Thomas Bayne grew up in a small town among the foothills of Northern California, and while the town wasn’t exactly bustling, his mind certainly was. The quiet and reflective setting of his youth instilled in him not only a thoughtful demeanor, but the drive and desire to fill the world with the same stories he so heartily consumed under those oak-dotted hills. Initially that dream led him to Los Angeles, where he worked as script-reader for a major studio while acting in several short films and local theater productions. All of this was driven by a need to understand the people around him on a deeper level, but it was only as this understanding began to deepen that he saw what these pursuits were so desperately missing: a conscience. Los Angeles is a city beset by dichotomy, as Maserati’s roar past homeless encampments and hardly anyone blinks an eye. In a desire to understand the systems that allow this to happen, to connect the big picture to the individual, Tom decided to finish his studies in Political Science in UCSD.
While there he consumed as much politics as he could, but found himself still missing the original impetus of his youth; the desire to tell stories. The intricate details of political systems and the machinations between nations simply filled in the gaps. This urge was furthered by a number of budding friendships with international students. Somewhere along the line, a lightbulb clicked and he began a series of interviews with international students attempting to relate the disparate experiences in one cohesive tale. While he in no means assumes this project will heal the current divides in our society, he think at this point anything is a worth a shot. Quite quickly the lack of his own foreign experience began to make itself evident and so he determined to study abroad to further his understanding.
He is delighted by the gift and responsibility of the Borton Scholarship in this endeavor and is passionate about not letting this opportunity go to waste. Outside of academics, Tom has an avid interest in New Hollywood film, the literature of Hysterical Realism and delightfully schlocky comic books. In his spare time, he is an avid hiker and lover of mountains, and while currently recovering from an ankle injury is quite excited to begin rock climbing once more.