President's Book Club

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, a time to spotlight the prevalence of sexual assault, educate our communities about how to prevent it and honor the voices and experiences of those who have survived it.

As such, the President’s Book Club has partnered with the Office of Title IX Compliance to host this special event during this year’s SAAM. We are very eager to discuss this New York Times bestseller, which is a moving and compelling account about one survivor’s experience seeking justice after her sexual assault. We are confident this book will generate a noteworthy conversation about the many, complex issues survivors must navigate. However, our hope is that this event will motivate our college community to work together in preventing sexual assault.

Participants must sign up prior to this event in order to have time to read this book. Further details will be sent once you register.

Upcoming Book Discussions

April

Know My Name: A Memoir

Chanel Miller

She was known to the world as Emily Doe when she stunned millions with a letter. Brock Turner had been sentenced to just six months in county jail after he was found sexually assaulting her on Stanford's campus. Her victim impact statement was posted on BuzzFeed, where it instantly went viral--viewed by eleven million people within four days, it was translated globally and read on the floor of Congress; it inspired changes in California law and the recall of the judge in the case. Thousands wrote to say that she had given them the courage to share their own experiences of assault for the first time.

Now she reclaims her identity to tell her story of trauma, transcendence, and the power of words. It was the perfect case, in many ways--there were eyewitnesses, Turner ran away, physical evidence was immediately secured. But her struggles with isolation and shame during the aftermath and the trial reveal the oppression victims face in even the best-case scenarios. Her story illuminates a culture biased to protect perpetrators, indicts a criminal justice system designed to fail the most vulnerable, and, ultimately, shines with the courage required to move through suffering and live a full and beautiful life.

Know My Name will forever transform the way we think about sexual assault, challenging our beliefs about what is acceptable and speaking truth to the tumultuous reality of healing. It also introduces readers to an extraordinary writer, one whose words have already changed our world. Entwining pain, resilience, and humor, this memoir will stand as a modern classic.

Chosen as a BEST BOOK OF 2019 by The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, TIME, Elle, Glamour, Parade, Chicago Tribune, Baltimore Sun, BookRiot

Join the April Club

Monday, April 11, 2022, from 3 to 4 p.m.

Past Book Discussions

September 2021

The 2021 Aspen Prize

By Ben Barrett and Rebecca Lavinson

This 20 page report highlights strategies being used by the top ten community colleges in 2021.

The Aspen Institute College Excellence Program aims to advance higher education practices and leadership that significantly improve student learning, completion, and employment after college—especially for the growing population of students of color and students from low-income backgrounds on American campuses.

The $1 million Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, awarded every two years, is the nation's signature recognition for America's community colleges—as President Obama called it, “basically the Oscars for great community colleges.” The Aspen Prize honors institutions with outstanding achievement in six areas: teaching and learning, certificate and degree completion, transfer and bachelor's attainment, workforce success, equitable outcomes for students of color and students from low-income backgrounds, and leadership and culture. By focusing on student success and lifting up models that work, the Aspen Prize aims to celebrate excellence, advance a focus on equitable student success, and stimulate replication of effective culture and practice.

November 2021

Educated

By Tara Westover

#1 NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL, AND BOSTON GLOBE BESTSELLER • One of the most acclaimed books of our time: an unforgettable memoir about a young woman who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University

“An amazing story, and truly inspiring. It's even better than you've heard.”—Bill Gates

NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW • ONE OF PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA'S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR • BILL GATES'S HOLIDAY READING LIST • FINALIST: National Book Critics Circle's Award In Autobiography and John Leonard Prize For Best First Book • PEN/Jean Stein Book Award • Los Angeles Times Book Prize

Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara's older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she'd traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

“Beautiful and propulsive . . . Despite the singularity of [Westover's] childhood, the questions her book poses are universal: How much of ourselves should we give to those we love? And how much must we betray them to grow up?”—Vogue

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post O: The Oprah MagazineTime • NPR • Good Morning America San Francisco ChronicleThe Guardian The Economist Financial Times NewsdayNew York PosttheSkimmRefinery29BloombergSelfReal Simple Town & CountryBustlePastePublishers Weekly Library JournalLibraryReadsBookRiot • Pamela Paul, KQED • New York Public Library

December 2021

Super Courses: The Future of Teaching and Learning

By Ken Bain

Limited to 25 people who are willing and able to meet all 3 times. Tuesday October 5th, November 16th, December 7th 3:30-4:45

For this book- it will be divided into 3 sections so please commit to meeting 3 times this semester to discuss the book.

Section 1: pgs. 1-80 (October 5th)

Section 2: pgs. 81-155 (November 16th)

Section 3: pgs. 156-224 (December 7th)

From the bestselling author of What the Best College Teachers Do, the story of a new breed of amazingly innovative courses that inspire students and improve learning.

