University of Vermont

Academic Ceremonies - Convocation

March 25, 2013

To: UVM Faculty and Staff
From: Tom Sullivan, President

Re: Summer Reading for Class of 2017

I am pleased to announce that in June we will ask all incoming first-year students to read the much acclaimed non-fiction bestseller The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson. In order to enhance the academic experience of our entering students, we urge faculty members to consider use of this interdisciplinary book, in some way, in their fall courses and to incorporate some aspect of its themes into their syllabi for the 2013-2014 academic year.

Our First-Year Read Selection Group unanimously chose Johnson’s book on account of its broad appeal to students and faculty from across the disciplines. The book offers unique insights on issues of social justice through the lenses of public health, scientific error, and urban planning. The Ghost Map is a medical detective story based on the London cholera epidemic of 1854. It examines the interconnected systems from social to microbial that shape our greatest cities and govern our fates.

Currently, we are planning special programming to address some of the diverse topics presented in the book. This programming will serve as co-curricular support for faculty who choose to incorporate the book into their courses. Copies of the book will be available at the UVM Bookstore. In addition, copies for faculty and staff are available at a 20% discount through the Bookstore with a UVM ID.

I would like to thank the First Year Read Selection Group for their selection. I look forward to many engaging discussions across campus inspired by The Ghost Map!

Last modified June 24 2013 03:01 PM