The Stanford Storytelling Project is a new arts program at Stanford University that explores how we live in and through stories and how we can use them to change our lives. Our mission is to promote the transformative nature of traditional and modern oral storytelling, from Lakota tales to pieces on This American Life, and empower students to create and perform their own stories. The project sponsors courses, workshops, live events, grants, a radio program, and a new journal, Epiphony.
Jonah has taught literature, creative writing, and media studies at Stanford since 2002. He has published fiction, essays, and literary criticism, and holds a PhD in English from Brown University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Hollins University. He is currently trying to write three books at the same time. It's slow going.
Rachel graduated Stanford in 2011 with an M.A. in English Literature. She loves to listen to stories, craft stories, and share stories, which makes her job at SSP a dream. She spends much of her spare time working on a political startup called Social Teeth, doing freelance photography, and dancing. She once won an international design contest by making a pair of wooden wings, to be worn as a backpack, from which one could hang bananas to look like feathers.
Dana is an award-winning fiction writer, journalist, musician and teacher, and currently a Jones Lecturer at Stanford University. She received her MFA from the University of Michigan, where she won two Hopwood prizes for Short Fiction and Novel. Her articles, essays and stories can be found in The Sun Magazine, Boston Phoenix, Michigan Quarterly Review, San Francisco Chronicle and Independent Weekly, and her music on Mammoth, Hannibal, Interscope, Rykodisc, and Engine Records.
Andrew is the author of three books, including the PEN USA Literary Award-winning A Meal Observed, and dozens of articles for national publications including National Geographic, The Atlantic and The Wall Street Journal, among others. His subjects range widely, from a frozen gully in the Scottish highlands, to the ship’s bar of a German freighter, to the pastry kitchen of a Parisian restaurant. He has worked on numerous film and projects, including productions for Lucasfilm and National Geographic Television. and teaches at Stanford through the Department of Biology and the Program in Writing and Rhetoric, and co-directs The Senior Reflection, a creative capstone course series for scientists in the arts.
BLOG AND WEBSITE EDITOR
Will graduated from Stanford in 2009 with a degree in Film Studies. He has contributed several pieces to the project, as a student and as an alum, and he is still producing audio in Richmond, VA, where he also gardens and teaches elementary kids in an after-school program. You can see more of his work at his prx profile
Dan teaches Improvisation in the Drama Department, the Graduate School of Business and at the d.school. In 2009, Dan was named Stanford Teacher of the Year by the Student's Association. At the GSB he co-teaches (with Professor Deb Gruenfeld), "Acting With Power" which explores the use of status behaviors to increase organizational effectiveness. Beyond Stanford, Dan has lead similar workshops for various groups, including the High Performance Leadership program at IMD Business School in Switzerland. Dan has also partnered with Stanford Professor Carol Dweck to create interactive workshops on her breakthrough research on Mindset.
SENIOR PRODUCER & PROJECT ADMINISTRATOR
Natacha is a MLA student at Stanford. In her civilian life she is an Emmy award-winning producer of documentaries. Her video work has appeared at the MoMA, the Whitney Museum of American Art, as well as on National Geographic, NBC, and Link TV.
SENIOR PRODUCER & SOUND ENGINEER
Charlie spends his time trying to figure out what's true, and how to tell people about it without being didactic or boring. Or to phrase that more affirmatively: to tell people what's true while being compelling and conversational. Lately he's been caught up in Oakland, researching a book about the city, and translating what he learns into radio pieces along the way. He's just figured out what's obvious. Now he's after what's surprising. He contributes semi-regularly to KALW's CrossCurrents and his work has appeared on Marketplace as well as in the East Bay Express. In his free time you can find him behind a basketball, over a chess set, or somewhere in the midst of drums.
SENIOR PRODUCER & EVENTS DIRECTOR
Xandra is a graduate student in Journalism at Stanford. She has been working with the Storytelling Project since 2010 -- producing audio, writing, editing, and mentoring students. She earned her BA from Stanford in Theater and Performance Studies and is an experienced actor, improviser, and fiddler. Xandra loves hearing and telling people's stories -- on air, on stage, and on paper -- and her creative work seeks to heal, teach, provoke wonder, and engage a sense of humanity through stories, multimedia work, and documentary performance. In her spare time, she practices baking so that she can open a cafe when she's wrinkled and gray.
Christy studied writing at the Salt Institute of Documentary Studies and loves doing research, shaping things and digging stuff up. Recently she has been experimenting with fiction. She likes the words of children and strangers and keeps a blog of this wisdom. Luckily for her, most of the people on the planet fall into this category, so she's rarely bored.
John has taught writing at Stanford since 2005. He received his MFA from the University of Michigan and has been a resident fellow at the University of Wisconsin, Yaddo, the Headlands Center for the Arts, and the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation. Currently he lives in San Francisco and is completing a collection of short stories about Korean exiles in Asia and the West.
Heidi is a new member of the Stanford Storytelling Project, but has long explored interests in storytelling through her undergraduate majors in English and Drama, and a creative honors thesis in Feminist Studies (Inclusive Language: Rediscovering Women in the Bible through Poetry) at Stanford University. She looks forward to being inspired.
Azmaan is a senior at Stanford majoring in Computer Science with a concentration in "Human Computer Interaction". Coming from Sri Lanka, he's glad the internet enabled him to enjoy great American radio shows like This American Life and Radio Lab. If he's not buried under work load, he's probably trying to get better at tennis.
