Das Tor: First of all, let’s get the basics out of the way: what is the Thunderbird Stories Project?
Joe Fuyuno ’11: Well, let me give you the elevator pitch: What T-bird doesn’t have a good story from traveling abroad? T-birds tell fantastic stories waiting to board a plane, relaxing over a pint in the pub, in the middle of lecture, and at First Tuesdays around the world. What makes T-Birds especially unique is not only the diversity of our backgrounds, but our common curiosity to explore the unbeaten path. This is part of what makes up the elusive Thunderbird Mystique. Why not capture all of these great stories and publish them together as a volume? The Thunderbird Stories Project seeks to find the best stories from the T-Birds around the world, and publish them.
DT: What’s your involvement in the project?
JF: I’m one of the editors along with Jessi Bellama ’11, Ben Neblock ’11, and Monika Stoeffl ’11. Monika and Jessi approached me with the idea, and the team has grown rapidly over the summer to include a number of people, including members of the Thunderbird Communications department.
DT: Where are you currently with the project?
JF: We’ve just reached a major milestone in finishing production. We’ve just gone live on Amazon, and our first shipment of books has arrived. It’s been a long trip for the team – this project started almost a year ago, and has taken a lot of pitching, selling, editing, and writing to get done. We’re very excited to have made our goal of having an official launch of the book during the 11/11/11 weekend.
I should mention that in addition to a number of prominent alumni, including Merle Hinrichs himself, we also have contributions from current students including: Ilaha Eli Omar ’12, Loan Ma ’11, John Bevell ’12, Abhijit Chakrabarti, ’12.
The editors have also each made a contribution to the first volume, including Das Tor’s own Ben Neblock ’11. In all, it’s been pretty exciting to have so many people lend their efforts to this project.
DT: So what made you devote the time?
JF: When you get to the end of your time at Thunderbird, you want to give something to the school, to contribute to the global T-bird community. Besides tuition payments, that is. Which reminds me – this project is being run entirely on volunteer effort. All proceeds are going to fund student scholarships. It is our hope that future teams of alumni, students, and employees will carry the torch forward and publish future editions.
DT: Why should students shell out their hard earned cash for this?
JF: This is a “for us, by us” project. The book is put together by the efforts of fellow T-birds, targeted at the global T-bird community. I see it is a way for us to help put our arms around that which makes T-birds unique, past and present. Also, we urge you to read public copies which will be available in the pub, and at the IBIC.
I should also add, whether you’re a writer, an editor, a project manager, or just someone with good ideas, the Thunderbird Stories Project Team is looking to staff its next edition. Contact any of the editors to get involved
DT: Where is the book available?
Thunderbird Stories Project Volume 1: Tales of Global Adventure will be launched at 11/11/11, and the first 500 copies will be available for sale during the event. After that, copies will be able in the Thundershop. However, if you can’t wait, you can order a copy on Amazon, where there is also a Kindle edition available for tablet people.