Posted: 6/10/21

TAMIU’s Incoming First-Year Students Encouraged to Begin Summer Reading


The cover of the common read

As the sweltering summer temperatures begin to rise, what better way to spend the day avoiding the heat and staying indoors with a good book? 

Incoming, first-year Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) students are encouraged to take time this summer to complete their reading of this year’s Common Read, “Failing Up: A Professor’s Odyssey of Flunking, Determination, and Hope.”

Written by TAMIU University College dean Dr. Barbara Hong, the Common Read tells the story of Hong’s journey toward attending an Ivy League university and becoming a renowned university professor. 

Throughout her journey, Hong faces overwhelming challenges, but ultimately builds the determination to overcome the fear and abuse rendered to her by her parents. Instead of “falling apart,” Hong learns to embrace failure as a means to discover who she is and what she’s made of… often thanks to the aid of a few caring friends and teachers.

Hong received a Doctorate in Special Education from Columbia University, in addition to three master’s degrees in Instructional Practices, Policy, and Leadership, and as a Learning Specialist from the same institution. 

A three-time recipient of the prestigious Senior Fulbright Scholar award, Hong has served as a professor for more than 16 years.

She was appointed by the U.S. State Department - Bureau of International and Information Programs as a Speaker Specialist and expert on disability, where she consults with governmental agencies across the world. 

Hong's research examines the cognitive science of teaching and learning, particularly for students with disabilities, as well as the development of self-determination through the ethics of caring.  

As students begin their reading, they are encouraged to reflect on several questions throughout their reading. For a list of these Summer Reading Guidelines, visit https://www.tamiu.edu/uc/map/commonread.shtml

Since 2008, the Common Read program has enabled all first-year students to engage in a selected book with an international focus through their Fall University Seminar. 

Spearheaded through University College, the initiative aims at engaging students, faculty, staff members, as well as members of the surrounding community in a collective reading experience. 

Proceeds from the book’s sale will benefit a scholarship that will support enrolled University students.

Additional information on University College and the Common Read initiative is available at https://www.tamiu.edu/uc/.

TAMIU Summer and Fall 2021 Registration is underway. For detailed registration information, visit: https://go.tamiu.edu/registration21.

TAMIU’s Fall 2021 plans are focused on a return to a full and vibrant on-campus experience for all students, faculty, and staff at the 300-acre northeast Laredo campus.