2008-2009 Lunch Hour Reading/Discussion Club

Spring 2009

Hot, Flat & Crowded

Why We Need A Green Revolution & How It Can Change America

(Thomas L. Friedman)

Hot, Flat & Crowded

Hot, Flat & Crowded

Friedman takes a fresh and provocative look at two of the problems we face today: America's surprising loss of focus and national purpose since 9/11; and the global environmental crisis, which is affecting everything from food to fuel to forests. He explains how global warming, rapidly growing populations, and the astonishing expansion of the world's middle class through globalization have produced a planet that is "hot, flat, and crowded." He shows us how these problems are linked - how we can restore the world and revive America at the same time - arguing that the green revolution we need is like no revolution the world has ever seen.


Facilitator: Praveen Parboteeah (Management Department) and Alvaro Taveira (Occupational & Environmental Safety & Health Department)

Sessions Scheduled: Six Wednesdays from 12:00pm - 1:00pm. 28 January, 11 & 25 February; 11 March; 1 & 15 April.

Room: TBA

Train Your Mind: Change Your Brain

How A New Science Reveals Our Extraordinary Potential To Transform Ourselves

(Sharon Begley)

Train Your Mind: Change Your Brain book cover

Train Your Mind: Change Your Brain

In this fascinating and far-reaching book, Newsweek science writer Sharon Begley reports on how cutting-edge science and the ancient wisdom of Buddhism have come together to reveal that, contrary to popular beliefe, we have the power to literally change our brains by chaninging our minds. Recent pionerring experiments in neuroplasticity - the ability of the brain to change in response to experience - reveal that the brain is capable of altering its structure and function. Begley explores this shift in our understanding of the brain and its implications for what it means to be human.


Facilitator: Marjorie Rhine (Langues & Literature Department)

Sessions Scheduled: Six Mondays from 12:00pm - 1:00pm. 2 & 16 February; 2, 16, & 30 March; 13 April.

Room: TBA

Fall 2008

A History of American Higher Education

(John Thelin, 2004, John Hopkins University Press)

History of American Higher Education book cover

History of American Higher Education

A History of American Education offers a wide-ranging, engaging account of the origins and evolution of America’s public and private colleges and universities. Emphasizing the notion of saga—the proposition that institutions are heirs to numerous historical strands—Thelin's lively history offers a much-needed challenge to conventional wisdom about how these institutions developed and functioned in the past. It's an informative and entertaining read for anyone in higher education. The parallels between past and present are fascinating and will be a focal point of the discussion.


Participants are encouraged to bring a lunch. Snack and beverages provided.


Facilitator: John Stone, Dean, School of Graduate Studies and Continuing Education; and Greg Valde, Director, LEARN Center.

Sessions Scheduled: in UC TBA from 12:30p to 1:30p on the following six Thursdays: 11 & 25 September, 9 & 23 October, and 6 & 20 November.

Encouraging Authenticity & Spirituality in Higher Education

(Arthur W. Chickering, et al., 2006, Jossey-Bass)

Encouraging Authenticity & Spirituality in Higher Education book cover

This groundbreaking book provides a comprehensive resource that addresses the growing movement for incorporating spirituality as an important aspect of the meaning and purpose of higher education. The text includes a rich array of examples to guide the integration of authenticity and spirituality in curriculum, student affairs, community partnerships assessment, and policy issues. There’s plenty to discuss here.


Participants are encouraged to bring a lunch. Snack and beverages provided.


Facilitator: Robert Gruber, Chair, Accounting Department

Sessions Scheduled: in UC TBA from 12:30p to 1:30p on the following six Thursdays: 18 September, 2, 16 & 30 October, 13 November, and 4 December.

How to Talk About Hot Topics on Campus

(Robert Nash, et al., 2004, Jossey-Bass)

How to Talk About Hot Topics on Campus book cover

How to Talk About Hot Topics on Campus fills a gap in the literature by providing a resource that shows how to construct and carry out difficulty conversations from various vantage points in the academy. It offers a theory-to-practice model of conversation for the entire college campus that will enable all constituencies to engage in productive and civil dialogue on the most difficult and controversial social, religious, political, and cultural topics. It’s a book genuinely relevant to a majority of disciplines on campus and is a particularly useful tool for engaging and training students to address topics that are at the center of contemporary higher education.


Participants are encouraged to bring a lunch. Snack and beverages provided.


Facilitator: Jim Winship, Social Work Department

Sessions Scheduled: In UC TBA from Noon to 1:00pm on the following six Mondays: 15 & 29 September, 13 & 27 October, and 10 & 24 November.