Our not so common, common read


Our not so common, common read program

Presented by Jodi M. Hicks

Common Read Goals

Enhance the academic climate for first year students

Provide a common intellectual experience

Foster a sense of shared experience among DU students, faculty, staff, and external communities




Oct. 2011

Nov. 2011-

Jan. 2012

Dr. Terri Tomaszek and Dr. Keri Dutkiewicz asked to coordinate a University wide Freshmen

Read Project.

A large cross-functional group was formed to read several potential books. The book “The

Other Wes Moore” was chosen.

Jan. 2012

Feb. 2012

Title of inaugural event changed to Common Read

Author, Mr. Wes Moore was secured for a personal visit on October 17, 2012

Community Outreach with KDL

Feb. 2012, Dr. Rinker suggested we reach out to the community and the Kent

District Libraries (Caledonia and Kentwood branches) joined the initiative.

Terri serves as the coordinator for this portion of the program.

Book discussions held at each library (led by DU)

Essay contest also held at each library

Community College Connection

April 2012, Dr. Rinker met with leadership from Grand Rapids Community

College, and they decided to partner with us.

They will have an estimated 1500 students reading the book agreeing to share a portion of the cost.

Partnership is for every other year, with the host institution picking up 75% of the cost.

Keynote speech by author given at host institution.

We hosted in 2012, GRCC serves as the host for 2014.


Reading the book

Integration of book into all FRSM100 courses as a supplemental reader

Essay Contest

Discussion groups here at DU and at KDL


Online, HLTH101, ENGL

Planning the event

Became part of the Presidential Lecture


Media and Marketing involvement

Campus Resources and Live-streaming

Public invited (attendance unpredictable)

Unexpected GROWTH of 2012

Spring of 2012 – Wes Moore’s book and his own popularity sky rocket. He is on several national talk shows, and the excitement of his appearance here in

Grand Rapids escalates.

It was deemed necessary to move the event from the Sneden Auditorium into the Student Activity Center to accommodate the growing number of people interested in attending.

(Original contract with Wes was for 220 people. It then was estimated to be 500 and then

750 people. Attendance at the event was actually closer to 1,000 people.)


DU cross-functional group selects “The Good Food Revolution” by Will Allen as the 2013 Common Read.

2013 we continue our partnership with Caledonia and Kentwood Libraries.

Due to budget restrictions author does not come in person.

Dr. Colleen Coughlin posted numerous resources to the FRSM100 Bb and coordinated a special event for all Lettinga students.

Other campuses coordinated their own community events.

This year…

Met with GRCC last October to discuss numerous books we would consider

Our joint committee selected “Just Don’t Fall” by Josh Sundquist

Signed contract with Josh for his visit to Grand Rapids October 14-16

Terri again leads the partnership with KDL

About the book

From Publishers Weekly

Sundquist proves to be equally enthralling and witty at the written word in this sometimes heartbreaking, mostly uplifting memoir. Diagnosed with cancer at the age of nine, Sundquist eventually is forced to deal with the harsh reality of losing his left leg to amputation. Yet even at his young age, he deals with the setback with courage and determination, eventually setting his sights on becoming a ski racer at the 2006 Paralympics in Italy.

While skiing becomes a large part of his life, his story is just as much about growing up in small-town Virginia and, for example, dealing with common high school heartbreak. His dreams of a world ski racer are eventually met, because in his words, "I don't have time to fail".

Some of his retelling of events at times seem over the top, but overall Sundquist is an honest and charming writer. And there are countless lighthearted anecdotes, like his desire to stop being home schooled and attend public school partly for the pizza without whole-wheat crust. The final chapter provides a fitting conclusion to Sundquist, proving that life is more about the journey than the destination.

Publisher: Penguin Books (December 28, 2010) ISBN-10: 0143118781

Our bookstore is selling the hardcover book for appox $10. (suggested price is $25.95)

Details of Josh’s visit

Josh will be at DU on Tuesday October 14 th .

He will meet with selected students in the morning for a Q/A

He will do an informal presentation and Q/A in the Sneden from 1:00 – 2:30

He will give a keynote presentation at GRCC Fieldhouse on Wed. Oct 15 th from 7:00 – 8:30pm

Meet Josh

Show video http://youtu.be/heXwld9qjQw

Time for your Questions

My Questions:

How can we increase involvement with other DU faculty and staff?

What can be done on the other campuses to promote the book?

Any ideas for special Common Read assignments in the ACES 100 courses?