Common Reading Program

AUM Connected: Common Reading Program

As an incoming freshman, you will read an AUM Connected book in your UNIV 1000 course along with all other freshmen. The upperclasses are encouraged to participate as well. This "group read" will engage you in a common academic and social experience that connects you to the university, faculty, and peers through a campus tradition. It will also introduce you to college-level discussions in a non-threatening setting and include you in an academic experience outside of class. AUM Connected gives AUM students, faculty, staff, and members of the local community an opportunity to interact in meaningful conversations related to contemporary social and cultural issues.

Selection Process

Each September, the AUM Connected committee calls for nominations from the faculty, staff, and students. The committee asks that the nominators consider the following criteria:

  • Availability - A nominated book must be in print, in paperback and digital formats, and it should be something that students are unlikely to have read in high school, and unlikely to read in basic college classes;
  • Engaging and accessible – A nominated book must be of reasonable length (no more than 350 pp.), and appeal to a wide range of students and disciplines;
  • Good writing – A nominated book must demonstrate good writing;
  • Relevance – A nominated book must have themes that are relevant to students and can evoke meaningful discussions of social and cultural issues; and,
  • Potential for year-long programming.

The committee then carefully reviews all nominated books and narrows the list to no more than six possible selections. This list is then put forward for a campus-wide vote in January.

For more information about AUM Connected, please contact Ms. Danitra Tolbert at 244-3525 or






Student Reading Guide to The Dinner.

Short promotional video of The Dinner made by AUM Theatre students.

Another short promotional video of The Dinner made by AUM Theatre students.

The Faculty Teaching Guide is available on CELT's AUMnet page.

Social Media: AUM Connected has a Facebook Page (AUM Connected Common Reading Program), and a Twitter account @AUMConnected. We encourage the campus to use the hashtag #warhawkbook in their social media posts.

Fall 2016 AUM Connected Events

August 16 – 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. - Zombie Bash – Taylor Center 230

Don’t be afraid. We only want to feed your brain. Join AUM Connected and the WAC Program for a zombie movie (Warm Bodies, 2013, starring Nicholas Hoult and John Malkovich) and pizza. Get information on Writing Across the Curriculum and this year’s Common Reading Program book selection, The Dinner.

August 31 – 12:15 – 1:00 p.m. – Honors Students Speak about Food Insecurity and the AUM Food Pantry – Goodwyn Hall 112

AUM Honors Program students present information about the increasing problem of food insecurity in America and the AUM food pantry. Feel free to bring a non-perishable food item (no glass, please) to donate to the pantry!

September 16 – 12:30 - 2:00 p.m. – Pig Out with a Professor – Library 10th Floor East

Join us for some pizza and a discussion of The Dinner. All students, faculty, and staff who have read the book are welcome!

September 22 – 6:30 - 8:30 pm – Showing of the film, “The Last Supper” -  Library 10th Floor West

The Last Supper (1995) is a dark comedy (starring Cameron Diaz, Courtney B. Vance, Bill Paxton, and Ron Perlman) about five graduate students and their tradition of inviting a guest over for Sunday dinner to discuss social issues. When a guest threatens one of the students, he sets them on a radical path of social justice serial murder.


October 7 – 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. – Lecture: What Were They Thinking?: Understanding Teen Brain Development and Decision Making, Bridgette Harper, Psychology – Goodwyn Hall 112

Even though teens may look like adults, their brains are far from adult cognitive abilities.  Recent research suggests that the frontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for reasoning, understanding consequences, and self-regulation, continues to develop well into our 20’s.  However, there are things mentors can do to encourage and help develop teens risk/benefit assessment and aid the development of rational thinking and self-discipline in our teens.  

October 27 – 6:30 - 8:30 – Showing of the film, “Hannibal” – Liberal Arts Tech Wing 110

Hannibal (2001) is a thriller starring Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter, a cannibalistic serial killer with a taste for fine things. Gary Oldman, Julianne Moore, and Ray Liotta round out the cast.


November 9 – 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. – Showing of the film, “The Dinner” – Taylor Center 230

The Dinner (Het Diner; English subtitles) is a 2013 Dutch drama based on Herman Koch’s novel, this year’s AUM Connected Common Reading Program book selection.


November 15 – 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. – Lecture: Formalizing the Final Solution Over Lunch: The Wannsee Conference of 1942 - Ben Severance, History – Library 10th Floor West

In January 1942, fifteen Nazi leaders gathered in a villa outside Berlin to clarify the procedures whereby the Third Reich would eliminate all Jews from the European continent. Presiding over this meeting was SS General Reinhard Heydrich, one of Hitler's favorite minions. Between mouthfuls of fine cuisine, the attendees ironed out the administrative details that helped expedite and legitimize Endlosung, the Final Solution to the Jewish Question.