Since 2010, Missouri State has selected a Common Reader annually. In addition to being promoted as a shared read for the university, the book has been embedded into the course work for the university’s first-year seminar course (GEP 101).
But in 2022, you’ll notice some changes. The changes are designed to spark more discussion and get more of the university and Springfield community engaged in this shared experience.
“The power of reading, especially shared reading opportunities, builds community,” said Dr. Keri Franklin, associate provost for public affairs and assessment.
The Common Reader for the 2021-22 year is “The Code: The Power of ‘I Will” by Shaun Tomson.
In addition to the book, the expanded Common Reader Project includes a speaker for the Public Affairs Winter Convocation.
We hope you will mark your calendars to attend Tomson’s presentation at 3:30 p.m. April 6, in PSU Theater.
About the book
At its heart, “The Code: The Power of ‘I Will’” is a book of short stories that take readers on a journey toward their own goals.
As part of the expanded Common Reader Project, readers will be encouraged to develop their own mantra or ‘code.’
“Writing your 12-line code is a powerful motivator and guide,” Franklin said. “For this year’s shared reading, the goal will be that students, faculty and staff find inspiration, aspiration and an action plan through reading Shaun’s powerful story and through writing our code.”
About the changes
After a review of the GEP 101 curriculum and a change from a 16-week course to an 8-week blended course, the First-Year Programs Advisory Council decided to take the Common Reader out of the curriculum.
After a review by the faculty committee, it was decided that a rebranding needed to take place to engage the entire university in the Common Reader Project and that the Common Reader no longer be required in the course.
The Common Reader committee was part of the First Year Programs group. Due to the curricular change, Franklin will oversee The Common Reader Project in close collaboration with university partners and advisors.
“The Common Reader Project and this shared act of reading is another way we enact Missouri State’s public affairs mission,” added Franklin.
Future Common Readers
In the coming months, the division of public affairs and assessment will form an interdisciplinary advisory team of campus leaders — faculty, staff and students — to plan for the 2023 Common Reader Project. This group will provide input on the selection, programming and the Public Affairs Winter Convocation.