may not share this excitement as the prospect of beginning school may seem daunting but DON’T FRET! Even before you step into your first class at Bates College, not only will you have already been introduced to some of your lovely classmates as well as all of the rad AESOP leaders, you will also have gotten the chance to spend four fun filled days with them getting to know Bates and the beautiful state of Maine on your AESOP trip!

A little about me: I am from New York City and miss the bagels there a little bit every day. If you too hail from the city of lights and are so inclined to bring me one of those doughy circles of heaven I will be forever grateful. While the constraints of living in a city never seemed to permit it, I grew up leaving my hometown whenever I could to ski, hike, canoe, kayak, bike, and anything else I could get my hands on. If these things aren’t your cup of tea you are not alone, I’ve also been known to binge watching entire shows on netflix on lazy afternoons.

I am a rising senior and I study Environmental Studies and Education within the house we call academia. When I’m not camped out in Hedge Hall doing homework, you can find me getting roasted on the foursquare court by Lewiston middle schoolers, running around on the frisbee field, or trying to set a record for most mozz sticks eaten in the Bobcat Den. I love Bates and everything that comes with it and I am beyond excited to introduce you to AESOP, one of Bates’s oldest traditions!! Buckle up Bobcats, and get ready for the best four days you ever could’ve asked for!


Peter Griffin ’20 – Assistant Coordinator

Hometown: Beverly, MA

What AESOP did you participate in as a First Year? Moosehead Lake

Howdy Bobcats! Welcome to the neighborhood! Can’t wait for you all to get to Bates and venture off onto AESOP! Whether you’re chillin, hiking, paddling, meditating or padhikchiltating, you will have one of the grandest experiences of your life!

Personally, I hail from the eternally great state of Massachusetts but consider myself an honorary part-time resident of New Hampshire (603 amiright?!).  I’ve

become acquainted with my native lands through skiing, climbing, hiking, paddling and just about everything in between! As an enlightened college student, I study Psychology and German.  As a very hungry person, I eat all of the chicken salad Commons has to offer.  Whether I’m hittin’ the books in the library or zooming around campus on my trusty, satchel bag-equipped, sweet bike, I love everything Bates has to offer.

Hanging around in Maine and New Hampshire with your new college pals is the best way to start your life off at Bates! Have a great summer and see you soon!


Erni Whitaker ’20 – Assistant Coordinator

Hometown: Casola Valsenio, Italy

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

Well hellooooooo Bates class of 2022!!! We are ecstatic that you have decided to join us and can’t wait for you to start off your college career with a rockin’ four days of AESOP. I come from the boot country over in Europe, but have tried out California, DC, and your beautiful new home, Maine. I love paddling canoes, carrying canoes, lugging a backpack through the woods, and searching for whales along Alaska’s Inside Passage. At Bates, I am working on a double major in chemistry and philosophy. When I’m not on the second floor of the library, you can find me at Tarbell pool, on the icy Lewiston river path trying to absorb some negative ions, meditating, or attending mug club meetings. If you see me around on campus during Orientation, please ask me to demonstrate the seven principles of Leave No Trace. I will be smiling as big as I am in this picture, because I CANNOT WAIT TO MEET YOU and send you off on the best four days of your lives.