The Common Reader Experience

The Common Reader is a program that requires all first-year students to read the same book prior to arriving to classes in the fall. The purpose of this program is to integrate you into the University learning community as early as possible. A shared learning experience is possible when students read a common text regardless of their major area of study. A common reading allows various experiences, reactions, and perspectives to be exchanged and discussed. All first-year students are expected to read the assigned book before arriving for fall classes.

This Year’s Common Reader

“The Promise and Peril of Personalized Medicine”, Inspired by Francis Collins’ book The Language of Life: DNA and the Revolution in Personalized Medicine, the 2014 mini-conference will provide a platform for increasing awareness about the roles that genetics and personal responsibility play in our health and well-being. Dr. Collins’ book provides a multi-faceted account of the basis of illness, family history and heredity that impact everyone. Topics of the mini-conference will include the newly enacted Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the challenges to promoting equal access to healthcare, the implementation of personalized medicine approaches, as well as what we as global citizens can do to improve our own health outlook and that of others. The goal is to empower today's youth, promote a spirit of collaborative effort regarding healthcare decisions, and look ahead to the future where disease and suffering can be effectively prevented, or, at the very least, mitigated. Dr. Carla Easter, Deputy Chief of the Education and Community Involvement Branch of the National Human Genome Research Institute will serve as the keynote speaker.

More about this year's Common Reader

Past Common Readers

In the fall of 2011, Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to save Civilization by Lester R. Brownwas the book of choice for the General Education Curriculum Committee. The book was selected to help students understand the personal and commitments necessary to address social problems and to accept responsibility for developing communities based on care and concern for others.

In the fall of 2010, the common reader chosen was Soul of a Citizen: Living with Conviction in Challenging Times by Paul Roogat Loeb. The focal point of learning for students through this book was to understand the importance and power of engaged citizenship through stories about social activism, community organization, and advocacy.

In the fall of 2009, the award-winning book, The End of Poverty, by Jeffrey D. Sachs was chosen for Barry University’s students. The author explains the impacts of globalization and modern economic development. The book was chosen to help students understand the personal and social commitments necessary to alleviate poverty through well-researched facts and touching personal stories.