The First-Year Experience Committee is now accepting nominations for the 2020-21 Common Read.
In FYE courses, students read the Common Read selection and participate in classroom discussion, activities and events tied to the book’s themes. For the 2019-20 Common Read, Michelle Obama’s Becoming, students participated in an essay contest where they described the influences of both fictional and real people in their lives.
FYE students also engage with the Common Read through the Learn Through Discovery Challenge, where they develop creative solutions for an opportunity or problem identified in the book. This year, the winning student group from the Kellogg Honors College developed an app prototype to give high school students access to career options that don’t require a college degree, earning a $200 scholarship and an invite to join CPP’s Project Hatchery.
The programming culminates in an annual event – for Becoming, Professor Felicia F. Thomas, Professor Sandy Kewanhaptewa-Dixon, alumnus Corey Gaither (‘11, sociology) and alumnus Amir Mertaban (‘08, international business and marketing) shared their own “becoming stories” with campus community members. At this year’s event, FYE students also showcased poster projects that proposed solutions to community problems like food and housing insecurity, accessibility and inclusion.
The nomination form is open until January 27, 2020. The FYE Committee, which is comprised of faculty and staff from across the university, is open to both fiction and nonfiction books. The committee is particularly interested in books with themes of diversity and inclusion. Past book selections have included Jon Ronson’s So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed (2018-19) and Reyna Grande’s The Distance Between Us (2017-18).