I am Connected. I am Auburn.

First year students are asked to purchase and read the book prior to coming to campus in August. The book is then incorporated into Welcome Week, academic classes, and programming throughout the fall semester including a visit by the book’s author. The author is invited to campus to speak to the Auburn family and meet the winners of the writing contest. Student clubs and organizations plan social and educational activities around the themes of the book and many faculty members choose to incorporate the book into their curriculum in Fall and Spring terms.

The Auburn community is encouraged to participate in programming made available throughout the year including film series, service projects, conferences, and guest speakers. Stay up to date on events by following Auburn Connects! on Facebook or viewing the events calendar online.


Selection of the Common Book
Beginning with the Fall 2015 book selection, books will be nominated by the Auburn community. Once the nominations are received, the committee of faculty, staff, and students will review the books and develop a list of five candidates to recommend to the Provost. The Provost then narrows the books down to two and asks the student body to make the final selection during an election process in Spring. If you are interested in nominating a book, click here for more details.

For a text to be considered as a common book, it must meet the following criteria:

  • Relevant to issues related to first-year students and which may appeal to the larger campus community
  • Rich in concept and content that will challenge students to gain new perspectives
  • Contemporary and engaging
  • Appeal to males and females from all backgrounds
  • Author or subject is available to visit campus
  • Have potential for strong social and academic programming opportunities
  • Reasonable length


Auburn Connects! Committee
The 2014-2015 Auburn Connects! committee is comprised of faculty, staff, university administrators, and students. This committee oversees the direction of the Auburn Connects! common book program and implements new initiatives related to our stated goals.

  • Dr. Melissa Baumann Director, Auburn Connects! and Assistant Provost, Undergraduate Studies
  • Valerie Bagley Coordinator, Auburn Connects! and Learning Communities
  • Dr. Becky Barlow  Assistant Professor, Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
  • Scott Bishop  Curator of Education, Jule Collins Smith Museum
  • Marcia Boosinger  Associate Dean, Auburn University Libraries
  • Phillip Brantley  Undergraduate Student, Philosophy
  • Ian Colmer  Graduate Student, English and Graduate Assistant, Auburn Connects!
  • Dr. George Crandell  Professor and Associate Dean, Graduate Studies
  • Dr. Kimberly Frazier  Assistant Vice President, Student Affairs
  • Dr. Paul Harris  Associate Professor and Associate Director, University Honors College
  • Ethan Henley  Graduate Assistant, First Year Seminars
  • Dr. Daniel Henry  Assistant Professor, Educational Foundations
  • Dr. Edward Loewenstein  Associate Professor and Associate Dean, Forestry and Wildlife Sciences
  • Dr. Paul Patterson  Associate Dean, Agriculture
  • Dr. Constance Relihan  Associate Provost, Undergraduate Studies
  • John-Michael Roehm  Program Advisor, Student Organizations and Welcome Week
  • Dr. Bret Smith  Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Industrial Design
  • Callie Smith  Graduate Assistant, Auburn Connects! and Learning Communities
  • Dr. Ruthie Spiers  Academic Counselor, Academic Counseling and Advising Center
  • Caitlin Sullivan  Undergraduate Student, Biomedical Sciences
  • Julia Wiard  Coordinator, Center for Leadership and Ethics
  • Jake Williamson  Coordinator of Student Services, Business
  • Carson Williford  Undergraduate Student, English
  • Chris Wyckoff  Coordinator, First Year Seminars

The Auburn Connects! committee members also sit on any number of common book teams. These teams concentrate on a specific area of the Auburn Connects! program and are reviewed and adapted each year. The common book teams consist of committee members and volunteer members, including students, faculty, staff, and administrators.

  • Book Selection Team: The Book Selection Team will take the lead in garnering nominations during the two-week drive for online nominations. This team will also evaluate nominations based on the established book selection criteria and prepare information about the nominated books for the committee’s consideration. Upon receiving the final two choices from the Provost, the Book Selection Team will take the lead in organizing campus information sessions and campaigns for each of the finalists prior to the students’ vote.
  • Faculty Adoption Team: The Faculty Adoption Team is charged with encouraging, identifying, and helping faculty and instructors to integrate and utilize the common book selection in their courses. Members of this team may organize a common book workshop with the Biggio Center, have individual meetings with interested instructors, attend campus meetings, create an instructor’s guide and content for the instructor’s section of the Auburn Connects! website, or conduct First Year Seminar instructor training. This team will also be responsible for maintaining a list of faculty and instructors who adopt the book for their course(s).
  • Co-Curricular Applications Team: As co-curricular programming is a large factor in the success of the Auburn Connects! program, the Co-Curricular Applications Team will focus on introducing the book and its themes to staff, student organizations, and colleges, schools, and departments and helping them develop programming that incorporates or uses themes and ideas present in the book selection. While this team is not responsible for the planning and executing of events, it will serve as a clearinghouse and resource to various campus stakeholders in the creation of their planned events. This may include introducing and training various campus offices, Resident Assistants, and Camp War Eagle counselors on how to incorporate the book in what they are doing; developing content for the campus programmers section of the Auburn Connects! website; garnering, reviewing, and approving funding requests from campus entities; and maintaining a list of events and programmers who incorporate the book into their events.
  • Assessment and Evaluation Team: The Assessment and Evaluation Team will recommend a process for evaluating the Auburn Connects! program and will implement the evaluation strategy. This may include surveys, focus groups, or any other means deemed necessary and feasible. Following the assessments, team members will analyze the results and prepare reports.
  • Marketing Team: To increase campus and community awareness of the Auburn Connects! common book program and the specific book chosen each year, the Marketing Team will develop and implement creative ways to advertise and promote the program and book. This may include “Get Caught Reading” campaigns, traditional posters, radio spots, and/or digital media. This team will also assist the Auburn Connects! chairpersons with promoting the author event each year to various campus entities.

If you are interested in learning more about the common book teams or volunteering, please send an email to Valerie Bagley or give her a call at 334-844-5822.

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