By Chaitra Somasundar, Staff Writer
‘NewBirds’ of Fall 2015 walked into Thunderbird and were hit with a gush of diversity, interaction, competitiveness and more – through the Foundations Program! The Foundations Team, headed by Jonaki Moitra, divided all the incoming students into four cohorts: JAGUARUNDIS, COUGARS, FALCONS and ROADRUNNERS, led by Kaladhar Rachabathuni, Collin Shepherd, Sindhuja Kodivalasa and Drew Himmelreich respectively.
While activities such as ‘My Life Story’ and the ‘Flag Ceremony’ helped the entering students to truly feel the ‘Global Citizen’ vibe smeared across Thunderbird; events such as the ‘Cohort Cheer’ and ‘ThunderCrawl’ introduced them to a gruelling, fierce and enjoyable competition between the Cohorts where the four teams solved puzzles and completed tasks to gain a lead in the competition. Cougars and Jaguarundis secured a win in these events respectively.
The ‘Social Media Contest’ had everyone slathered across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posting about the newly introduced #tbirdlife. Jaguarundis won the contest by a huge margin while the Cougars took the Foundations contest to a whole new level by holding all the other three Cohort signs for a ransom! The Career Management Center, Academic Operations, Mentors and Campus Security worked tirelessly to introduce students to the several go-to options for job search, academics and safety. Dr. Mansour Javidan’s legendary ‘misfits’ speech and Dr. Tom Hunsaker’s StrengthsQuest event had students inspirited for their tenure at Thunderbird.
The Alumni Meet and Greet events got the current students and alumni mingling to understand more about the flavor of #tbirdlife and future prospects. The G5 Summit introduced everyone to global issues, team work, negotiation tactics and strategies. The Orientation at the ASU West Campus provided insights into the ‘Sun Devils’ culture and the vast pool of resources students now have access to. The Foundations wrap up was via the ‘ThunderOlympics’ with various outdoor activities leaving everyone sweaty, exhausted and triumphant. Roadrunners were the proud winners of this event!
The Foundations Winners of this demanding and jolly nine day schedule were the FALCONS! To summarize, the program introduced all the incoming students to three major things:
1. The level of perseverance, team work and leadership expected at Thunderbird.
2. A vast pool of resources.
3. Build bonds with people irrespective of cultural codes, moral values and social beliefs. In other words, being a true ‘Global Citizen’.