Entering a New Era: A Message from Das Tor’s New Editor-in-Chief

Sophie Dessart

Sophie Dessart

Newly Appointed Das Tor Editor-in-Chief

Das Tor was founded in 1969. Over five decades later, I am incredibly honored and grateful to be given the opportunity to join the venerable ranks of Das Tor’s Editor-in-Chiefs. Das Tor has undergone many transformations in its 52-year history, but it has remained a forum to express the voice of the Thunderbird student body. I look forward to continuing this legacy as Editor-in-Chief.

When I first started with Das Tor, I was living in Spain, beginning my classes at Thunderbird virtually due to the pandemic. I joined Das Tor’s 8 a.m. Monday meetings at 5 p.m. Spain time. At that time, Das Tor’s website wasn’t operational, its social media accounts were dormant, and we had a very small team. Until Christmas Eve, I didn’t even know how to publish an article on the website until our outgoing Editor-in-Chief, Lexa Montierth, taught me. 

Both Das Tor and I have come a long way since then. I am now in Michigan and plan on moving to Arizona this fall. Das Tor’s new website is now live. Since the end of December, we have published 60 articles and launched Thunderbird Portrait, a multimedia project I look forward to continuing this summer and into the fall as Editor-in-Chief. Our social media pages are active and gaining more followers.

I now have a fantastic team supporting me going into the fall as well: Andrea Awuah, Antonio Brunel, Christina Furst, Dushiime Kaguliro, Lois Lawson, Courtney Read, and Rebecca Swyers. I am so grateful for all of them—they are the force behind Das Tor’s success now and in the future. We also have two incredible team members graduating, Lexa Montierth and Terri Baker, and are looking forward to adding more new T-birds to our leadership team in the fall. We have fantastic new staff writers, including our most recent addition Erica Ingram, and one of my goals as Editor-in-Chief is inviting additional new and returning T-birds to lend their voices to Das Tor as staff writers.

Ultimately, my vision for Das Tor going forward is this: building community by telling the stories of our unique Thunderbird community. As Assistant Editor this semester, I have been awestruck by how lucky we are as Thunderbirds. Our classmates are simply incredible, and everyone has a story that deserves to be known. We’ve got an award-winning weightlifter, an architect who worked at a sustainable village known as the “Forest of Bliss, an entrepreneur repurposing old technology through her social venture, and a former marine broadcast journalist whose military service inspired her global mindset. I learned what a coffee cherry is thanks to our classmate Simon Roca and was inspired by the poignant story behind Lisa Patel’s fashion line DNA. Our alums are incredible as well, whether they’re training for a 100-mile bike ride or starting a business during the apocalypse known as COVID-19.

Going forward, I want to continue to tell these stories. I feel so grateful to be a Thunderbird and am overwhelmed with gratitude that I have been given the privilege to tell your stories. As we enter our new building this fall and a new era as Thunderbirds, I, along with my Das Tor team, want to say thank you. Thank you for being Thunderbirds, for bringing your unique selves to this school. You are Thunderbird, and you are Das Tor’s voice. We look forward to continuing to tell your stories as we embark on this new journey together.


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