Decades of research have produced profound insights into how student learning and motivation can be unleashed—and it’s not through technology or even the best of lectures. In Super Courses, education expert and bestselling author Ken Bain tells the fascinating story of enterprising college, graduate school, and high school teachers who are using evidence-based approaches to spark deeper levels of learning, critical thinking, and creativity—whether teaching online, in class, or in the field.

Visiting schools across the United States as well as in China and Singapore, Bain, working with his longtime collaborator, Marsha Marshall Bain, uncovers super courses throughout the humanities and sciences. At the University of Virginia, undergrads contemplate the big questions that drove Tolstoy—by working with juveniles at a maximum-security correctional facility. Harvard physics students learn about the universe not through lectures but from their peers in a class where even reading is a social event. And students at a Dallas high school use dance to develop growth mindsets—and many of them go on to top colleges, including Juilliard. Bain defines these as super courses because they all use powerful researched-based elements to build a “natural critical learning environment” that fosters intrinsic motivation, self-directed learning, and self-reflective reasoning. Complete with sample syllabi, the book shows teachers how they can build their own super courses.

The story of a hugely important breakthrough in education, Super Courses reveals how these classes can help students reach their full potential, equip them to lead happy and productive lives, and meet the world’s complex challenges.

April 2021

One Small Step Can Change Your Life

By Robert Maurer, Ph.D.

Improve your life fearlessly with this essential guide to kaizen—the art of making great and lasting change through small, steady steps.

Written by psychologist and kaizen expert Dr. Robert Maurer, One Small Step Can Change Your Life is the simple but potent guide to easing into new habits—and turning your life around. Learn how to overcome fear and procrastination with his 7 Small Steps—including how to Think Small Thoughts, Take Small Actions, and Solve Small Problems—to steadily build your confidence and make insurmountable-seeming goals suddenly feel doable.

The science is irrefutable: Small steps circumvent our brains' built-in resistance to new behaviors. Throughout this book, Dr. Maurer also shows how to visualize virtual change so that real change can come more easily. Why small rewards lead to big returns. And how great discoveries are made by paying attention to the little details most of us overlook. His simple regiment is your path to continuous improvement for anything from losing weight to quitting smoking, paying off debt, or conquering shyness and meeting new people. Rooted in the two-thousand-year-old wisdom of the Tao Te Ching—“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”—here is the way to change your life without fear, without failure, and start on a new path of easy, continuous improvement.

March 2021

The Person You Mean to Be

By Dolly Chugh

“Finally: an engaging, evidence-based book about how to battle biases, champion diversity and inclusion, and advocate for those who lack power and privilege. Dolly Chugh makes a convincing case that being an ally isn't about being a good person—it's about constantly striving to be a better person.” —Adam Grant, New York Times bestselling author of Give and Take, Originals, and Option B with Sheryl Sandberg

Foreword by Laszlo Bock, the bestselling author of Work Rules! and former Senior Vice President of People Operations at Google.

An inspiring guide from Dolly Chugh, an award-winning social psychologist at the New York University Stern School of Business, on how to confront difficult issues including sexism, racism, inequality, and injustice so that you can make the world (and yourself) better.

Many of us believe in equality, diversity, and inclusion. But how do we stand up for those values in our turbulent world? The Person You Mean to Be is the smart, "semi-bold" person's guide to fighting for what you believe in.

Dolly reveals the surprising causes of inequality, grounded in the "psychology of good people". Using her research findings in unconscious bias as well as work across psychology, sociology, economics, political science, and other disciplines, she offers practical tools to respectfully and effectively talk politics with family, to be a better colleague to people who don't look like you, and to avoid being a well-intentioned barrier to equality. Being the person we mean to be starts with a look at ourselves.

She argues that the only way to be on the right side of history is to be a good-ish— rather than good—person. Good-ish people are always growing. Second, she helps you find your "ordinary privilege"—the part of your everyday identity you take for granted, such as race for a white person, sexual orientation for a straight person, gender for a man, or education for a college graduate. This part of your identity may bring blind spots, but it is your best tool for influencing change. Third, Dolly introduces the psychological reasons that make it hard for us to see the bias in and around us. She leads you from willful ignorance to willful awareness. Finally, she guides you on how, when, and whom, to engage (and not engage) in your workplaces, homes, and communities. Her science-based approach is a method any of us can put to use in all parts of our life.

Whether you are a long-time activist or new to the fight, you can start from where you are. Through the compelling stories Dolly shares and the surprising science she reports, Dolly guides each of us closer to being the person we mean to be.

February 2021

Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching

By Mychal Denzel Smith

An unflinching account of what it means to be a young black man in America today, and how the existing script for black manhood is being rewritten in one of the most fascinating periods of American history.

How do you learn to be a black man in America? For young black men today, it means coming of age during the presidency of Barack Obama. It means witnessing the deaths of Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Akai Gurley, and too many more. It means celebrating powerful moments of black self-determination for LeBron James, Dave Chappelle, and Frank Ocean.

