Rachel Eastman ‘17

Major: Biology
Hometown:North Canton, OH

My favorite place at Mount Union is the Huston-Brumbaugh Nature Center. Many students do not realize that Mount has its own nature preserve, but it does!

Common Reading Program for First Year Students

The common reading committee and the Integrative Core Advisory Board are pleased to announce Mount Union’s 201 Common Reading book, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie.

“When it was first published in 1993, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven established Sherman Alexie as a stunning new talent of American letters. The basis for the award-winning movie Smoke Signals, it remains one of his most beloved and widely praised books. 
Sherman Alexie’s critically celebrated first collection, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven established its author as one of America’s most important and provocative voices. Vividly weaving memory, fantasy, and stark reality to paint a portrait of life in and around the Spokane Indian reservation, this book introduces some of Alexie’s most beloved characters who inhabit his distinctive landscape. There is Thomas Builds-the-Fire, the storyteller who no one seems to listen to, and his compatriot—and sometimes not-so-great friend—Victor, the basketball hero who turned into a recovering alcoholic. Now with two new stories and an introduction from Alexie, these twenty-four interlinked tales are narrated by characters raised on humiliation and government-issue cheese, and yet filled with passion and affection, myth and charm. Against a backdrop of alcohol, car accidents, laughter, and basketball, Alexie depicts the distances between Indians and whites, reservation Indians and urban Indians, men and women, and most poetically, modern Indians and the traditions of the past.”

For more information, including the above book description, visit the publishers' web site at http://www.groveatlantic.com/#page=isbn9780802121998%20.

What is a Common Reading Program?
The Common Reading Program encourages members of the university community to read the same book – aka the Summer Book – and come together in a variety of campus community sessions throughout the academic year to explore its issues, questions and themes.

The book selected is a required reading for all incoming first year students.  It is used in orientation, Exceptional Beginnings programming, a variety of residence hall activities, as well as, co-curricular activities associated with the Integrative Core, Mount Union’s exceptional liberal education curriculum.  Student engagement with the Summer Book provides not only an introduction to the UMU intellectual community but also to the five essential learning outcomes – written and oral communication, reflective thinking, critical thinking, complex problem solving – infused across the core.  The highlight of the program is an annual First Year Student Essay contest; winning essays are published in The Agora – the student run literary & arts magazine published each fall -- and go on to compete in the East Ohio English Consortium’s annual First Year Essay Contest.

The Common Reading Program is intended to build intellectual, social and co-curricular community among the students, faculty, and, staff of the University of Mount Union through a shared experience of reading, reflection and discussion of challenging ideas and questions that raise important social and cultural issues. 

Our goals are:

  • To introduce students entering the University of Mount Union to academic life and liberal education through an intellectually challenging experience;
  • To provide all members of the University of Mount Union – students, faculty, staff --  with an opportunity to learn from one another through their responses to and engagement with a common reading;
  • To introduce and reinforce an experience of “seamless learning” linking curricular and co-curricular, personalized and social learning,  ubiquitous knowledge access, and knowledge synthesis in pursuit of the university’s mission “to prepare students for fulfilling lives, meaningful work, and responsible citizenship.”

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