The Center for Teaching Excellence coordinates book clubs throughout the semester on topics of interest to faculty members. The CTE invites you to enjoy thoughtful conversation with your peers at these gatherings.

Books are free to participants. Book groups usually meet a few times over the semester at the Center for Teaching Excellence, 73 Tremont Street, 12th floor, unless otherwise noted.The meetings throughout the semester will be scheduled at the first meeting.

Fall 2012 Book Group Choices

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
by Rebecca Skloot
Facilitated by Merideth Power, Senior Program Coordinator, Suffolk University Political Research Center

Rebecca Skloot tells the story of the woman behind the line of immortal cells known as HeLa by the scientific community. The cells were harvested from Lack’s cancerous cervix, and have been used in research around the world, becoming somewhat of a celebrity amongst scientists. In her debut publication, Skloot does an incredible job of describing complicated science in layman’s terms, while exposing the more personal side of this remarkable story by writing about the hardships endured by Lack’s family, who didn’t know until 1973 that their mother’s cells had been taken, and have never shared in any profit relating to the cells (Henrietta herself had no idea the cells were taken from her either). Lisa Margonelli wrote for the New York Times: “Skloot narrates the science lucidly, tracks the racial politics of medicine thoughtfully and tells the Lacks family’s often painful history with grace. She also confronts the spookiness of the cells themselves, intrepidly crossing into the spiritual plane on which the family has come to understand their mother’s continued presence in the world. Science writing is often just about ‘the facts.’ ­Skloot’s book, her first, is far deeper, braver and more wonderful.” 

The Innovative University: Changing the DNA of Higher Education from the Inside Out by Clayton Christensen and Henry Eyring
Facilitated by Craig Christensen, Associate Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering, CAS 

The language of crisis is nothing new in higher education– for years critics have raised alarms about rising tuition, compromised access, out of control costs, and a host of other issues. Yet, though those issues are still part of the current crisis, it is not the same as past ones. For the first time disruptive technologies are at work in higher education…[H]ow can institutions of higher education think constructively and creatively about their response to impending disruption? (from book jacket) (authors: Clayton M. Christensen & Henry J. Eyring) 

Teaching Inclusively
by Mathew Ouellett, Editor
Facilitated by Danny Fontaine, Assistant Director, CTE

Edited by this semester’s fall luncheon keynote speaker, Dr. Mathew L. Ouellett, this book brings together a broad array of current “best practices” in the design, implementation, and assessment of faculty development opportunities oriented toward more inclusive teaching and learning environments. The volume advocates for more transparent connections between change initiatives at individual, departmental, and college-wide levels by highlighting the ways in which such practices and change goals can relate to and support each other. The contributors to this volume present readers with a balance between theoretical models and demonstration projects that address change processes at three levels: individual courses, programs and departments, and across schools and institutions. (from the Introduction) We will read a selection of chapters from each level of change most relevant to faculty at Suffolk.