Common Reader

About the Program

UHCL’s Common Reader Program is an extension of the First-Year Seminar course. 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.

As citizens of the Clear Lake area, we believe that UHCL's educational reach goes beyond entrances of the campus proper. We hope that 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:

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

Academic Year 2018-2019 Text Selection

"Callings: The Purpose and Passion of Work" by Dave Isay

This year’s reader chronicles some of the many stories collected by Dave Isay, founder of StoryCorps.  It features public radio documentaries of people who found and embraced their vocations.

If you have any questions, please contact the program director, Dr. Anne Gessler, at

  • Fall 2018 Schedule of Events
  • Monday, September 17

    Find Your Calling panel discussion
    In collaboration with UHCL Career Services
    11 a.m. - 1 p.m., Garden Room

  • Wednesday, October 3

    Speed Callings
    In collaboration with the UHCL Alumni Association
    3-5 p.m., Garden Room

  • Tuesday, November 6

    Hawk Stories Oral History Day
    In collaboration with Dr. Christal Seahorn, Writing Program
    10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Garden Room

Special Accommodations

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