Behind the Barbwire

Adventure in Thai-Burma Refugee Camp Inspire Book.

I heard the good news only days before our class graduation: There was an opportunity for me to return to Southeast Asia and work with refugee populations along the Thai-Burma border. This was in spring 2009; when the financial recession was at its nastiest and consequently not the best time to be a newly minted MBA looking for work.

I recall there being more than a few lackadaisical Thunderbirds at the graduation reception party that evening. That night I had felt myself lucky to have had found a gig that synced perfectly with my experiences before Thunderbird.

Living in a remote refugee camp does not normally register on an MBA’s list of optimal places to work after graduation. If not for a slightly bizarre desire on my own part to keep chasing one adventure after the next, I too might have found myself fi led away into a more traditional post-MBA existence.

Surprisingly, I found our MBA tool chest of skills to be extremely useful when I arrived in the refugee camp. After learning about the… [click here to continue to read full text]

thunderbird magazine

*Originally published on page 70 of Thunderbird Magazine by T. F. Rhoden (Spring 2011); photo credit for image in this re-post goes to Khin Maung Kyaw. Unless otherwise stated, all posts on this website are under Creative Commons licence. 


Glendale Students Trying to Bring Budget Literature to Masses


Thomas Rhoden and Adam Helsinger are master students with an idea they believe would raise literacy rates and encourage reading.

Their plan is to provide classic literature such as Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and Mark Twain’s “A Dog’s Tale” at a cost much lower than what people can find at a bookstore.

“One thing that we’ve both picked up on is that books are overpriced,” Rhoden said. “These books can cost up to five, six or even fifteen dollars and we want to bring it down to a reasonable cost.”

Rhoden and Helsinger hope to work with local printers to sell the books for about $3.95 or $2.95 in what’s called “The Valley Digest.” Rhoden and Helsinger said they would start small by…  [click here to continue to read full text]

valley digest

*Originally published in Arizona Republic by Jeffrey Javier; image credit for this re-post via Godfather Style. Unless otherwise stated, all posts on this website are under Creative Commons licence.