Clint Van Winkle’s Soft Spots: A Marine’s Memoir of Combat and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is the 2011-2012 Book in Common at Collin College. It will be assigned course reading in disciplines throughout the college’s three area campuses, including English and Composition, Sociology, Psychology and Counseling, and others.
Now in its sixth year, the campus-wide Book in Common initiative has become a central part of intellectual life in and around the Collin College community. Planning for this year’s programming is just underway. In previous years, the common book has inspired community service projects, writing workshops, and lecture series. The college has invited author and veteran Clint Van Winkle to speak at their campuses next Spring.
Though spearheaded by the Center for Scholarly and Civic Engagement, the Book in Common is truly a college-wide effort. The Collin College Libraries participate by offering resources and support to students doing coursework or research related to the book each year. Faculty members have collaborated to produce an interdisciplinary teaching guide that contextualizes the common book in various areas of study. Student Life offices on each campus collaborate on related events and activities “that exercise camaraderie in the student body beyond disciplines.”
The program’s District Coordinator, English Professor Betty Bettachi, has said, “The students get so much out of [the common reading program], and they have started to look forward to the new book, asking what the new selection is going to be . . . They love to read the books.”
Soft Spots • St. Martin’s Griffin • 224 pages