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 and plan events inspired by the it.

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 committee chair, Dr. Anne Gessler, at

  • Spring 2019 Schedule of Events
  • February 13

    Find Your Calling panel discussion
    In collaboration with Creative Writing, UHCL Career Services, and the Alumni Association

    3 - 4:30 p.m., Science Building 1203

  • March 9 and March 30 

    Ruth Bader Ginsberg Film Festival

    RBG Documentary (March 9)

    On the Basis of Sex (March 30)

    In collaboration with the Film & Speaker Series, Criminology, WGST, SDEI, and WSSA

    7 p.m., SSCB Lecture Hall

  • March 28 and April 4

    Life Writing Workshop (March 28)

    Open Mic (April 4)

    In collaboration with the Writing Center and Creative Writing
    12 p.m. - 12:45 p.m., Writing Center (SSCB)

  • April 18

    The Big Reveal (next year's reader announcement), Hawk's Overlook, Neumann Library, 4-5:30 p.m.

    Poster Session of Hawk Stories Fall 2018 Outcomes April 18

    In collaboration with Student Research & Creative Arts Conference, Office of Orientation and New Student Programming, Dr. Christal Seahorn, Student Government Association, Neumann Library, and NASA Johnson Space Center

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.