Fall Freshmen at the University of New Orleans Enjoy "Summer Read"
More than 1,000 incoming freshmen at the University of New Orleans are engaging in a "Summer Read" program designed by First Year Experience to help strengthen student bonds and advance student success.
"It's another shared experience," said Christy Heaton, associate director for orientation and first year success at UNO.
All incoming fall freshmen are reading This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women, edited by Jay Allison and Dan Geddiman in conjunction with National Public Radio.
Based on the NPR series of the same name, This I Believe features essays by 80 Americans, ranging from the world famous to the man on the street. Each writer explores how he or she has arrived at his or her own personal beliefs – and in the process provokes thoughts for the reader.
Contributors include: writer Isabel Allende, retired U.S. Army General Colin Powell, feminist and author Gloria Steinem, author and political commentator William F. Buckley Jr., Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates and writer John Updike. Also included in the collection are essays by a lawyer; a part-time hospital clerk; a woman who sells yellow pages advertising and a man who serves on Rhode Island's parole board.
Fall freshmen will read the same book for discussion purposes in University Success 1001, a one-credit class in which all first-year students participate, said UNO student success counselor Nicole Ralston. The book will also serve as a starting point for essay-writing in the Freshman Writing Program or English 1157, another required course for freshmen.
Students will engage in book club meetings, hear from outside speakers and discuss shared and personal values in UNIV 1001, said Heaton.
The new students "will also hopefully be building relationships with faculty, with upperclassmen," as they explore personal and shared values through discussion and essay-writing, said Ralston.
Those interested may submit their own personal essays to the This, I Believe website, where more than 100,000 essays, written by people from all walks of life, are archived. The project is based on the popular 1950s radio project with a similar name spearheaded by journalist Edward R. Murrow.