Award-winning author Reyna Grande will speak about her memoir, “The Distance Between Us,” at Cal Poly Pomona on Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 4 p.m. in the University Theater. The keynote will conclude with a reception and book signing. Registration for the event is free.
“The Distance Between Us” follows Grande as she grows up in the United States as an undocumented immigrant and becomes the first person in her family to go to college. The memoir is this year’s pick for the CPP Common Read, which brings Cal Poly Pomona community members together to read and discuss the same book.
The university’s Common Read is an initiative spearheaded by the Office of Student Success and the First Year Experience Committee. The novel is required reading for students enrolled in FYE courses, but many other community members, including those from Staff Council, University Housing, the Reading Advising & Mentoring Program and International Polytechnic High School, have also joined in.
Dora Lee, who oversees FYE as the director of Academic Support & Learning Services, says that the Common Read provides an opportunity for students, faculty, staff and community members to engage in a similar experience. The themes of past Common Read picks have touched upon sustainability, internet freedom and perseverance.
“It’s a great conversation starter, and challenges us to get outside of our comfort zones in reading a book we may not pick out on our own,” Lee says. “We also get to think critically about how the book may apply to our own lives, and talk about it with our peers. It’s the little things that brings the campus community together.”
In addition to Grande’s visit, FYE is hosting essay and Instagram contests that are open to all students. The Instagram contest closes Monday, Nov. 13 at 11:59 p.m., and the essay contest closes Tuesday, Nov. 21 at 5 p.m.
Established in 2007, FYE is a growing community within the Cal Poly Pomona campus. Each of the university’s eight colleges have an FYE course, where students acclimate to the university and learn more about opportunities for their major.
To learn more about the First Year Experience program, visit its website.