COBE Partners with University College to Expand Common Book Program

This fall, COBE is pleased to collaborate with University College to expand VCU’s Common Book Program to include graduate students and a series of programming throughout the year.

The Common Book Program is one of the largest initiatives in University College. Building upon the nationally recognized Summer Reading program, the new initiative expands the previous program into a university-wide initiative focused on welcoming our first-year students into the vibrant intellectual culture of VCU.

The 2017 Common Book selection is Dreamland by Sam Quinones. Dreamland explores the complex issue of the opioid crisis impacting so many people in our country, regardless of profession, demographics or geography. This choice fits very well with COBE’s mission to promote behavioral and emotional health among young people – particularly in the areas of substance use and misuse.

The goal of expanding the Common Book Program is to allow graduate students to collaborate with each other across disciplines, as well as having opportunities to work with undergraduate students who are also reading and discussing Dreamland.

On Monday, November 6th, at 6 p.m. in the W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts, Dreamland Author Sam Quinones will present about his work with the opioid crisis and possible solutions moving forward.

During Welcome Week across campus VCU faculty, staff and graduate students, led hour-long discussions focusing on Part I of Dreamland. COBE and RecSports partnered to host these talks for students in the Thrive and Fit programs to help students delve into the book personally and academically as an introduction to the University community.

The Wellness Resource Center at VCU is sponsoring the Speaker Series on Addiction and Recovery with events on September 6th, October 4th, November 1st and December 6th. Each event features VCU students and alumni sharing their recovery stories followed by a Q & A session. The first event features The Well’s Director Linda Hancock and VCU student Kevin Britton on Tuesday, Sept 19th, from 12:30 to 1:30 at the VCU Honors College.

Common Book Panels co-sponsored by I2CRP feature guest speakers from throughout the VCU and Richmond communities who will discuss addiction, treatment and recovery through legal and medical lenses. On Wednesday, Oct 11th, COBE Director Danielle Dick, Ph.D. and Christopher Rashad Green will be featured on the first panel discussion from 5:30 to 7:00 pm in MCALC room 1201.

In October, Interdisciplinary Student-Led Discussions will bring together students from Focused Inquiry classes, Living Learning Communities like ASPiRE, Globe and Lead, the Graduate School and the MCV campus to consider the book through different disciplinary lenses and grant a more nuanced view on the problems underlying the opioid crisis as well as possible solutions.

Along with members of the Common Book programming committee, the COBE staff continues to develop and host additional programs for graduate students on both the academic and medical campuses.

For more information about the Common Book program and activities associated with Dreamland, please visit the Common Book website.