Mission: The Texas A&M International University Common Read Program, known as Reading the Globe, is a University-wide initiative spearheaded by University College which unites students in an international and global reading experience reflective of TAMIU’s mission.
Since 2008, the Reading the Globe program, has had all First Year students read a book focused on an international topic. This book is read and discussed as part of the UNIV 1101 freshman seminar curriculum, Learning in a Global Environment I. The Common Read Program provides an opportunity for discourse about student-relevant issues and raises social awareness on a local and global scale.
Faculty and staff also participate in the Common Read, fostering and strengthening the growth of an intellectual University community and supporting students’ academic development. The Common Read Program develops an “Understanding of Society and Culture,” one of TAMIU’s Undergraduate Learning Principles.
Program highlights for Reading the Globe include:
Reading the Globe Speaker Event: Each Fall semester, the author of the Common Read comes to TAMIU and speaks to the freshman class. This occurs on a Friday in October, once students have finished reading and discussing the book in UNIV 1101.
Author/TAMIU Faculty Panel Discussion: Honor students and students in the freshman and sophomore leadership program attend and discuss international issues related to the book.
Laredo’s One City, One Book Speaker Series: TAMIU partners with the City of Laredo’s Public Library through a Texas Humanities for the Arts grant. The author speaks at the One City, One Book Speaker Event, which is open to the Laredo community the following Saturday. This is just one example of TAMIU’s international leadership role and commitment to the community it serves.
Reading the Globe Study Abroad Competition: As part of the UNIV 1101 curriculum, students write an essay on a topic related to the Common Read. Those who wish may choose to submit their essay to compete for a two-week Study Abroad experience (all expenses paid) to the country connected to book. A select number of students are selected, who will travel abroad during Christmas or spring break under the direction of University College and the Office of Student Affairs. Two to three faculty, at least one from University College, accompany the students. This experience supports faculty in their international research interests while offering freshmen opportunities to learn from experts in the field in an informal setting. These students become TAMIU’s Reading the Globe Ambassadors.
Cultural Awareness Day: Organized by University College, this one-day conference event held each fall since 2011 features TAMIU faculty and community speakers knowledgeable about the country or culture related to the Common Read. UNIV students and some high school student guests attend.
Freshman Convocation: Held in September at the Fine and Performing Arts Recital Hall, Reading the Globe Ambassadors, now sophomores, share their international travel experience to incoming freshmen. All TAMIU faculty also attend this major freshmen event highlighting the University’s international mission and encouraging TAMIU students to engage in an international activity.
University-wide Common Read: The President’s Office purchases over 300 copies of the Common Read each Fall. These books are distributed to faculty and staff free of charge and electronic copies of the book are available through the Killam Library. This encourages faculty teaching traditional First Year courses to make connections in class to the Common Read, knowing that approximately 1000 freshmen have read the same book. Staff are eager recipients of these books as well, providing a strong statement about TAMIU’s commitment to internationalizing not only its students, but the TAMIU community at large.
Book Selection Committee:
Mr. Jose Gutierrez—Instructor; University College
Dr. Conchita Hickey—Dean Emerita and Senior Lecturer; University College
Dr. Hayley Kazen—Assistant Professional; University College
Dr. Kevin Lindberg—Associate Provost
Ms. Virginia Watkins Grayson—Instructor; University College
Dr. Claudia San Miguel—Dean; College of Arts and Sciences
Dr. Deborah Scaggs—Associate Professional; Department of Humanities
Ms. Maria Soliz—Library Director; Laredo Public Library
RTG Student Ambassador*
*Former RTG student ambassador selected by the Director of Reading the Globe and the TAMIU RTG faculty. Student will be chosen from the group that traveled two years before.