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Common Reading Program Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement

Welcome to the Common Reading program

Braiding Sweetgrass book for 2022-23

The book selected for use as the 16th common read at WSU is subtitled Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants. Author Robin Wall Kimmerer is described as a mother; scientist/botanist; author; enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation; Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) in Syracuse, New York; and founder and director of SUNY ESF’s Center for Native People and the Environment. A WSU presentation by the author is planned for late January.

Upon selecting the book from nominations, Provost and Executive Vice President and WSU Pullman Chancellor Elizabeth Chilton said, “This beautifully written collection of essays addresses many topics that are of national and global interest: ecology, climate change, sustainability, cultural heritage, and, most importantly, how do we know what we know?”

Resource Guide for Faculty and Staff

A new guide has been produced to provide resources for faculty and staff using the common reading book in classes, residence halls, advising, and more. 

Weekly emails for faculty on book use

Faculty can contact First-year Programs Director Karen Weathermon to join an email distribution list for common reading events and opportunities throughout the year.

Free ebook available from WSU Libraries

Braiding Sweetgrass is available at no cost to all WSU students, faculty, and staff thanks to WSU Libraries’ license for unlimited ebook access to the publication. Users can simply download the book.

Upcoming Events

Browse our full events calendar on Coug Presence »

About Our Program

What Is a Common Reading?

A common reading is one way to create community connections among students, and between students and their professors, residence hall staff, and others. Topics in a selected book are examined throughout the year by members of the university community, sparking academic conversations in and beyond classrooms, highlighting WSU research and the diversity of ideas across disciplines, and introducing different ways to explore complex issues from a variety of perspectives.

Recent program impact

Robust common reading programming throughout the year includes expert guest lectures, stimulating events, film showings, and much more.  In 2021-22, for example, the Common Reading Program…

  • Hosted and collaborated with 19 other campus units system-wide to provide 92 virtual and in0person events, more than double the number of previous years.
  • Students can typically select from three to five events per week to enhance their knowledge relating to book topics.

Learn more about the Common Reading program >>