In Invisible Man, Got the Whole World Watching, Mychal Denzel Smith chronicles his own personal and political education during these tumultuous years, describing his efforts to come into his own in a world that denied his humanity. Smith unapologetically upends reigning assumptions about black masculinity, rewriting the script for black manhood so that depression and anxiety aren't considered taboo, and feminism and LGBTQ rights become part of the fight. The questions Smith asks in this book are urgent -- for him, for the martyrs and the tokens, and for the Trayvons that could have been and are still waiting.

January 2021

How to Be An Inclusive Leader

By Jennifer Brown

We know why diversity is important, but how do we drive real change at work? Diversity and inclusion expert Jennifer Brown provides a step-by-step guide for the personal and emotional journey we must undertake to create an inclusive workplace where everyone can thrive.

Human potential is unleashed when we feel like we belong. That's why inclusive workplaces experience higher engagement, performance, and profits. But the reality is that many people still feel unable to bring their true selves to work. In a world where the talent pool is becoming increasingly diverse, it's more important than ever for leaders to truly understand how to support inclusion.

Drawing on years of work with many leading organizations, Jennifer Brown shows what leaders at any level can do to spark real change. She guides readers through the Inclusive Leader Continuum, a set of four developmental stages: unaware, aware, active, and advocate. Brown describes the hallmarks of each stage, the behaviors and mind-sets that inform it, and what readers can do to keep progressing. Whether you're a powerful CEO or a new employee without direct reports, there are actions you can take that can drastically change the day-to-day reality for your colleagues and the trajectory of your organization.

Anyone can--and should--be an inclusive leader. Brown lays out simple steps to help you understand your role, boost your self-awareness, take action, and become a better version of yourself in the process. This book will meet you where you are and provide a road map to create a workplace of greater mutual understanding where everyone's talents can shine.

November 2020

Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth

By Amy C. Edmondson

Those who have read Professor Edmondson's book "The Fearless Organization" will know that psychological safety is required for team high-performance. Psychological safety is defined as "a belief that one will not be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns, or mistakes".

Psychological safety on four axes: In The Fearless Organization Scan psychological safety is measured on four dimensions, which are reflected in the scan report.

  • Attitude to risk & failure
    The degree to which it is permissible to make mistakes.
  • Open conversation
    The degree to which difficult and sensitive topics can be discussed openly.
  • Willingness to help
    The degree to which people are willing to help each other.
  • Inclusivity & diversity
    The degree to which you can be yourself, and are welcomed for this.

October 2020

From Equity Talk to Equity Walk: Expanding Practitioner Knowledge for Racial Justice in Higher Education

By Tia McNair Brown

Drawing from campus-based research projects sponsored by the AAC&U and the Center for Urban Education at the University of Southern California, From Equity Talk to Equity Walk provides practical guidance on the design and application of campus change strategies for achieving equitable outcomes. The authors offer advice on how to build an equity-minded campus culture, align strategic priorities and institutional missions to advance equity, understand equity-minded data analysis, develop campus strategies for making excellence inclusive, and move from a first-generation equity educator to an equity-minded practitioner. Central concepts and key points are illustrated through campus examples.

September 2020

I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness

By Austin Channing Brown

In a time when nearly all institutions (schools, churches, universities, businesses) claim to value "diversity" in their mission statements, I'M STILL HERE is a powerful account of how and why our actions so often fall short of our words. Austin writes in breathtaking detail about her journey to self-worth and the pitfalls that kill our attempts at racial justice, in stories that bear witness to the complexity of America's social fabric--from Black Cleveland neighborhoods to private schools in the middle-class suburbs, from prison walls to the boardrooms at majority-white organizations.

For readers who have engaged with America's legacy on race through the writing of Ta-Nehisi Coates and Michael Eric Dyson, I'M STILL HERE is an illuminating look at how white, middle-class, Evangelicalism has participated in an era of rising racial hostility, inviting the reader to confront apathy, recognize God's ongoing work in the world, and discover how blackness--if we let it--can save us all.

Austin's New York Times' Bestseller has taken her across the country speaking to universities, mass audiences, churches, and businesses. By facing head-on the systemic ways our world was built for whiteness, Austin's every word unapologetically yet winsomely kicks down the door and brings the Black American experience into center stage.

Campus Cultural Centers

Kupferberg Holocaust Center exterior lit up at nightOpens in a new window
Kupferberg Holocaust Center Opens in a new window

The KHC uses the lessons of the Holocaust to educate current and future generations about the ramifications of unbridled prejudice, racism and stereotyping.

Russian Ballet performing at the Queensborough Performing Arts CenterOpens in a new window
QPAC: Performing Arts CenterOpens in a new window

QPAC is an invaluable entertainment company in this region with a growing national reputation. The arts at QPAC continues to play a vital role in transforming lives and building stronger communities.

Queensborough Art Gallery exterior in the afternoonOpens in a new window
QCC Art GalleryOpens in a new window

The QCC Art Gallery of the City University of New York is a vital educational and cultural resource for Queensborough Community College, the Borough of Queens and the surrounding communities.