OWENSBORO, KY (10/23/2017) The Owensboro Community and Technical College (OCTC) Common Reading for fall 2017 is the international best seller, The Circle, a novel by Dave Eggers. Dave Eggers will be at OCTC on Thursday, November 16 for a reading, book signing, and a reception.
The on campus reading and book signing will be in Blandford Lecture Hall located in the Humanities building on the main campus at 4800 New Hartford Road, Owensboro at 12:30 p.m. The ticketed reception will be held in the Jody Berry Theatre located in RiverPark Center, for more information on acquiring a ticket please contact the OCTC Advancement Office via e-mail at Cadie.Underwood@kctcs.edu.
The Circle is a dystopian novel set in the near future. Themes include privacy in the digital age, monopoly power, and social media issues. The main character is overwhelmed by her good fortune obtaining a job at a powerful internet company. Things take a turn as the company gains influence over her life and relationships, and the company continues to expand its power. The Circle was adapted into a movie released earlier this year and stars Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, John Boyega, and Karen Gillan. In addition to the campus-wide reading of The Circle, Common Reading co-chair, Tonya Northenor offered a new literature class, English 190, Intro to Dystopian Literature & Film. The class is reading the Common Reading and The Handmaid's Tale, as well as covering related short fiction, poetry, and films and will be offered online in the spring semester.
The author, Dave Eggers, is also known for his books: Zeitoun, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, and A Hologram for the King. He also co-wrote the screenplay for the live action version of Where the Wild Things Are. Eggers is the founder of McSweeney's, an independent publishing firm and literary journal. In addition, Eggers is the co-founder of 826 National, a network of tutoring centers, and ScholarMatch, a nonprofit organization designed to connect students with resources, schools, and donors to make college possible.
OCTC selected The Circle as a capstone to celebrate the successful completion of a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Challenge Grant for Two-Year Colleges. The college was one of the first community colleges awarded the NEH grant in 2010. The college and community raised over $400,000 locally to meet the "match" goal of $200,000 from NEH. The KCTCS Foundation will also provide approximately $400,000 to match the locally raised funds for a total of $1 million dollars to support humanities enriching activities for students and the Greater Owensboro community. Enrichment activities in collaboration with community partners include the OCTC Common Reading Project and other global studies, multicultural, and related activities and events. To further support and engage community partners, OCTC is pleased to announce a new mini-grant to support complementary programs throughout the OCTC service area. The fully online application is located at: https://owensboro.kctcs.edu/academics/common_reading/neh_application.aspx or visit the Academics>Common Reading page on OCTC's website for details or contact Common Reading co-chair, Kaye Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OCTC's Common Reading program was recognized for the second year in a row by the National Association of Scholars (NAS) as a program deserving Honorable Mention. NAS publishes the nation's only comprehensive list of the books in college common reading programs. The newest edition, Beach Books 2016-2017: What Do Colleges Want Students to Read Outside Class?, lists and analyzes 359 assignments at 348 colleges located in 46 states. According to authors of the report, "Owensboro Community and Technical College includes 'local talent' as part of its mission statement-and the result has been a series of books that vary considerably from the staples of the common reading genre, and are frequently more challenging than those selected by their peers." Commenting on OCTC's overall list of past Common Reading selections, authors note, "This is a good common reading list-and the good effect that comes from introducing students to fine works of Kentucky writing seems to have a spillover effect. The non-local selections also include gems such as Aldous Huxley's Brave New World and Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God. Owensboro's history of common reading selections compares favorably with those of most of its peers-and we believe its mission statement's inclusion of 'local talent' has played a large, necessary role in giving Owensboro's common reading program a very high batting average."
OCTC's Tonya Northenor is one of the co-chairs of the program and was interviewed for the article, a transcript of the interview is posted on the NAS website.
Owensboro Community and Technical College is one of the sixteen community and technical colleges that make up the Kentucky Community & Technical College System. OCTC serves the KY counties of Daviess, Hancock, Ohio and McLean. OCTC has three campuses in Daviess County and a Center and Annex in Hancock County. OCTC strives to serve the communities in the service area by providing associate degree education for transfer, state of the art technical education for students focusing on entering the workforce, customized business and industry solutions through the Workforce Solutions division, and adult education and business and industry testing through the SkillTrain unit.
This activity is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this press release do not necessarily represent those of NEH.
The Kentucky Community and Technical College System is the Commonwealth's largest postsecondary institution with 16 colleges and more than 70 campuses. We also are Kentucky's largest provider of workforce training and online education. Through partnerships with business and industry, we align our programs to meet the needs of local employers. We help students fulfill their dreams of creating a better life through programs that lead directly to jobs or help them transfer to one of our four-year partners.
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