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Now Open: Nominations for 2019-20 Common Reading Book (through Nov. 2)

United nations, fish market, and a computer lock representing the 2019-2021 common reading theme of global stability, scarcity, and security.

United nations, fish market, and a computer lock representing the 2019-2021 common reading theme of global stability, scarcity, and security.PULLMAN, Wash.—Have you read a good book lately that lends itself to a theme of “global stability, scarcity, and security” and would be suitable for freshman classes and programming at Washington State University?

The Common Reading Program announces that nominations for the 2019-20 book are now open. An online form may now be used to submit nominations, which will be accepted through Nov. 2. » More …

Volunteering in the Peace Corps topic of Nov. 1 Common Reading Lecture

The Common Reading Program hosts speaker Kyla Allen-Grant on her experience as a Peace Corps volunteer on Tues. Nov. 1, at 7 p.m. in Todd 130.  The public is welcome at this free event.

Allen-Grant, a WSU alumna and WSU’s Peace Corp representative, will speak on her personal experiences in the Peace Corps.  Through her volunteering experience in Togo, a country in West Africa, she has gained first-hand experience of the challenges girls face and the importance of educational access.  She will go into the specifics of her work in Togo.  In addition to talking about her projects in Togo, Allen-Grant will also share avenues for exploring Peace Corps service.

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Women’s engineering participation in other countries topic of Common Reading lecture Oct. 11

The Washington State University Common Reading Program hosts “Women’s Engineering Participation in Diverse Cultural Contexts,” a lecture by Julie Kmec and Nehal Abu-Lail on Tues. Oct. 11 at 7:30 p.m. in CUE 203.  The presentation is free and open to the public.

Kmec, professor of sociology, and Abu-Lail, associate professor of chemical engineering and bioengineering, will present preliminary research on a collaborative project that seeks to identify the factors that shape women’s relatively high levels of engineering participation in some predominantly Muslim countries. 

The presenters were recently named as principal investigator and co-principal investigator, respectively, on a two-year, $589,200 grant funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to investigate the subject.

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WSU selects “I Am Malala” as the 2016-17 Common Reading book in Pullman

PULLMAN, Wash.—Washington State University has named the best-selling “I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban” as the 2016-17 common reading for first-year and other students in Pullman, Interim Co-Provost Erica Austin has announced.

Austin chose “I Am Malala” from three books recommended by the selection committee of the Common Reading Program, part of WSU Undergraduate Education. » More …

“Reflections of a Segregated Life” lecture by Jeff Guillory at Sept. 22 WSU Common Reading Program

Pullman, Wash. – “Reflections of a Segregated Life,” a lecture about the personal side of growing up in the Jim Crow south, will be presented by Jeff Guillory, director of Washington State University’s Office of Diversity Education, at 7 p.m. Tues., Sept. 22, in Todd 130.  The public is welcome at this free event hosted by the Common Reading Program. » More …

WSU Common Reading book nominations open Tues., Sept. 1, 2015 for 2016-17 academic year

PULLMAN, Wash.—Read a good book lately that ties to themes of leadership and social justice? You might want to nominate it to be the 2016-17 book used by all students taking first-year classes, announces the Washington State University Common Reading Selection Committee. » More …

WSU Opens Nominations for 2011-2012 Common Reading Book for Freshmen

PULLMAN, Wash.-The selection committee of the Common Reading Program at Washington State University is looking ahead the next academic year, and has announced its call for nominations for the 2011-2012 common reading book for freshmen.

Faculty, staff, students, alumni, parents, and friends of the university are invited to use the online nomination form to suggest any book that would stimulate conversation, inquiries, and critical thinking among new students in classes across all disciplines, says Susan Poch, co-director of the program and head of the selection committee.  The Common Reading Program is part of the new University College, where she serves as associate dean.  The closing date will likely be in early December.

“The purpose of the Common Reading Program is to create a common academic ground for all who participate in it, including new students, faculty, staff, and the community,” says Poch.  “Each year since 2007, a single book has been chosen by the university to be read by all freshmen and used in their courses and in special programs outside of classes, as well.

“Students, professors, residence hall staff, librarians, and others lend ideas and actions to bring to life topics raised in that common reading book.  Many WSU faculty members are leading researchers in their fields, and the program provides a great venue for them to share information from their research with students that ties to the book.”

In summer 2010, about 3,200 copies of this year’s book, “Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” by Montana humanitarian Greg Mortenson, were distributed to freshmen attend orientation.  In addition to its use in dozens of first-year courses underway now, the book is the source of topics for faculty and guest presentations spread across two semesters in the popular evening series, Common Reading Tuesdays.

Mortenson is also coming to Pullman January 26, 2011 for an evening lecture directed to students but also open to the public.

Last fall, the selection committee read numerous nominated books before selecting its top four to send to Provost and Executive Vice President Warwick M. Bayly for his evaluation.  It was he who chose “Stones into Schools” for this year.

The process is to nominate a book will again be easy, says Poch.  An online nomination form asks the nominator to include about the book they favor and how it could be widely used across disciplines as the common reading.

Previous common reading books include:

  • “Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus That Caused It,” by Gina Kolata.  In fall 2007, it was the first common reading book.
  • “Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers,” by Mary Roach, was the second, used in fall 2008.
  • “Omnivore’s Dilemma: A History of Four Meals,” by Michael Pollan, was the third in 2009-2010, but the first to be used in both fall and spring semesters.

Each author visited campus.  A former faculty member, Alfred Crosby, a historian, also visited campus in 2007 to present on the 1917 flu pandemic.

For more information, visit

CONTACT: Beverly Makhani, Communications Director, WSU University College, 509-335-6679,

Susan Poch, Co-Director, WSU Common Reading Program, and Associate Dean, WSU University College, 509-335-7769,