Austin is a Junior from beautiful Santa Rosa, California and is majoring in Creative Writing. When he isn't playing the beautiful game for the Stanford Men's Soccer team, Austin is jammin away on his mandolin, making music videos with friends, or relaxin under a tree. Always up for an impromptu conversation or storytelling exchange, if you see Austin out and about, make sure to give him a shout. He's the one with the freckles.
Sophia is a senior majoring in History with a minor in Arabic. She has recently spent a lot of time singing, and though still madly obsessed with musicals, has decided to take a break to explore other things, like storytelling. She loves learning languages and reading sci-fi, and though she hails from good 'ol Indiana she is started to feel like a true west coast girl.
Tina is a sophomore, majoring in Science, Technology, and Society. She spends her time writing poetry for the Spoken Word Collective, making, scavenging, singing, & breathing music for KZSU radio and Talisman A Capella, and drinking tea. She is currently studying abroad at Oxford University.
Faradia is a senior at Stanford, majoring in Human Biology and minoring in French. She became involved with The Stanord Storytelling Project as a story editor while studying abroad in Paris. Originally from Miami, Florida she's a fan of humidity and telling a good story.
Killeen graduated from Stanford in 2008 with a degree in English Literature. After two years of working to communicate differing perspectives graphically through her research at the Spatial History Lab at Stanford and orally with the Storytelling Project, she relocated to Portland, Oregon for an MFA in Applied Craft and Design at the Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA). She's eager to continue exploring how stories build community.
Laura is a research scientist in the Stanford area, who studies alternative energy technologies ranging from solar thermal to fusion power. She is the creator and producer for the KZSU Science Report, and a contributor to the Stanford Storytelling Project. If she could have a super power of her choice, she would shoot lava out of her finger tips.
Eme originated in California, flew off to Vermont for a few years and, after some fluttering about, alighted at Stanford. She is now a working stiff and taking time to re-visit activities long considered but not taken up. Outside of work, she is host of a music show on KZSU, and spends time baking, dancing, yoga-ing, reading, and trying to convince people that karaoke is more fun than not.
Liz is the author of two collections of poetry: Approaching Ice (Persea, 2010) and Interpretive Work (Arktoi Books, 2008). The founder of Broadsided Press, her poems have appeared in The Atlantic Monthly, Poetry, Field, and elsewhere. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford, she works as a naturalist and web designer. Her favorite animal today? The rhinoceros auklet. Visit her websites: Ebradfield.com, Broadsided, & Pelagic Design.
Daniel is a graduate of Stanford, where he studied computer science. He was also a member of the Stanford Savoyards. When not making radio you may find him enjoying wacky musical theater, cooking delicious and exotic foods, or playing Scrabble. He was once described as "a perfectly goofy but lovable book-wormish adventurer."
Victoria Hurst is a senior at Stanford majoring in English and minoring in Education. She is very interested in how people interpret the Bible and how it is used in literature. She grew up on an island, but wants to travel the world.
Hannah is studying Human Biology and believes that stories are the universe's way of understanding itself. She just returned from five months in Europe and still hasn't decided what she wants to be when she grows up. She's hoping to avoid growing up altogether, but in the meantime she meditates, learns languages, and tries her best to be like a plant, turning towards the light.
Hannah studied neurobiology and philosophy at Stanford before getting her masters in science writing at MIT. Her radio work has appeared on KUOW Presents, and her writing on Inside NOVA and Scope Magazine. She harbors a mild obsession with the brain activity of cephalopods.
Noah is a PhD student in Management Science and Engineering. He studies Decision and Risk analysis, and likes making hip hop. You can find his music at soundcloud.com/nburbank and at noahburbank.com. He loves post- producing audio.
Matt received his PhD in Biophysics from Stanford in 2010. He is a contributor to the NPR program Snap Judgment, and a producer with the Storytelling Project. At Stanford he divided his time between a basement research lab (where he studies gene regulation) and the basement of KZSU (where he has produced audio essays about scientific fraud, superheroes, unicycles, the San Francisco dump, and sperm banks).
Esteban received his PhD in Developmental Biology from Stanford in 2009. His grandfather instilled in him a love of storytelling by saying things like: "See that tree over there? You can use its fruit to patch up the holes in your hydroplane's radiator."
Bonnie was a founding producer of the Storytelling Project and graduated from Stanford in 2008 with a BA in history, and is now living in Stockholm, attending the Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts, and Design. She plans to move back to California as soon as possible.
Micah was one of the founding producers of the Storytelling Project. He studied International Relations and Creative Writing at Stanford before graduating in 2008. He now lives and writes in Los Angeles.
Dan Hirsch graduated from Stanford in 2009 with a BA in American Studies. His work has appeared in the North Bay Bohemian, the Santa Cruz Weekly, the SFGate.com and on the airwaves of WLEZ Jackson, Mississippi. He lives in San Francisco and works for a Bay Area tech company you might know.
Arielle studied bioethics and neurobiology at Stanford. She enjoys running, mastering public transportation systems (so far: Chicago, SF, NYC, DC, and the Marguerite), and taking hypothetical situations very seriously. Previously, she has interned at Radio Lab, followed around the Kitchen Sisters, and attended the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies.