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WSU Common Reading Book Refuge Focuses on Global Refugee Policy

Refuge: Rethinking Refugee Policy in a Changing World, by Alexander Betts and Paul Collier.

MEDIA: Karen Weathermon, director of the WSU Common Reading Program, 509-335-5488, kweathermon@wsu.edu

Pullman, Wash.—Refuge: Rethinking Refugee Policy in a Changing World, by Alexander Betts and Paul Collier.The book selected as the Washington State University common reading for first-year and other students in 2019-20 is Refuge: Rethinking Refugee Policy in a Changing World, announced Karen Weathermon, director of first-year programs in WSU Undergraduate Education.

Refuge will be used at the Pullman, Tri-Cities, Spokane, and Global campuses. Published in 2017 by Oxford University Press, it co-authored by Oxford alumni and professors, Alexander Betts, 39, a political scientist, and Sir Paul Collier, 70, a development economist.

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Screening of “He Named Me Malala” film hosted by WSU Common Reading April 18

The Washington State University Common Reading Program presents an encore screening of the award-winning documentary “He Named Me Malala” Tues., April 18 from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Todd 116. The public is welcome at this free campus event.

The 2015 film directed by Davis Guggenheim is an intimate portrait of Malala Yousafzai, author of this year’s common reading book for WSU students titled I Am Malala. Yousafzai is the youngest recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize, awarded for her efforts speaking out for women’s education in her home country of Pakistan. To stop the schoolgirl’s work, she was shot by the Taliban, but survived to carry on with her campaign and her own education.

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Sci-fi, dystopian novel Ready Player One selected as 2017-18 common reading for five WSU campuses; non-fiction Spare Parts chosen by WSU Vancouver

PULLMAN, Wash.—Washington State University has announced that two books are the 2017-18 common readings for thousands of students in first-year courses: Ready Player One, for Pullman, Tri-Cities, Spokane, Everett, and the Global Campus; and Spare Parts, for WSU Vancouver.

Both award-winning books were nominated soon after the call went out in September from the WSU-wide Common Reading Selection Committee. Its 14 members read and evaluated 34 books in total, all of which align with the program’s two-year theme of “frontiers of technology, health, and society.” Members recommended three finalists in February to WSU Provost and Executive Vice President Daniel J. Bernardo for the final selection.

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WSU common reading becomes system-wide shared initiative for 2016-17

PULLMAN, Wash.—What connects two books, six campuses, dozens of faculty from diverse disciplines, and thousands of first-year students at all Washington State University campuses?

Answer: the institution’s common reading program, or programs, to be precise.

While student learning and engagement has benefited for more than a decade thanks to common readings, the upcoming academic year will see more collaboration and cohesion among efforts at multiple campuses.

“Common reading programs across the WSU system have long had many touchpoints with each other in terms of books and programming, but we are embarking on an initiative for 2016-17 that represents a very focused, shared initiative,” said Karen Weathermon, program co-director at the main campus and director of First-Year Programs.  “This is an evolutionary milestone that we believe will have even more impact on students and their education.” » More …

WSU Common Reading Book for 2013-14 is “Being Wrong” by Kathryn Schulz

PULLMAN, Wash.—The Washington State University Common Reading Program announces that the book selected for 2013-14 is “Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error,” by journalist Kathryn Schulz.

“We are quite pleased that President Floyd chose ‘Being Wrong’ as the next common reading for our students,” says Susan Poch, co-director of the Common Reading Program and head of the selection committee, and associate dean of the University College. “It is a most interesting inquiry into the multitude of subjects surrounding human errors and our perceptions of them.

“Our selection committee this year studied 30-plus books nominated by the WSU community and ultimately had a field of three finalists. Provost and Executive Vice President Warwick M. Bayly, who typically makes the final selection, was on leave at the time, so our president chose the book. We commend the nominators, the committee, and President Floyd for their efforts on behalf of our students.”  [http:/universitycollege.wsu.edu/units/CommonReading/nominations/]

Student Paula Tilson, serving on the selection committee, was enthusiastic about the book, which will be used in several courses for first-year students.

