December 4, 2020

Common Read: Continue the Discussion!

Keynote will be at 7:00 pm on Sept. 26 in the Digital Auditorium

To the campus community:

This year’s Common Read, Educated – A Memoir by Tara Westover, provided a great start to the academic year. Sonja Ardoin, a scholar-practioner and author whose educational journey has been from first-generation college student to Ph.D., will keep the discussion going when she appears on campus next week.

The public is invited to a keynote address by Dr. Ardoin on Thursday, September 26, at 7 p.m. in the Hurley Convergence Center Digital Auditorium. In her talk talk – titled The Relationship Between Rurality, Social Class Identity, and College Access and Affordability — she will share insights from rural students and their high school counselors about the links between rurality, social class, and first-generation college student status. Strategies on how to reduce barriers will also be offered.

In addition, Dr. Ardoin will present two workshops and hold a drop-in luncheon discussion for students. The lunch will be Friday, September 27, from 11:30 to 1:30 a.m. (come and go) in the UC Magnolia Room.

The workshops, which are open to UMW faculty and staff, will take place in Lee Hall 412.

Thursday, September 26, from 3:30 to 4:45 p.m.

Setting a First-Gen Foundation: Preparing Our Classrooms and Curriculum to Welcome Learners New to Higher Education Systems

This session will explore how to prepare learning environments and curricular content with first-generation college students in mind. Educators are encouraged to bring syllabi and/or computers with them.

Friday, September 27, from 9:30 to 11 a.m.

How Can Your Campus Become More First-Generation College Student Ready?

This session will offer a five-step process for welcoming first-generation college students and supporting them to graduation. Attendees will explore the complexity of defining first generation college students, the systemic barriers that exist for this population, and ideas for implementing support structures.

Thank you,

April Wynn
Faculty Director of the First Year Experience

Thank You to the Co-Facilitators of the Common Read 2019!

Book cover of Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

The Common Read Committee would like to extend a big thank you to this year’s Common Read discussion facilitators! The Common Read couldn’t have happened without your time, effort, and willingness to engage over 900 incoming Eagles! Sixty-four freshman seminar sections discussed Tara Westover’s Educated: A Memoir, facilitated by approximately 140 upper-class students, faculty, staff, and members of the UMW community. As the first academic experience, first-year students had a voice in the discussion of themes in the book, including family, class, gender expression, and education (of course!). We are deeply grateful to everyone who made this a successful campus-wide discussion!