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Common Reader

About the Program

UHCL's Common Reader Program is an extension of the First-Year Seminar Program. The program, which began in fall 2014, aims to foster critical thinking and discussion around important social concepts such as race, gender, class, and citizenship. A committee of students, staff, and faculty from all four colleges select the text that is studied throughout the academic year and plan events inspired by it.

As citizens of the Clear Lake area, we believe UHCL's educational reach goes beyond entrances of the campus proper. We hope community members will gain a true feeling of being a part of a vibrant intellectual conversation with their UHCL community members.

UHCL Common Reader Program Learning Objectives:

  • To strengthen the academic community and creating opportunities for intellectual engagement and critical thinking;
  • To encourage depth in learning through carefully selected common readings that pose multiple or differing perspectives and questions;
  • To establish a stimulating environment that is both informal and structured, setting a tone for engagement among our faculty, staff, students, and community

The Big Reveal of the 2022 Reader Selection

Houston City Council Member Abbie Kamin for District C announces the 2022-2023 Common Reader Program. Check out the Common Reader Program's 2022-2023 Events at Facebook: @UHCLRP, Twitter: @UHCLVoices, Instagram: @UHCLCommonReader

Academic Year 2022-23 Reader Selection

"What the Eyes Don't See" by Mona Hanna-Attisha

Join the Common Reader Program this year in reading Mona Hanna-Attisha's "What the Eyes Don't See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City" (2018). Hanna-Attisha tells the inside story of the Flint water crisis as a doctor on the front lines. The author and pediatrician unravels the mystery teaming up with parents, researchers, and community organizers to fight for safe drinking water. Among the topics the book explores are public health, economic class, environmental racism,  and activism.

Contact the planning committee chair, Dr. Anne Gessler, at, for more information.

 Book cover of What the Eyes Don't See by Mona Hanna-Attisha

Special Accommodations

Any person needing an accommodation for a disability in order to participate should contact Dr. Anne Gessler at 281-283-3471 or at least one week prior to the event to arrange for the accommodation.