How I Made It

Friday, May 1, 1:45 pm PST

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Each Friday SSP will host a different Stanford alum working as a professional storyteller who will pull back the curtain on one of their productions for outlets like Radiolab, 99 Percent Invisible, NPR, National Geographic, Reuters, and more.

This Friday, former SSP Senior Producer, writer/performer, and podcaster Natacha Ruck will share how she made her one-woman stage show ““YOU’RE GOOD FOR NOTHING… I’LL MILK THE COW MYSELF.” Here’s a delightful excerpt of Natcha’s work. Natcha is also currently the Managing Editor of Duolingo’s French Podcast.


How I Made It

Friday, April 22, 1:45 pm PST
Zoom here

Each Friday SSP will host a different Stanford alum working as a professional storyteller who will pull back the curtain on one of their productions for outlets like Radiolab, 99 Percent Invisible, NPR, National Geographic, Reuters, and more.

This Friday, Reuters reporter Reade Levinson ’16 will share how she made Why Sky Burials Are Vanishing in Mongolia, a documentary podcast joint-published by Smithsonian Magazine and Stanford’s Generation Anthropocene.


How I Made It


Friday, April 17, 1:45 pm PST

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Join the Stanford Storytelling Project for our Spring Quarter series, How I Make It. Each Friday session will feature a different SSP alum or former staffer working as a professional storyteller. That storyteller will pull back the curtain on one of their productions for outlets like Radiolab, 99 Percent Invisible, NPR, National Geographic, Reuters, and more. 

This Friday April 17, we’ll be joined by Austin Meyer ’14. Austin is a documentary filmmaker, photographer, and podcaster. His films focus on international development, health, and human rights, and have been published by National Geographic, The Atlantic, The New York Times, POLITICO, and Slate among others.

Austin will be sharing how he made The Carpenter, a short documentary set in Zambia. The Carpenter was published in the National Geographic Short Film Showcase, The Atlantic Select series, and screened at the American Documentary Film Festival.


Staff

DIRECTOR
Jonah Willihnganz

Jonah has taught literature, creative writing, and media studies at Stanford since 2002. He 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.

MANAGING PRODUCER
Tiffany Naiman

Tiffany is an award-winning documentary film producer, DJ, electronic musician, and the experimental film and music programmer for the Outfest Film Festival in Los Angeles. Tiffany received her Ph.D. in Musicology from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and also holds master’s degrees in African American Studies and Musicology, and a B.A. in American Literature and Culture, all from UCLA.

SENIOR PRODUCER & PROGRAM ASSOCIATE
Jenny March

Jenny March is an audio documentary producer and community-builder. She particularly loves exploring the human experience through intimate, non-narrated audio portraits. Jenny has taught audio courses at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies. She is the co-producer of Audio Under the Stars, a summer-long outdoor audio festival in Durham, NC. She has worked in communications at Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Amherst College. She graduated from Hampshire College with a B.A. in Middle Eastern history and literature.

SENIOR PRODUCER & COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT LEAD
Alessandra Wollner 

Allie is a creative nonfiction storyteller, podcast producer, educator, and community maker. She’s addicted to stories built on intimacy, vulnerability, and characters who sear themselves into your memory. She believes two things are integral to a well-told, true story: an attention to aesthetic beauty and a fierce commitment to integrity. She holds a BA from Brown University and MFA from Ohio State in Creative Nonfiction writing.

SENIOR PRODUCER
Christy Hartman

Christy is interested in narrative and its role in healing and transformation. Christy has a background in philosophy and environmental geography. She graduated from the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies in 2010 where she studied creative nonfiction.

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
Adesuwa Agbonile 

Adesuwa Agbonile is a senior hailing from Seattle, majoring in Economics and minoring in Creative Writing. In her spare time, she makes audio for the Stanford Storytelling Project, writes news for the Stanford Daily, and eats pasta.

SENIOR PRODUCER & EVENTS
Aparna Varma

Aparna Varma is an English major in creative writing interested in all forms of storytelling. A daydreamer, storyteller, and avid Netflix binge-watcher, she especially loves mythical and fantastical stories and has penned some of her own. The ones with dragons are her favorite because it’s her spirit animal. That, and elephants.

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
Melina Walling

Melina Walling started working with the Storytelling Project at the beginning of her freshman year. She is majoring in English and minoring in psychology and history, and is passionate about uncovering all kinds of stories! In her spare time, she enjoys yoga, photography, hiking, and consuming many different types of media…ask her for book, TV, or podcast recommendations and you’ll probably come away with a very long list.

SENIOR PRODUCER & WEB MANAGER
Victoria Yuan

Victoria Yuan is majoring in Biomedical Computation and minoring in Classics. The intersection between narratives from East and West drew her to the Stanford Storytelling Project. Victoria spends her time painting messily and reading dreamily. Recently, she’s learned to touch her toes.

PRODUCER & EVENTS
Megan Calfas 

Megan loves stories — on air, on the stage, and on the page. Currently working towards a Masters in Journalism, she graduated from Stanford with a B.A. in English (Creative Writing) with Honors in the Arts and a minor in Theater and Performance Studies in 2018. At SSP in the past, she’s been a producer, teaching assistant, and story coach. As a playwright, journalist, actress, and podcaster, she gets hand-tingling joy at the process of finding the right mediums to tell stories in creative, compelling ways. Other things that bring her joy include hiking, yoga, cats, community, and glitter.

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
Isabella Tilley 

Isabella is an Environmental Systems Engineering major from the D.C. area and has no intentions of ever becoming an engineer. She is passionate about environmental and social justice, and in her spare time enjoys painting (see above) and playing the guitar, piano, and organ. She has two dogs that she misses dearly and a younger sister.

