Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs for New Students | FAQs for Faculty & Staff

FAQs for New Students

What is Montclair Book 2014?
Which book was chosen?
Where do I get the book?
When should I read it?
How will I use this book?
What resources are available to students?

What is Montclair Book 2014?

Montclair Book 2014 is a campuswide 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 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 campus-wide engagement with the book’s theme

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Which book was chosen?

For our 2014 selection, the faculty advisory committee chose Scarcity. Here is an excerpt from the book:

Our interest in scarcity led us to a remarkable study from more than a half century ago. The authors of that study did not think of themselves as studying scarcity, but to our eyes they were studying an extreme form of it—starvation. It was toward the end of World War II, and the Allies realized they had a problem. As they advanced into German-occupied territories, they would encounter great numbers of people on the edge of starvation. The problem was not food; the Americans and British had enough to feed the prisoners and the civilians they were liberating. Their problem was more technical. How do you begin feeding people who have been on the edge of starvation for so long? Should they be given full meals? Should they be allowed to eat as much as they want? Or should you start by underfeeding them and slowly increase their intake? What was the safest way to bring people back from the edge of starvation?

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Where do I get the book?

You can purchase the book through the Montclair State University bookstore.

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When should I read it?

Your first assignment for college is to read the book. You will need it as you prepare your writing placement essay and again in your first-year writing class in the fall.

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How will I use this book?

Several ways. Here are some examples:

  • Discussions in the New Student Seminar and other courses
  • Theme-related events on campus
  • Keynote event
  • Essay contest
  • First-Year Writing classes (you will write an essay based on the book)

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What resources are available to students?

See links to author information, book reviews, interviews, articles, and websites on the Montclair Book 2014 "Resources" page. You can also learn more about the author and the book by visiting the website: http://us.macmillan.com/scarcity/SendhilMullainathan

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FAQs for Faculty & Staff

What is Montclair Book 2014?
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 2014?
Who can answer my questions?  What if I have suggestions for this program?
What resources are available to faculty and staff?

What is Montclair Book 2014?

Montclair Book 2014 is a program for the Montclair State community.  Each year, a faculty advisory committee selects a book to be read by all incoming first-year students before they arrive.  The goals of this 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 2014 selection, the faculty advisory committee chose Scarcity.

More information about the book can be found at http://us.macmillan.com/scarcity/SendhilMullainathan

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Who selected the book and how was it selected?

Dean Morrissey of CHSS formed the Montclair Book Advisory Committee. The committee currently includes the following members:

  • Alison Beringer, Assistant Professor, Classics & General Humanities
  • Yasemin Besen-Cassino, Associate Professor, Sociology
  • Mark Kay, Associate Professor, Marketing
  • Melinda Knight, Professor of English and Director of the Center for Writing Excellence
  • Christine Lemesianou, Associate Professor, Communication Studies
  • Kirk McDermid, Assistant Professor, Philosophy & Religion
  • Alicia Remolde, Assistant Director of the Center for Writing Excellence
  • Jessica Restaino, Associate Professor of English and Director of First-Year Writing

Committee members engaged in their own reading program and reviewed some twenty titles.  After meeting throughout the fall and deciding on four finalists, the committee selected Scarcity.  The committee believes the book is an inspired choice because, like the 2013 book (The Devil's Highway), this 2014 book 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?

Students can purchase the book through the Montclair State University bookstore.  The University will provide desk copies for faculty and staff. 

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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)

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Who is sponsoring Montclair Book?

Montclair Book 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.

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

Contact members of the Montclair Book Implementation Committee:

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What resources are available to faculty and staff?

See links to author information, book reviews, interviews, articles, websites, and teaching guides on the Montclair Book 2014 "Resources" page.

Montclair Book 2014 Flyer PDF

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