Student Life

“The book inspired me to follow my own heart a little more and figure out what I want to do in life.” — Natalie Parker, Class of 2019

“Community Read gave me a social environment in which to start conversations and build friendships.” — Tristan Sommerville, Class of 2020

“Being able to get together with my peers and talk about the project was a lot of fun!” — Tony Camisi, Class of 2019

Summer Community Read 

This I Believe

Entering its 11th year, the Summer Community Read is a West campus tradition that connects all incoming first-year students before classes begin.  Students read and create a response to the text over the summer, creating a commonality among all incoming ASU West campus students.  During the fall semester, students will attend a guest speaker event related to the book.

This years selection, This I Believe: Life Lessons, brings inspiring life wisdom from people of all ages - based on the This I Believe radio program aired on NPR and on Bob Edwards' shows on Sirius XM Satellite Radio. This book brings together treasured life lessons of people from all walks of life. Whether it's learning the power of saying hello or how courage comes with practice, their intimate reflections will inspire, move, and encourage you. Filled with the valuable insights distilled from a wide range of personal experiences.

Executive Director, Dan Gediman


Dan Gediman is executive director of This I Believe, a non-profit organization that engages people in writing and sharing stories describing the core values that guide their daily lives. These short statements of belief have been featured in a weekly series on public radio since 2005. 

Dan is co-editor of six collections of This I Believe essays: This I Believe and This I Believe II, both of which feature essays that were originally broadcast on NPR; a collection of essays from the 1950s radio series, entitled Edward R. Murrow's This I Believe; and four collections of essays on the subjects of love, life lessons, motherhood, and fatherhood.

A 25-year public radio veteran, Dan’s work has been heard on All Things Considered, Morning Edition, Fresh Air, Marketplace, and This American Life. He has won many of public broadcasting’s most prestigious awards, including the duPont-Columbia Award. Gediman’s additional awards include the Corporation for Public Broadcasting’s Gold and Silver Awards and the National Federation of Community Broadcasters’ Silver Reel Award.

Date:  Thursday, September 19, 2019
Time: 6:00 p.m.


The Summer Community Read program, offered only at ASU’s West campus, offers incoming freshman students an opportunity to connect with their fellow students and the community through a shared reading over the summer months.

Founded in 2012, the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences’ Community Read program has attracted authors such as Ernest Cline (“Ready Player One”), Adam Braun (“Promise of a Pencil”), and Leslie Odom Jr. (“Hamilton: The Revolution”) to ASU’s West campus. Students are asked to read the shared text, and then create a personal response to articulate the emotions and ideas the text instilled in them. These projects can take the form of poems, artistic expressions, musical acts, essays, and videos.

The student responses are then shared in a showcase event prior to a keynote speech from the author of the shared text. This allows West campus freshman students, who come from all over the world, to have a shared experience that bonds them in the critical first few months of college.