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
Regina Kong

Regina loves painting, books, and all forms of storytelling. She’s also into ocean swimming, bird watching, and mountain hiking. Currently a sophomore, Regina is considering a double-major in Comparative Literature and Art Practice, possibly with a minor in Asian American Studies.

EVENTS EDITOR
Dan Klein

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.

EVENTS DIRECTOR
Michelle Darby

Michelle Darby is the co-creator and teacher of StoryCraft with the Theater and Performance Studies Department. During the year, she is a Resident Fellow of Rinconada Dorm here at Stanford. Prior to teaching StoryCraft, she was the founder and Artistic Director of Just West Theater Company in Tallapoosa Georgia. In San Francisco, she coordinated and taught Compelling Communications at the Academy of Art University which revolved around creativity, spontaneity, teamwork, performance and leadership skills. As well as directing and acting in the Bay Area, Michelle has studied performance at the Alliance Theater, the American Conservatory Theater, Bay Area TheatreSports, and with Seydways Acting Studio. Michelle has taught and directed for middle schools, high schools, Native American Youth, university students, and professional actors.


Gathering

What do we gain from gathering? In this episode, we’re thinking about how coming together can change us. We’ll hear about a citizen-led clean-up movement in India, a Bay Area artist who forms an unlikely friendship with a church in Colorado, and a student who experiences the power of connection at a living museum on Stanford campus.

Story 1: My Ugly India
“What do I owe to this land? And why?” In this story, Tanvi Dutta Gupta explores how one citizen-led clean-up movement has confronted the ugliness of Indian cities, and what this means for her own belonging as an Indian.

Producer: Tanvi Dutta Gupta
Featuring: Kumar
Music: “Bauxite” – Little Rock – Blue Dot Sessions
“Highride” – Radiopink – Blue Dot Sessions
“Tessalit” – Azalai – Blue Dot Sessions
“Louver” – Holyoke – Blue Dot Sessions
“Secret Pocketbook” – Holyoke – Blue Dot Sessions
“Anders” – Macrame – Blue Dot Sessions
“Silent Flock” – Migration – Blue Dot Sessions
“The Consulate” – Holyoke – Blue Dot Sessions
“Li-Fonte” – Architect – Blue Dot Sessions

Story 2: Engrique Chagoya: Making Art & Community
Art can be controversial, and Enrique Chagoya, an artist and professor at Stanford, is no stranger to controversy. But, in his experiences, art also has the power to bring people together–often, in unexpected ways.

Producer: Regina T.H. Ta
Featuring: Enrique Chagoya
Music: “We Collect Shiny Things” – Blue Dot Sessions – Love & Weasel
“Are We Loose Yet” – Blue Dot Sessions – Bodytonic
“Six Gnossiennes: Gnossienne No. 1” – Erik Satie – 50 Essential Piano Pieces by Roland Pöntinen
“Thannoid” – Blue Dot Sessions – Bodytonic

Story 3: Experiencing Sankofa
What are you supposed to do after a noose is found on your campus? Stanford’s answer to that question was, in part, to invite The Experience Sankofa Project, a living museum on black history to campus. This story details what the Project can teach us about racism, activism, and (maybe most importantly), community.

Producer: Adesuwa Agbonile
Featuring: Venus Morris, Dereca Blackmon, Mizan Alkebulan-Abakah, Sizwe Andrews-Abakah, Frank Omowale Satterwhite, Jeanette Smith-Laws, Persis Drell
Music: “Multiple Crystal Bowl Rhythm – Freesound.org – Geerose
“All the Answers” – Lee Rosevere
“It’s a Mystery” – Lee Rosevere
“You’re Enough Version C” – Lee Rosevere


Veterans Day vignettes

By Niunio Teo
The Stanford Daily
November 11, 2012

“On Veterans Day, six student veterans joined a panel to discuss their experiences of war. The event, titled ‘Voices from the front: Stanford students returning home from war,’ was hosted by the Stanford Storytelling Project. These are some of their stories. Anne Hsieh: Captain Anne Hsieh M.A. J.D. ’12 serves as a military lawyer. She has completed missions in Thailand, the Philippines, Korea, Japan, Iraq and Afghanistan…”more


Stanford campus to honor its past and present veterans

By Kathleen J. Sullivan
Stanford Report
November 8, 2012

“On Sunday – Veterans Day – the Stanford Storytelling Project is hosting an evening of personal stories, music, letters and conversation with six Stanford student veterans who recently returned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Stanford veterans and some of their family members will come together for a single special event, “Voices from the Front: Stanford Students Returning Home from War,” to share what they have experienced and learned, both about war and about the journey home…”more


‘This American Life’s’ Ira Glass shares storytelling insights

By Robin Wander
Stanford Arts
November 7, 2012

“Most college-age students were just wee toddlers when This American Life was born on the radio in 1995. Thus, many grew up listening as their parents listened to host Ira Glass and his quirky contributors – David Sedaris, Sarah Vowell and David Rakoff, to name a few – delight in the ordinary and find poignancy in the everyday. For many, Glass is an American treasure. On Sunday, Nov. 4, 600 students and fans had the opportunity to see the man behind the voice…”more


Ira Glass on storytelling, humor

By Brendan O’Byrne
The Stanford Daily
November 5, 2012

“‘Radio is your most visual medium,’ radio host Ira Glass told a full CEMEX Auditorium on Sunday afternoon. He paused for several moments as the audience remained quiet. ‘That’s not actually true, but if you say it in a certain tone of voice…’ Glass is the host of ‘This American Life (TAL),’ a critically acclaimed weekly public radio show with around 1.7 million listeners. The show uses the power of storytelling to focus listeners on the emotional moments that traditional reporting often overlooks…”more