Common Reading

Students at a Synergy Event


2007-08 Synergy Events

Events are free and open to students, faculty, staff, and the general public, unless otherwise noted.

Synergy Essay Contest

Ongoing, Submit completed essays by October 1, 5:00 pm

Essay Theme: "Guilt and Redemption: Experiences from Childhood and Beyond." Many of us have been in situations like the character Amir in The Kite Runner, when we've been overcome by a guilty feeling. Describe a situation that caused guilt in your own life. In your experience, were you able to rationalize or overcome that guilt? What steps did you take to deal with the pain? Does it remain a part of you? Do you feel redeemed? Can you relate to the themes of guilt and redemption in The Kite Runner?

This essay contest is open to all freshmen students at UNCW. All essays must be typed and double-spaced with a 750 word limit. Please attach a cover sheet to your essay with name, email, and phone number.

Essay Winners

1st Place ($100 Textbook Gift Certificate): Leeanna Clevenger
2nd Place ($75 Textbook Gift Certificate): Ashley Northup
3rd Place ($50 Textbook Gift Certificate): Emma Lee

Essay Honorable Mentions

Jackson Frederick
Allison Murphy
Sara A. Roberts
Robert Robertson
Elisabeth Wallace

Happy Hour (UNCWelcome Event)

Thursday, August 23, 4:00 - 6:00 pm, Sharky's Game Room, Fisher Student Center

Kick off the weekend with free wings, free games, fun, and giveaways. Complimentary books will be available.

Co-sponsored by Crossroads and University College.

Osama (UNCWelcome Event)

Tuesday, August 28, 7:00 - 10:00 pm, Lumina Theater, Fisher Student Center

Join us for a night of great film and discussion! Osama, the 2004 Golden-Globe winner for Best Foreign Language Film, is set in Afghanistan after the Taliban regime bans women from working and forbids them to leave their homes without a male escort. Inspired by a true story, Osama follows the courageous and terrifying journey of a 12 year-old girl who disguises herself as a boy to save her family from starvation.

Co-sponsored by the Women's Resource Center and University College.

The Thirsty Tome (UNCWelcome Event)

Wednesday, August 29, 7:00 - 8:30 pm, Randall Library

"I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975."
- Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner)

Who we are and the people we become are often influenced by childhood events. Join a group of UNCW Creative Writing, English, and Library faculty for a writing workshop to help students put those pivotal moments into words. All UNCW students are invited to participate and there will also be an opportunity to read for those interested. This is a free event, open to everyone, and coffee, fine pastries, and other tasty eats will be served.

Sponsored by Randall Library.

The Kite Runner Festival

Thursday, September 6, 3:00 - 5:00 pm, Campus Commons

Come celebrate UNCW's Common Reading Experience selection, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Join us for an afternoon of insight into Afghani culture and traditions as we bring The Kite Runner to life with Afghan music, food, dance, kite flying, and readings from the novel. Enjoy performances, free food, giveaways, and prizes.

Screening and Discussion of Afghan Stories

Tuesday, September 11, 7:00 - 10:00 pm, Lumina Theater, Fisher Student Center

Join us for the film Afghan Stories, a documentary filmed in response to 9/11 that traces how a generation of war has affected the Afghan people. The film is not only an intimate and penetrating portrait of the Afghan struggle to survive, but an unique look at some of the challenges the Afghans face building a permanent peace. Following the film will be a presentation from UNCW faculty on the land and people of the Middle East.

Co-sponsored by Randall Library as part of The September Project to commemorate 9/11.

Synergy Panel Discussion, "Responses to The Kite Runner"

Tuesday, October 16, 6:00 - 9:00 pm, Lumina Theater, Fisher Student Center

UNCW faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences will respond to The Kite Runner, presenting an interdisciplinary approach and taking questions. Departments represented will include Philosophy and Religion, Literature, and History.

Art Exhibition, "The Art of War: Afghan War Rugs"

Tuesday, October 16 - Monday, October 22, Warwick Center Lobby

Reception: Thursday, October 18, 11:30 - 1:00 pm, Warwick Center Lobby

Belly dancers and music from the Middle East will be present at the reception and light hors d'oeuvres will be provided.

Sponsored by UNCW Presents.

Azar Nafisi, The Republic of the Imagination (Synergy Keynote)

Monday, October 22, 7:00 - 8:30 pm, Kenan Auditorium

Azar Nafisi is best-known as the author of the bes-selling Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books, an electrifying account of the Islamic revolution in Iran and how it affected one university professor and her seven female students as they studied literary classics in the privacy of Nafisi's home while the world around them crumbled. A publishing sensation, Nafisi's book has spent more than two years on The New York Times bestseller list as the author has become internationally recognized for her advocacy on behalf of Iran's intellectuals, youth, and women. An audience Q&A session and book-signing will follow the lecture.

Free for UNCW students, faculty, and staff. Tickets are $9 each for the publich. Call Kenan Box Office at (910) 962-3500 for tickets. Presented by the Leadership Lecture Series and the Katherine Buckner Lecture Series. Co-sponsored by Academic Affairs, Women's Resource Center, Graduate School, and the Graduate Student Association.

Synergy Panel Discussion, "Countries in Turmoil: Recovery and Rebuilding"

Tuesday, November 13, 7:00 - 10:00 pm, Lumina Theater, Fisher Student Center

UNCW faculty and staff from the Cameron School of Business, the School of Nursing, and Watson School of Education will discuss issues of rebuilding nations in turmoil. The Center for Leadership Education and SErvice will also discuss service opportunities for helping these efforts.

The Kite Runner Closing Ceremony

Thursday, November 19, 4:00 - 6:00 pm, Hoggard Lawn

The closing ceremony is an opportunity to participate in the spirit, competition, and community of the kite running tradition in Afghanistan. Group participants will create a kite within set guidelines and will be judged on a variety of aspects. Common Reading essay contest winners will also read their essays. The UNCW community is encouraged to experience this fun event, whether as participant or spectators.