Meet the Coordinators


AESOP is a 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 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!


Erik Malm ’22 – Head Coordinator

Hometown: Batavia, IL

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

Hey there bobcats! How goes it?! I cannot emphasize how excited I am that each and every one of you gets to be a part of AESOP 2021! I can confidently say that AESOP is among the most memorable experiences you will have at Bates, and even beyond your days as a bobcat—scratch that: Once a bobcat, always a bobcat…

I was born and raised in Batavia, IL—a town nobody has heard of, so I tell people that I’m from Chicago instead. The Midwest is impossibly flat, which (if you’re a hiker like myself) makes it quite difficult to take advantage of the great outdoors. For me, AESOP was the perfect introduction to the plethora of mountains in the beautiful state of Maine, and I encourage each of you to take advantage of them during your time at Bates!

As a Biochemistry major at Bates, I spend plenty of time in the lovely Carnegie Science Hall. I hope to attend medical school after my time at Bates—helping people is my passion! Prior to my aspirations of becoming a physician, I hoped to become a musician: I used to play the piano and the trombone, but have since given up playing both instruments. I’m a La La Land fanatic and have no shame in crying every time I watch this musical masterpiece.

I look forward to seeing your happy faces on campus in the Fall!


Alix Zabin ’22 – Head Coordinator

Hometown: Greenwich, CT

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

Hey there, Batesies!! The countdown until your first days at college has officially begun! I am looking forward to meeting you and sending you off on your AESOP trip, where you’ll have a great experience with new people in New Hampshire, or in “Vacationland,” the wonderful state of Maine. I’m excited to answer all of your questions about AESOP and support you on your journey. Get pumped for a fun adventure!!

I hail from the great mountains of southeastern Connecticut, where you can find me conquering the massive 15-foot peaks on my bike or open-water swimming among 6-inch major waves. Now that I live in Maine, I enjoy slurping clam chowder at the Sunday River ski lodge, jogging on the River Walk, or reading murder mysteries on the historic quad. When I’m not gallivanting in the great outdoors, I’m most likely watching Planet Earth, volunteering in the Lewiston-Auburn community, or scarfing down the vegan chocolate coconut creams in Commons. At Bates, I am studying Psychology and Spanish, so you can find me camped out in Ladd Library muttering to myself ~en español.~

AESOP is such a unique experience; I can’t wait for all of you to have the orientation trip of a lifetime! I loved my own AESOP experience as a First Year, and I hope that you all will love your experiences too. Enjoy the rest of your summer, see you soon!!


Jack Fruechte ’22 – Head Coordinator

Hometown: Edina, MN

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

What’s up First Years! Welcome to the amazing class of 2025. I’m so excited to welcome you to our big Bobcat family. As you figure out which classes to take and what pairs of socks to bring to school for move in day, know that we have the on campus planning covered. We are busy getting AESOP ready for when you arrive on campus and are so excited to send you out on your own Bates adventure. We’ve got everything covered involving canoeing, backpacking, volunteering, farming, and biking to name a few AESOP activities.

Hailing from the great state of Minnesota, I am very familiar with the cold and snowy weather that blankets campus in the winter months, and love exploring the great outdoors whenever I can. While home in the summer months, I enjoy golfing, adventuring, and traveling. When I’m not back home in the bold north, you can find me in a variety of places on campus. In the fall and spring months, you can find me floating down the Androscoggin as a member of the men’s rowing team. When the Scog freezes, I hit the ergs with the team in Merrill gymnasium for what seems like an eternity. I am a double major in studio art and history, which means lots of time spent in Olin and PGill. When I’m not throwing a pot or writing an essay, you can find me lingering in commons with a big plate of chicken nuggets or bowl pad thai from the vegan bar. When I get the chance to venture out of the den, you will find me shredding the slopes at Sunday River or eating as much seafood as possible down in Portland.

As move in day creeps closer and closer, I hope you are getting excited for AESOP. I know I’m getting pumped to meet you all this fall and send you out on your own Bates AESOP adventure. Don’t forget, it’s always a great day to be a Bobcat!


Sam Faasen ’23 – Assistant 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 (if I get approved for an interdisciplinary) neurochemistry 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 – Assistant Coordinator

Hometown: Canton, MA

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

Hey Bobcats class of 25’ !! 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 of the most memorable moments you will have at Bates during your four years. We are so excited to put together a welcoming and inclusive pre-orientation program for y’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; I also have a concentration in public health. I’m also on the Women’s rowing team. Enough about me though! I cannot for you all to experience AESOP and create your very own little AESOP fam!! Enjoy your spring and summer!


Khadeeja Qureshi ’23 – Assistant 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!