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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 2024 Common Reader Selection

Take My Hand Facebook Cover
UHCL Assistant Director of the Accessibility Support Center Ciara Evans announces the 2023-2024 Common Reader Program. Check out the Common Reader Program's 2023-2024 Events at Facebook: @UHCLRP, Twitter: @UHCLVoices, Instagram: @UHCLCommonReader

Academic Year 2024-2025 Common Reader Selection

Take My Hand by Dolen Perkins-Valedez

Dolen Perkins-Valdez’s work of historical fiction, Take My Hand, will be of interest to many different disciplines, such as history, medical ethics, nursing, philosophy, science and technology, and social work. Join us next year for another round of programming as we explore major themes of the book, as well as its implications for the UHCL community. Events will include a Maker Faire and civic engagement workshop, VR experiences showcasing artists with disabilities, and deliberative dialogues on medical ethics!

 Book cover of Take My Hand

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

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.