Summer Reading Program

Summer Reading Program

All incoming students at Penn State New Kensington participate in the First Year Summer Reading Program. Students are given a free copy of the book at New Student Orientation (NSO), then asked to read it over the summer and come prepared to discuss it during New Student Days (NSD) on August 15 and August 16.  In addition to these book discussions, there is a colloquium event related to the book during the Fall semester.

The goals of the annual First Year Summer Reading Program are to:

  • encourage you to read and think critically. 
  • give you a taste of what skills will be required of you in college.
  • provide a shared experience for new students on the campus.
  • enhance a sense of community between students, faculty, and staff by giving us something in common to discuss.

The 2018 book selection is:

Callings: The Purpose and Passion of Work

In Callings, StoryCorps founder Dave Isay explores how different people found their calling or their career by presenting unforgettable stories from people doing what they love. Some found their paths at a very young age, others later in life; some overcame great odds or upturned their lives in order to pursue what matters to them. Many of their stories have never been broadcast or published until now.  

What do you need to do?

  • Read the book prior to NSD (August 15th, 2018).
  • Be prepared to talk about the book and its key points.

Past reading selections include:

  • Weaponized Lies: How to Think Critically in the Post-Truth Era by Daniel J. Levitin (2017)
  • Flight 93: The Story, the Aftermath, and the Legacy of American Courage on 9/11 by Tom McMillan (2016)
  • The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World by Russell Gold (2015) (A Penn State Reads selection)
  • This I Believe, Life Lessons by Dan Gediman (2014)
  • Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (2013)
  • Round Ireland with a Fridge by Tony Hawks (2012)
  • My Maasai Life: From Suburbia to Savannah by Robin Wiszowaty  (2011)
  • Make the Impossible Possible by Bill Strickland  (2010)
  • The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch  (2009)
  • Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi  (2008)
  • Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie (2007)
  • Strapped: Why America’s 20- and 30-Somethings Can’t Get Ahead by Tamara Draut (2006)
  • Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich (2005)

Future reading selections:

Have a suggestion for a future reading selection that you want to share with us?  Nominate a book for our next First Year Summer Reading Program!