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Students Engage in Cross Cultural Penn State Reads Discussion

From the fall 2013 issue of Overview, from the Office of the Vice Provost for Educational Equity

Group of Penn State students

Students from instructor/diversity analyst Annyce Schafft's Language and Literacy Education (LLED) 10 class and students from the Intensive English Communication Program (IECP) came together in the University Office of Global Programs lounge on November 19 to discuss the first Penn State Reads text, "Beautiful Souls." The "bistro style" set up matched pairs of students from each class who followed "getting to know you" conversations with a large group discussion of the book, including some background about author Eyal Press, and a review of vocabulary words in the chapter (test yourself! Can you define avuncular, quotidian, temerity, specious?) followed by larger questions regarding the ethics of the financial industry and the pros and cons of whistleblowing.

The second half of the class consisted of small group discussion. IECP students had worked hard to prepare stories of courage to share with their American peers. In turn, LLED students practiced their finely honed academic discussion skills, listening attentively, asking thoughtful questions, and sharing their own stories and observations in turn.

Americanah book cover

'Americanah' chosen as 2014 Penn State Reads common text

The Penn State Reads program, a collaborative initiative for first-year students at University Park and other campuses that choose to participate, is pleased to announce that “Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie will be the common book for the 2014 incoming class. The book is listed on The New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2013.


Speaking Truth: The Death of Socrates, The Life of Philosophy

Monday, March 24, 2014, 7:00 p.m., Foster Auditorium

Like many of the stories in Eyal Press's "Beautiful Souls," the story of Philosophy begins with a powerful act of resistance. Socrates, under intense pressure from the Athenian citizens who accused him of impiety and corrupting the youth, refused to give up his way of life: the practice of philosophy. Instead, he advocated for and embodied a life oriented toward justice and dedicated to the pursuit of truth.

#PSUReads with Twitter bird logo

In this interactive lecture, Associate Dean and Professor Chris Long will use Twitter (#PSUReads) to engage students in a conversation about Socrates, philosophy, and how reading itself can cultivate in us ethical powers of imagination capable of transforming our relationships with one another.

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