•  Common Reading Websites

  • In 2000, LaGuardia added the “common reading” to the First Year Experience program. The goals of having a common reading, a practice used by many colleges and universities, are to establish a greater sense of community among students and to provide an introduction to intellectual life at the college. To help students through the reading, and to provide a faculty forum for sharing ideas and activities, LaGuardia faculty developed websites including instructional materials, suggestions for activities, reading guides, and more.

    The common reading website content is designed by a different faculty member or faculty team each year. Faculty site creators include: Jane Selden and Mary Fjeldstad (Having Our Say), J. Elizabeth Clark and Arthur Lau (When I Was Puerto Rican), Jane Holzka (West of Kabul, East of New York), Will Koolsbergen (The Laramie Project), Evelyn Burg and Patti Juza (Maus), George McCormack (Nickle and Dimed), Ximena Gallardo (An Inconvenient Truth), Stafford Gregoire (A Lesson Before Dying), Susan Bernstein and Ros Orgel (Dreams from My Father), and Janet Michello and Alex De Laszlo (Fast Food Nation). We are grateful to the many faculty from a wide variety of disciplines who have contributed materials they've developed and shared each year for using the Common Reading as a means to engage students.

    LaGuardia's Library faculty, including Steve Ovadia, Alexandra Rojas, Catherine Stern, Marie Spina, Alex de Laslo, Louise Fluk, Albert Neal, and Ann Maatsuuchi have played a crucial role in helping to research, develop and vet materials for the Common Reading sites. 

    Center staff have collaborated closely with faculty on the content and technical aspects of each site. Ali Abdallah, Pedagogy and Technology Associate Manager, has been the Center's lead designer for the majority of the Common Reading sites. The An Inconvenient Truth was designed by Priscilla Stadler with assistance from Ali Abdallah, and the When I Was Puerto Rican site was designed by Abby Schoneboom.