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 2017-18 Text Selection

"Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race" by Margot Lee Shetterly

This year’s reader is an historical account that excavates the vital role that women scientists of color played at NASA, as they blazed trails and contributed crucial research throughout the 20th century. UHCL’s Common Reader Program expects increased participation by those in the UHCL community who are interested in STEM fields and collaborating with community partners in technology and sciences, like NASA.

If you have any questions, please contact the program director, Dr. Wanalee Romero at

  • Spring 2017 Calendar of Events
  • Saturday, September 9, 7 p.m.

    Hidden Figures film screening (Film & Speaker Series event in collaboration with Student Life) Speaker: Dr. Estelle Hernández-Gillette, NASA retiree and UHCL Alumnus

  • Friday, October 27, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., Garden Room

    Mentoring Mingle

    UHCL’s Common Reader Program focuses on the dearth of women and other minorities in STEM fields. But we also aim to facilitate mentoring relationships for all of our students who are underrepresented minorities in their chosen field. Shetterly’s book makes it clear how especially important such relationships are for underrepresented minorities as they attain their educational and professional goals.

    We will begin with a panel of potential mentors talking about their experiences as a minority in their field. Then there will be a “mingle” time when potential mentees and mentors can meet each other, chat and have some refreshments. We will then reconvene and interested students can fill out forms about their interest in moving forward.

  • January Event

    January is National Mentoring Month. This event will be a mentor connection day with coffee and donuts during Welcome Week in coordination with ONSP and SLICE.

  • February Event

    In honor of Black History Month, the event will be centered on activism with community and student activists. Event will be collaborating with SDEI, SLICE and BSA.

  • March Event

    In honor of Women’s History Month, the event will be centered on women in STEM fields. Event will be collaborating with WGST, WSSA, SDEI and SLICE.

Special Accommodations

Any person needing an accommodation for a disability in order to participate should contact Wanalee Romero at 281-281-3423 or at least one week prior to the event to arrange for the accommodation.