Tag Archives: inclusion

University of Florida Unveils Outcasts United as Common Reading Book

Earlier in October, Outcasts United by Warren St. John was unveiled as the Common Reading Program book selection for the 2011-12 year.

Becky Burleigh, head coach of the University of Florida’s women’s soccer team, spoke at the event on why she loves Outcasts United. Watch this video to hear why Burleigh feels this title will not only bring the UF campus community together but will also be a great common reading selection for students of all backgrounds.


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Frank Phillips College students will Make the Impossible Possible

Students at Frank Phillips College have a lot to discuss this Fall as they read Make the Impossible Possible: One Man’s Crusade to Inspire Others to Dream Bigger and Achieve the Extraordinary as part of the university’s common reading program.

Previously selected as common reading at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Voorhees College, and Winthrop University, the book has received many accolades including:

“It’s the American dream with a twist: for Strickland, it was never about shedding his past and getting ahead but about following his bliss and making a difference.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Straddling between both autobiographical and inspirational genre, the most exquisite beauty of this book is in its straightforward and heartfelt approach. There are so many imminently quotable lines you can draw from cover to cover. This is the kind of book you’d want to read over and over again, with a marker in hand to annotate it as you read, or with a pen and paper on the side to take down notes. Or even both. For as you share in the struggles and successes of Bill Strickland, Make The Impossible Possible is an inexhaustible wellspring of real-life inspiration.”—Sacramento Book Review

Click here for a list of other universities that have adopted Make the Impossible Possible for common reading.

Watch video of author Bill Strickland speaking at the 2010 Random House, Inc. Author Luncheon, part of the First-Year Experience conference.


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Georgia State University to kick off First-Year Book Program with Outcasts United

For its inagural First-Year Book Program, Georgia State University has selected what is quickly becoming a state favorite: Outcasts United by Warren St. John. Incoming first-year students will have the opportunity to read the book this summer and it will be integrated into the GSU 1010 New Student Orientation and Engl 1101 English Composition I courses this fall.

In a press release the university said:

“A First-Year Book Program is a proven way to generate intellectual interest and engagement among students,” said Allison Calhoun-Brown, GSU’s academic director of student retention. “Outcasts United” is a very interesting and thought provoking book. This program offers freshmen students an opportunity to engage it collectively and from a wide variety of disciplinary perspectives.  Reading and discussing it together as a class will help familiarize them with the kind of intellectual excitement that flows from the academic enterprise.”

The selected novel tells the story of how Clarkston, Ga., transformed from a predominately white town into one of the most diverse communities in the country, after it was designated a resettlement center for refugees around the world in the early ’90s. The story, which is told through the lens of a soccer team of refugee boys called the “Fugees,” provides readers with lessons about how to create community in places where everyone is different.

Read more about the book’s selection and the First-Year Book program at Georgia State here.

Outcasts United has also been selected by Georgia Tech University ,  Agnes Scott College (Decatur, GA) and several other universities. Find a full list here.


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