October 2, 2023

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

Join the Discussion – Become a 2019 Common Read Facilitator

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover.

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover.

The UMW Common Read is one of the first experiences for incoming first-year students to interact with members of the greater UMW Community. The Common Read is both an academic and social experience where incoming students have the opportunity to engage critically with each other, returning students, faculty, staff and community members. The 2019-2020 Common Read is Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover. This book features a young woman who leaves all she knows in search of an education and how her identity is shaped by her own decisions and the actions of her family.

Please join the Common Read discussion with our incoming students on Friday, Aug. 23, at 9 a.m. First-year students will kick off their academic experiences in FSEM sections along with one or two community members. Question prompts and additional information will be provided in advance to help guide discussion. We hope that you will help shape the discussion as we welcome the 2019-2020 incoming students to UMW.

If you would like to volunteer to guide a discussion group as a co-facilitator, please indicate your interest and need for a copy of the book. Please let us know if you have any questions.

If the hyperlink above does not work please copy this address into your browser to volunteer: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfLemkstAR_HgZNFk53FACV6AmXaZhH4S84SXLMhIQbItjaHw/viewform.

For more information, contact April Wynn, Faculty Director of the First-Year Experience, at awynn@umw.edu.