Do you want to know a secret?

Join the campus community for some spring fun  and games as we reveal the title of the book selected by the UTC First Year Reading Experience (FYRE) committee on Monday, April 2, noon, University Center Gallery (off Lansing Court).  There will be cake!

For the second year, the FYRE program will provide UTC students with a common experience and platform for discussion and community-building, according to Dr. Sara Jorgensen,
Assistant Professor, African and World History, who serves as chair of the FYRE committee.

“We’re going to introduce the book at orientation and ask our new students to discuss it as a way of starting to build common ground.  We also have plans to bring the author to campus, and hope to do some other events as well.  The program will get better with increased participation from throughout the campus community because each time it’s used in a class, each time there’s a social, academic, or community-service undertaking related to the book, the message of common ground and common focus is reinforced,” Jorgensen explained.

During the current academic year, the campus read The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind:  Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope.  Author William Kamkwamba came to campus and made several inspiring presentations.

For the 2012-13 academic year, 50 book suggestions with many different subjects and authorial approaches were submitted by the UTC campus community.  The FYRE committee considered whether the book would appeal to a wide range of interests, experiences, and disciplinary perspectives—a read the entire campus could enjoy.  Jorgensen said the committee wanted a book that suggested different ways the UTC community could play with it and learn from it, and she assures this book will have people brainstorming.

“We also wanted to make sure that the book would be engaging and fun to read.  FYRE is one of the first experiences our incoming students will have with academic reading at UTC, so we want the book to increase their enthusiasm for college life,” Jorgensen said.

FYRE is lighting the candle of knowledge with a powerful message.

“If new students see, hear and experience the book and the issues it raises being addressed from many different perspectives, that’s a very strong indicator of how a university at its best can work—as an interdisciplinary place where people with many kinds of expertise can engage with one another, challenge one another, and collaborate on tackling big questions,” Jorgensen said.

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