In order to prepare the Sacred Heart University class of 2017 for the start of their college careers and for the academic realities of college life, we are announcing our Freshman Summer Reading Assignment. This year, we have chosen a text that offers both challenge and inspiration. Please read the text with care, enjoy and think about it, and be prepared to discuss it with classmates and professors when you arrive to begin the fall semester. Be sure to bring the book with you in August.
Our text is The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (available at the Sacred Heart University Bookstore)
Our book is a thought-provoking examination of the intersection between science and morality. It is described as “a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew. It’s a story inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles of whether we control the stuff we’re made of.”
Lisa Margonelli in the New York Times explains that our author “introduces us to the ‘real live woman,’ the children who survived her, and the interplay of race, poverty, science and one of the most important scientific discoveries of the last 100 years. Skloot narrates the science lucidly, tracks the racial politics of medicine thoughtfully, and tells the Lacks family’s often painful history with grace. Margonelli continues: “Science writing is often just about ‘the facts.’ Skloot’s book, her first, is far deeper, braver and more wonderful.”
We are pleased to announce that one of Henrietta Lacks’ children, David “Sonny” Lacks, will be speaking on campus to the Sacred Heart freshman class and to the entire University Community on September 11, 2013.
In addition, we are planning a number of activities for the fall that will link with your Summer Reading, including a series of faculty-led discussions on The Other Wes Moore and its potential impact on our lives both as students and as citizens, as well as our Freshman Summer Reading Essay Contest. Click here for details.
Since this is your first “college assignment” at Sacred Heart University, we ask you to approach it as a college student would—be thorough and thoughtful, use your time wisely, and don’t make this just a “last minute” task. If you have questions about the reading, the Essay Contest, or about anything else, feel free to contact me at 203-365-7648 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a wonderful summer.
Assistant Dean, College of Arts and Sciences