By Tate M. Slaven
After reviewing three dozen contenders over a six-month period of time, the 2013 All Bonaventure Reads book has been chosen. This year, “Full Body Burden,” a memoir by Kristen Iversen, won over the committee.
Jean Ehman, director of the Teaching and Learning Center and chair of the All Bonaventure Reads (ABR) committee, collaborates with nine other committee members to choose the ABR book annually.
“We have an ABR committee Moodle site on which committee members can comment on ABR suggestions and read samples,” Ehman said. “Those samples that net positive reactions are read in their entirety by committee members.”
“Full Body Burden” shines light on environmental awareness. Iverson tells a story not only about her life, but also about the history of Rocky Flats, Colo. and the secrets that were being hidden from the outside world. The book is also themed around alcoholism, family problems and also making the decision of speaking out or remaining silent.
According to Ehman, the 2012 ABR author, Neil White, mentioned Iversen’s book when he was on campus in September. This year, the race was close and the committee was forced to carefully evaluate which book would best suit the Bonaventure community. According to ABR committee member Chris Brown, the committee saw that the great things about each book were very different.
“In the end, we chose the book we felt had more direct ties to the University 101 curriculum and also provided broader programming possibilities across the entire campus,” Brown said.
According to Ehman, Iverson will create a short video introduction of herself and the book, which will be shown to Bonaventure’s incoming freshman students at Orientation. First-year students will then be asked to indulge new word in the book and also complete an essay assignment from Michael Fischer, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “Full Body Burden” is worked into the University 101 curriculum, giving first-year students the chance to explore the book’s different themes alongside a professor.
“Iverson will be our guest on September 30 when she will address freshmen, campus members and community residents at an evening talk,” Ehman said. “She also plans to speak with students in freshman-level classes throughout the day.”
Programming suggestions from all of campus are welcomed. Committee members also take time to brainstorm about programming, All Bonaventure Views and passport possibilities after graduation.
The ABR program allows first-year students to have an immediate connection upon their arrival to campus. It takes the time and dedication of these committee members, but it is just another way St. Bonaventure is committed to helping students become extraordinary.
“The ABR program is one of the most significant academic experiences in the First Year Experience program,” Brown said.