Thomas Bissell

Alumni Profile

The Alumni Association of Bay College named Thomas C. Bissell Alumnus of the Year for 2006.

In receiving the award, Tom indicated, “I am honored and even a little surprised by the news. Bay College means a lot to me and it’s delightful beyond words to be given this award.”

A native of Escanaba, Tom graduated from Escanaba Area Public Schools in 1992 and enrolled at Bay College. After one year of study, he transferred to Michigan State University, graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1996.

After his graduation from MSU, he entered the U.S. Peace Corps, teaching English to fifth, sixth and seventh graders in Gulistan, Uzbekistan. Returning to the United States in 1997, he became the editorial staff at WW Norton & Company in 1997, where he was assistant editor and then went to Henry Holt & Company as editor in April, 2000. He has been a full-time professional writer since August, 2001.

Tom Bissell is the author of numerous fiction and non-fiction articles and reviews, which have been published in Harpers, the New York Times Magazine, Boston Review, and Men’s Journal.

His published books include Chasing the Sea: Lost Among the Ghosts of Empire in Central Asia, 2003; Speak, Commentary, also in 2003; God Lives in St. Petersburg and Other Stories, in 2005; and the soon to be released, The Father of All Things: A Marine and His Son’s Journey Through the Legacy of the Vietnam War.

He has most recently been honored by the American Academy of Arts and Letters with a one-year residency fellowship to Rome, Italy.

In addition to writing, Tom is an adjunct instructor in non-fiction writing at Bennington College.

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