Common Reading

synergy logo

About the Program

Synergy, UNCW's Common Reading Experience

Synergy is a dynamic program for all UNCW students, particularly first-year students, that provides:

  • An introduction to academic expectations and intellectual engagement
  • A common experience with peers and faculty
  • Opportunities for self-reflection and critical thinking
  • A powerful, meaningful, and fun experience

Synergy, UNCW's Common Reading Experience, supports the university's mission of integrating teaching, research, service, stimulation of intellectual curiosity, imagination, critical thinking, and thoughtful expression. The program supports Goal One of the Strategic Plan: Create the most powerful learning experience possible for our students. It is designed to intentionally reinforce the expectations of the university environment through scholarly engagement. Synergy unites the efforts of entities on-campus and in the surrounding community to bring about a combined positive effect greater than that which these elements could achieve working separately.

Selection Criteria

The Synergy Committee considers the following criteria when selecting the Common Reading text each fall:

  • Potential to engage students and spark passionate discussion
  • Appeal to a wide range of students
  • Possibilities for classroom use among various departments, including First Year Seminar
  • Possibilities for campus programming
  • Richness of themes; interdisciplinary in nature
  • Relevance to student life (i.e. coming of age, diversity, relationships, family, self-exploration, identity, etc.)
  • Available in paperback
  • 400 pages or less

The Synergy Committee

The Synergy Committee is comprised of students, faculty, staff, and administration. There are representatives from a variety of departments within Academic and Student Affairs.

How Do I Get the Book?

Freshmen: Complimentary copies of the book will be provided to all incoming freshmen at Orientation. If you are attending an Orientation in June, you will receive your copy at check-in. If you are attending an Orientation in August, your book will be mailed to you mid-July.

Students with Disabilities (all students, including Freshmen): If you are a student with a documented disability and wish to request this text in an alternate format, please contact Peggy Turner, Disability Services, at (910) 962-7555. No alternate format copies will be supplied without proper documentation.

Other Students: A limited amount of complimentary copies will be available at Common Reading events during the fall. Copies are also available for purchase at the UNCW bookstore and at your local bookstore. Copies are available for loan at Randall Library.

Faculty and Staff: If you are interested in participating in this program or reviewing the text, please email to request a copy.