“It’s very readable for freshmen and I think they will want to read it,” says the junior accounting major from Olympia. “Coming in from high school, they will find they are expected to perform at a higher level in college and they think they have to be right all the time. But the sooner they learn there’s no way for them to be perfect all the time when it comes to academics, the better. This book will help them realize they can learn from their mistakes and build on that. And not to give up after being wrong but deal with it and work to improve.”

The other two finalist books are “The Big Thirst: The Secret Life and Turbulent Future of Water,” by Charles Fisherman, and “Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It’s So Hard to Think Straight about Animals,” by Hal Herzog.

“Being Wrong” was nominated by Adam Williams, administrative manager in the Dept. of Entomology, who first heard it favorably cited by former U.S. President Bill Clinton. Upon learning it was chosen as WSU’s next common reading book, he said he was pleased and that it will stimulate critical thinking in readers.

What does he hope students get out of the book? “I’d like students’ take away to be that, for any number of reasons, it’s OK to be wrong and recover from it. It’s humbling sometimes, but a way to get grounded as they go on into the world.  I hope students view error differently from this book and use experiences as growing opportunities to promote open perspectives.”

Common Reading Co-Director Karen Weathermon organizes the Common Reading Tuesdays guest lecture series that provides information and insight from thought leaders and researchers from the WSU as well as the external community.  At weekly events, these experts present topics related to subjects raised in each year’s common reading book.  She also works with faculty who are teaching courses as part of the Freshman Focus learning community.

“’Being Wrong’ presents an interesting perspective on research, which is an important activity at our land-grant, top tier research university,” says Weathermon. “How we advance our understanding of all fields is by investigating the questions where we don’t have a full, complete, or ‘right’ answer.”

As in years past, desk copies of ‘Being Wrong’ will be available to Pullman faculty members who are considering using the book in with their courses, Weathermon says.  Those interested should contact her at kweathermon@wsu.edu for a copy.  They will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.


CONTACT: Susan Poch, Associate Dean and Co-Director of the Common Reading Program, University College at WSU, 509-335-6037, poch@wsu.edu

Karen Weathermon, Co-Director of the Common Reading Program, University College at WSU, 509-335-5488, kweathermon@wsu.edu

MEDIA: Beverly Makhani, Communications Director, University College at WSU, 509-335-6679, Makhani@wsu.edu


 

Desk Copies of Common Reading 2011-12 “Physics for Future Presidents” Available to WSU Faculty

PULLMAN, Wash.-Copies of the 2011-12 common reading book, “Physics for Future Presidents:  The Science behind the Headlines” by Richard A. Muller, are available to Washington State University faculty interested in using the book in their undergraduate courses for the coming year.

“Physics for Future Presidents” was chosen as the common reading book for freshmen by Provost and Executive Vice President Warwick M. Bayly in late March.  The 2010-11 book, “Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, not Bombs in Afghanistan and Pakistan” by Greg Mortenson, was widely used in first-year classes by faculty across campus.

The book covers five complex, contemporary issues: terrorism, energy, “nukes,” space, and global warming in a manner that is designed to be understandable for readers from all backgrounds.  Each set of chapters concludes with a “Presidential Summary” that explains the decisions the reader would need to make on the topic as the president of the United States.

In the text, Muller looks at history, misinformation, and hype while helping the reader balance those with a more logical scientific approach.  The physics professor’s book is based on his own renowned course at Berkeley for non-science majors.

Muller’s book is broadly applicable to fields across campus, including business, communications, education, the humanities, political science, and STEM disciplines.

To enhance the experience of students using the book in classes, the Common Reading Program hosts an evening lecture series, which starts during the week-of-welcome.  The events feature WSU faculty, students, and guests presenting topics inspired by the text.  For the 2010-11 program, 77% of attendees reported that the lectures helped further their understanding of the issues presented in the book.

Those interested in a desk copy should contact Karen Weathermon, co-director of the WSU Common Reading Program, at 509-335-5488 or by email at kweathermon@wsu.edu.

For more information on “Physics for Future Presidents” and on the Common Reading Program visit http://CommonReading.wsu.edu.


MEDIA CONTACT:  David Clarke, communications assistant, WSU University College, 509-335-8070, david.h.clarke@email.wsu.edu

SOURCE:  Karen Weathermon, co-director, WSU Common Reading Program, 509-335-5488, kweathermon@wsu.edu