Soul of a Citizen is the 2010-2011 Common Reader at Barry University

Barry University has selected Paul Loeb’s Soul of a Citizen: Living with Conviction in Challenging Times, recently revised and expanded, as the 2010-2011 Common Reader.

The book will be part of assignments in many first-year classes, including Fundamentals of Speech, First-Year Composition, The Meaning of History, Introduction to Sociology, and Biological Foundations.  The incoming students will read it over the summer and will jump right into related coursework in the fall.

Soul of a Citizen will also be a feature at Barry’s interdisciplinary mini-conference on “Soulful Citizenship: Pursuing Social Justice through Collaborative Partnerships,” to be held on October 26, 2010.  Geared toward undergraduate students, this all-day event will feature a keynote address by author Paul Loeb as well as panel presentations and discussions, guest speakers from local community-based agencies, film screenings, service opportunities, and more.

The goals of the “Soulful Citizenship” mini-conference are to encourage participants to:

—reflect on the salient social injustices that are facing local and global communities
—consider the moral, ethical, social, and political responsibilities of educated persons to struggle for social betterment
—formulate a shared vision of a society based on principles of human rights and social justice
—identify the social, personal, and ideological barriers to engaging in social change efforts
—recognize strategies (service, service-learning, community-based research, organizing, advocacy, community development, etc.) for collaborating with communities, building coalitions, and creating social change
—participate in opportunities for direct involvement in working on specific social justice issues in South Florida.

Instructors may incorporate certain conference sessions into their curricula with optional or required assignments.  The university will sponsor a poetry/writing competition, inviting entries based on the themes and principles in Soul of a Citizen.

This contest was also held in 2009, when the first-year class read This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women.  The winners were selected for their originality; ability to move the reader; and grammar and writing ability.  Read the two winning essays

Soul of a Citizen and This I Believe are both Popular Picks for First-Year Reading!  Click here to see a list of other colleges and universities that have used the books.

Soul of a Citizen • St. Martin’s Griffin • 400 pages

Boston College Class of 2014 Reads How Lincoln Learned to Read

Boston College has selected Daniel Wolff’s How Lincoln Learned to Read: Twelve Great Americans and the Educations That Made Them for their freshman reading program, “Conversations in the First Year.”

During orientation sessions held this summer, BC will give a copy of the book to each incoming student, and ask them to read it before returning in September.  Daniel Wolff will give the keynote address at Convocation, which marks the beginning of the students’ first year.

Convocation at Boston College “is filled with tradition, ritual, ideas, and conversation that kick off the academic year.”  The freshman reading program and book help to “create the year’s academic theme,” writes the Associate Director of the Office of First Year Experience.

The Office of First Year Experience will partner with the Institute for Liberal Arts to create a reading guide that will “contextualize the book choice to the Jesuit Catholic mission of Boston College and the charge to ‘Go and set the world aflame.’”  The words of the founder of the Jesuits, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, are a challenge issued to each new class, the core message of “Conversations in the First Year,” and the theme of the annual Convocation.

Watch the book trailer:

Throughout the year, How Lincoln Learned to Read will be central to many courses; faculty teaching first-year writing, literature, business, nursing, honors, cornerstone and education courses, and others, are incorporating the book into the curriculum.

How Lincoln Learned to Read • Bloomsbury  • 352 pages