Sights & Sounds


Some stories are best told through photos and videos. Sights & Sounds puts you in the front row, allowing you to meet Thunderbird newsmakers and to hear their messages in their own words.


Sunshine appears for Rugby Alumni Weekend

A rare Arizona rainstorm threatened to dampen Thunderbird’s Rugby Alumni Weekend on Feb. 28 and March 1, 2014, but the sun appeared minutes before kickoff for the annual game between the students and “Old Boys.” Thunderbird Alumni Rugby Association President Chuck Hamilton ’91 said neither side worried about the weather anyway. “Rain is not an issue,” he said. “It slows everybody down the same.”

Student and her mentor to graduate together

MBA student Kelly Tiller ’14 had an ally during her summer 2013 internship at Johnson & Johnson in Pennsylvania. When she needed guidance during the first week, she sent an emergency text to Executive MBA student Jacquelyn Tallarico ’14, a neurosurgical specialist at Johnson & Johnson in Arizona. “She called me back immediately, and we talked for an hour,” Tiller said. “It changed the whole trajectory of my summer, which ended with a full-time job offer.”

Tallarico is one of 27 volunteers matched with Thunderbird students through a mentorship program that Tiller manages for campus club Women International. Unlike other mentors in the program, Tallarico is a Thunderbird student herself — although farther along in her career. Participants in the Executive MBA program, which caters to working professionals, come to Thunderbird with an average of 14 years of work experience. Tallarico and Tiller will graduate together on May 9, 2014, and then continue working for Johnson & Johnson.

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What makes Thunderbirds special

By Mansour Javidan, Ph.D.
Adapted from a speech delivered Jan. 13, 2014, to incoming Thunderbird students

The whole point of my talk today is to welcome you home. By the end of my talk, you will know what I mean. Many people ask, “What is special about Thunderbird, this place in Arizona?” The quick answer is that what makes Thunderbird special is the students. The students are a unique bunch.

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Taiwanese alumni gather at Taipei coffeehouse

Alumni from class years 1988 to 2013 attended the annual gathering of Thunderbird's Taipei Chapter on Nov. 3, 2013. "We had a great time," said chapter leader Shao-Ping Paul Pan '05. "People had a chance to get to know each other." About 25 guests, including some who commuted several hours from other cities, shared light refreshments and conversation at the Little London, a tea and coffeehouse decorated with British flags and other memorabilia. T-bird Steven Kao '04 took several photos, which may be viewed on the chapter's event page. Chapter leaders George Yao '05 and Frank Cheng Yang Chen '05 also donated their time and talents to make the event possible. The following video captures highlights of the activity:

Thunderbird Global Council analyzes, endorses planned alliance

Alumni support for Thunderbird's planned strategic alliance with Laureate Education, Inc., swelled Oct. 1-2, 2013, during the annual gathering of the Thunderbird Global Council, a volunteer advisory group comprised mostly of alumni business leaders from around the world. Several council members arrived on campus with misgivings about the school's growth plans, but most doubts faded after two days of face-to-face interaction with senior leaders from Thunderbird and Laureate.

Rugby ambassadors compete in Croatia, Montenegro

Alumni rugby players served as Thunderbird ambassadors during their summer 2013 tour of Croatia and Montenegro. The group distributed more than 100 tour programs detailing Thunderbird’s story and mission, along with a QR code leading to Thunderbird’s website. The QR code also appeared on the custom bottle openers that the T-birds gave to their opponents after each match.

Videos: Thunderbird honors Barbara and Craig Barrett

The naming ceremony for the Barbara and Craig Barrett Building included a surprise for the guests of honor on April 26, 2013. The Barretts came to campus for the naming of the building, but they received an extra nod of appreciation when Thunderbird Board of Trustees Chairwoman Ann Iverson announced that “interim” will no longer modify the title of former Thunderbird President Barbara Barrett, who led the school during a transition period from April 27 to Nov. 1, 2012. A resolution formalizing the announcement praised Barrett for her impeccable leadership.

Earlier in the reception, Thunderbird President Larry Edward Penley, Ph.D., toasted the Barretts and recounted their years of service to Thunderbird. "In recognition of the role that education, especially international business education, plays in our prosperity and economic development, and in the development of the lives affected by the businesses that are created, in the role that donors play in our nonprofits, especially in education and in this great school, but especially today in recognition of Barbara and Craig Barrett, we offer this toast in your honor, in appreciation for all that you do," Penley said.

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Photos: ThunderCares Day 2013

Thunderbird students pulled weeds, cleaned windows and completed other projects during ThunderCares Day on April 13, 2013. Overall, the volunteers served nine locations in Phoenix, Arizona, and surrounding communities. Organizations on the list included the International Rescue Committee, New Roots Garden, Japanese Garden of Phoenix, Sun Valley Animal Shelter, UMOM New Day Centers, Ronald McDonald House, Habitat for Humanity, Valley Life and Glendale Hospice. ThunderCares Day happens once each trimester. Thunderbird students started the tradition in spring 2005 as a way to connect with the Phoenix community. View a slideshow of 88 photos on Thunderbird's Flickr channel.

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Videos: 2013 Global Citizen Forum

Speakers and panelists from more than two dozen organizations gathered April 11-12, 2013, for the third annual Global Citizen Forum on campus. The event, presented by Thunderbird's Net Impact Club, explored synergies business and the social sector. Club president Stacey Goodman '12 said issues such as corporate social responsibility and sustainability affect managers in all industries and sectors. "It doesn't matter if you like finance, marketing or even information technology," she said. "If you want to make the world a better place through business, you are a NetImpacter." Keynote speaker Ed Fox, Vice President of State and Local Affairs for Arizona Public Service, said the event gives students an important opportunity to interact and share ideas with working professionals.  "We're training the next leaders of world business," he said. View video conversations with a sampling of forum participants below.

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Photos: Rugby Alumni Weekend 2013

Thunderbird alumni ruby players returned to campus March 2, 2013, for an annual match against the student club during Rugby Alumni Weekend. “We had an amazing turnout of 66 alumni, and 40 of those played,” Thunderbird Alumni Rugby Association President Chuck Hamilton ’91 said. Spectators included former Thunderbird Vice President for Student Affairs Brian Bates, who served on campus from 1988 to 2000. Although the students won the match, 67-5, Hamilton said the “Old Boys” will be ready to compete Aug. 30 to Sept. 7, 2013, in Croatia and Montenegro. “That's the thing about Old Boy rugby: We keep getting older, and the students stay the same age.” The Man of the Match was Liam O’Hagan ’14 for the students and Doug Raff ’83 for the Old Boys. Read more or view a slideshow on Flickr.

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