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.

Dan Gediman is the Executive Director of This I Believe, Inc., a non-profit organization that produces the popular podcast series of the same name. He has co-edited nine This I Believe books, including This I Believe: Life Lessons and the New York Times Bestseller This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women.

Dan is a long-time public radio producer whose work has been heard on All Things ConsideredMorning EditionMarketplaceJazz Profiles, and This American Life. During his long radio career, he has won many of public broadcasting’s most prestigious awards, including the duPont-Columbia Award. Most recently, Dan produced the Audible documentary series The Home Front: Life in America During World War II, which is narrated by Martin Sheen. Currently he is working on a new series, The Reckoning: Confronting the Legacy of Slavery in America.

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.