The Common Reading Experience 2011-2012

No Impact Man book cover

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First-year students enrolled in ASC 101: Introduction to University Life will share the common experience of reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot.

The goal of this common reading program is to create a shared learning experience that fosters student engagement, retention, and personal development beyond the classroom.  In pursuing this initiative, CSU joins college campuses throughout the country that make this part of the freshman year experience.  Although directed primarily at freshmen, we hope to engage the entire campus in this reading experience through promoting the book in other courses and sponsoring campus-wide activities to highlight the reading and its intersection with different disciplines and issues.

This year's book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by science journalist Rebecca Skloot, "documents the story of how scientists took cells from an unsuspecting descendant of freed slaves and created a human cell line that has been kept alive indefinitely, enabling discoveries in such areas as cancer research, in vitro fertilization and gene mapping"- (Baker & Taylor Content Café). The book also investigates the human consequences involved and the birth of bioethics.

Books chosen for the Common Reading Experience in previous years include:

engaged learning

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