Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs for New Students |FAQs for Faculty/Staff


FAQs for New Students

What is Montclair Book 2011?
Which book was chosen?
Where do I get the book?
When should I read it?
How will I use this book?
When will I first need to write about the book?
Where can I find more information?

What is Montclair Book 2011?

Montclair Book 2011 is a new program for the Montclair State community, jointly sponsored by the Center for Writing Excellence, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the First-Year Writing Program, and Student Development and Campus Life. Each year, a faculty advisory committee selects a book to be read by all incoming first-year students before they arrive. The goals for this new program are to—

  • Provide a common intellectual experience.
  • Engage in interdisciplinary dialogue and debate.
  • Build community around a shared understanding of relevant issues.
  • Celebrate the written word.
  • Offer opportunities for students to reflect on their roles as readers and learners.
  • Encourage campuswide engagement with the book’s theme.

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Which book was chosen?

For our first ever selection, the faculty advisory committee chose The Geography of Bliss, by Eric Weiner. The author explains his book as follows:

The Geography of Bliss is really a travelogue of ideas. I roam the world in search of answers to the pressing questions of our time: What are the essential ingredients for the good life? Why are some places happier than others? How are we shaped by our surroundings?

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Where do I get the book?

The book is available in the Montclair State bookstore. Click here for store pick-up or ordering information.

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When should I read it?

Your first assignment for college is to read the book this summer, before you come to campus for the fall semester. Begin early, and pace yourself. It is an enjoyable book, and one that you will be discussing in your classes in the fall.

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How will I use this book?

Several ways. Here are some examples:

  • Discussions in your first-year seminar and other courses
  • Theme-related events on campus
  • Residence hall activities
  • Keynote speaker
  • Essay contest
  • Placement into First-Year Writing classes (you will write an essay based on the book)
  • As the basis of an assignment in SPCM 101 (Fundamentals of Speech)

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When will I first need to write about the book?

In mid-August, all students enrolled in ENWR 100: Introduction to College Writing or ENWR 105: College Writing I will be sent by email an assignment based on Montclair Book 2011 to be completed by the first day of classes. The essay will be evaluated by First-Year Writing faculty to determine appropriate placement into writing classes.

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Where can I find more information?

The Montclair Book 2011 website will have lots of information. Go to http://www.montclair.edu/cwe/MontclairBook.

You can also learn more about the author and the book by visiting his website: http://www.ericweinerbooks.com/content/index.asp

You can also contact the Center for Writing Excellence for more information:
Email: cwe@mail.montclair.edu
Phone: (973) 655-7442

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FAQs for Faculty/Staff

What is Montclair Book 2011?
Which book was chosen?
Who selected the book and how was it selected?
Where do students, faculty, and staff get the book?
When should students read it?
How will the book be used?
Who is sponsoring Montclair Book 2011?
Who can answer my questions?  What if I have suggestions for this program?
What resources are available to faculty and staff?
Where can I find more information?

What is Montclair Book 2011?

Montclair Book 2011 is a new program for the Montclair State community.  Each year, a faculty advisory committee will select a book to be read by all incoming first-year students before they arrive.  The goals of this new program are to—

  • Provide a common intellectual experience.
  • Engage in interdisciplinary dialogue and debate.
  • Build community around a shared understanding of relevant issues.
  • Celebrate the written word.
  • Offer opportunities for students to reflect on their roles as readers and learners.
  • Encourage campuswide engagement with the book’s theme.

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Which book was chosen?

For our first ever selection, the Montclair Book Faculty Advisory Committee chose The Geography of Bliss, by Eric Weiner, a correspondent for NPR.  Weiner explains his book as follows:

The Geography of Bliss is really a travelogue of ideas. I roam the world in search of answers to the pressing questions of our time: What are the essential ingredients for the good life? Why are some places happier than others? How are we shaped by our surroundings?

More information about the book can be found on the author’s website: http://www.ericweinerbooks.com/content/index.asp

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Who selected the book and how was it selected?

Dean Morrissey of CHSS formed the Montclair Book 2011 Faculty Advisory Committee, which included the following members:

  • Yasemin Besen-Cassino, Associate Professor of Sociology
  • Alan Cottrell, Associate Dean
  • Raul Galoppe, Associate Professor of Spanish and Italian and Program Coordinator of GLBTQ Studies
  • Emily Isaacs, Associate Professor of English and Director of First-Year Writing
  • Melinda Knight, Professor of English and Director of the Center for Writing Excellence
  • Judith Lin Hunt, Dean of Library Services
  • Rita Jacobs, Professor of English
  • Kirk McDermid, Assistant Professor of Philosophy
  • Leslie Wilson, Professor of History

Committee members engaged in their own summer reading program and reviewed some twenty titles.  After meeting throughout the fall and deciding on four finalists, the committee unanimously selected The Geography of Bliss.  The committee believes the book is an inspired choice because it will reinforce Montclair State’s global learning objectives, provide opportunities for students to learn about other cultures and explore differences, give faculty ways to approach a particular text from multiple disciplinary perspectives, and enhance our reputation for innovation.

In making a selection, the committee relied on the following criteria:
The book should--

  • be nonfiction and fairly recent.
  • be well-written and readable.
  • engage first-year students and introduce them to college-level processes of inquiry.
  • have the potential for building community through a common reading experience.
  • be teachable in a variety of settings.
  • foster intellectual growth and reflection.
  • lend itself to campuswide events and activities.

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Where do students, faculty, and staff get the book?

The book will be available to students in the Montclair State bookstore beginning in April.  For faculty and staff the university will provide desk copies. 

When should students read it?

Students should read the book during the summer, before they come to campus for the fall semester, and they will be prompted to do so through several pre-matriculation events and activities.

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How will the book be used?

Several ways. Here are some examples:

  • Discussions in first-year seminars and other courses
  • Theme-related events on campus
  • Residence hall activities
  • Keynote speaker
  • Essay contest
  • Placement into First-Year Writing classes  (students will write an essay based on the book)
  • As the basis of an assignment in SPCM 101 (Fundamentals of Speech)

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 Who is sponsoring Montclair Book 2011?

Montclair Book 2011 is a joint effort of the Center for Writing Excellence, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the First-Year Writing Program, and Student Development and Campus Life.

Who can answer my questions?  What if I have suggestions for this program?

Contact members of the Montclair Book 2011 Implementation Committee:

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What resources are available to faculty and staff?

Faculty and facilitator resources and teaching guides will be made available by the summer on the Montclair Book 2011 website: http://www.montclair.edu/cwe/MontclairBook

Where can I find more information?

The Montclair Book 2011 website will have lots of information.   Go to http://www.montclair.edu/cwe/MontclairBook

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