Panel with Author Colin Beavan

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Common Reading Experience?
Why should I participate?
How will the book be used?
Is participation required?
How do I get a copy of the book?
What if I need an alternate format due to a disability?
I am a new student at UNCW. What should I do before I arrive on campus?
How is the book selected?
How can I recommend a book?
How can I learn more about the book and/or author?
How can I get more information about the program and/or the book?

What is the Common Reading Experience?

Synergy, UNCW's Common Reading Experience is a campus-wide, freshman-focused reading program. Students, faculty, and staff read the same book and participate in discussions and activities in the classroom and on-campus. Synergy supports the university's mission of integrating teaching, research, service, stimulation of intellectual curiosity, imagination, critical thinking, and thoughtful expression. The program supports Goal One of the the Strategic Plan: Create the most powerful learning experience possible for our students.

Why should I participate?

The Common Reading Experience provides:

How will the text be used?

During the fall, the book is a required text in First Year Seminar and various courses as determined by faculty. There will be events including films and performances, a lecture series, discussion groups, and much more. See Synergy's upcoming event schedule for more details!

Is participation required?

First Year Seminar, a University Studies requirement, is the main class that the book will be incorporated into the curriculum. Other faculty in various disciplines may require the book in their courses. Any events hosted on-campus are optional.

How do I get a copy of the book?

Freshmen will receive complimentary copies at June Orientations to read before the fall. Students attending the August Orientation will receive books during Orientation. A limited number of complimentary books will be available for other students at Common Reading events. Copies are also available for purchase at the UNCW bookstore and at your local bookstore. Copies are available for loan at Randall Library.

What if I need an alternate format due to a disability?

Contact Peggy Turner, Disability Resource Center, at (910) 962-7555 and provided required documentation. No alternate format copies will be provided without proper documentation.

What should I do before I arrive on campus?

There is no formal assignment to bring with you in August. However, as you read, think deeply about the issues and themes in the novel, reflect on your thoughts about and personal connections to the novel, and prepare to discuss the novel with other students and faculty.

How is the book selected?

Recommendations are solicited year-round from faculty, staff, students, and administration. Recommendations are reviewed by the Synergy Committee, made up of UNCW faculty, staff, and students, and once the book list is narrowed down, several student readers read the finalists. Books are evaluated and reviewed based on the Synergy selection criteria.

How can I recommend a book?

Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to submit recommendations for future selections. Submit an online recommendation.

How can I learn more about the book and/or author?

Read more about the book and/or the author. Visit online resources. Review the publisher's Reading Guide.

How can I get more information about the program and/or the book?

If you need more information than what is available on our website, please contact Gina Garera at (910) 962-3921 or by email, garerag@uncw.edu.


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