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School of Professional Studies | Dean’s Blog

Becoming “Booked”
Booked – to be hooked on reading books

Research has shown that there is a strong relationship between reading and critical thinking. Spend this summer becoming “Booked.” Here are four things that will assist you.

  1. Make reading a habit. How do you make reading a habit? Well, two things you can do:
  • A little reading every day will expand you in depth and breadth.
  • Make reading a priority in your life. Set aside a time and place to read every day. Most frequent question: “Where do you find the time?” Answer: make time every day; make it a priority. Turn off the television and computer and read for at least 30 minutes. I read for at least 30 minutes each morning and before bedtime.
  1. Carry something to read with you all the time. On my iPad I have subscriptions to several periodicals and books.
  2. Follow some periodicals. I subscribe to The New Yorker, Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur, and Conde Nast Traveller. I love traveling; meeting new people from around the world in their indigenous setting helps me understand who I am and what I stand for.
  3. Keep one or more books going. In contrast to newspapers and periodicals, books enable you to think more critically.

For this summer I purchased five books that I have started reading. This summer I challenge all of the SPS’ students to get out of their comfort zone and try some new reading materials, be-it periodicals, paperback, trade cloth or an audiobook. By doing so, you expand your creativity and repertoire by going farther afield. Here are some of the best books I’ve read. I’ve arranged these recommendations by theme and have included books that I’m currently in the process of reading (and really like as denoted by the asterisk)!

Leadership and Career Success: One of my all time favorite authors is John P. Kotter. He is by far the most internationally acclaimed expert on leadership and change. His book New Rules: Eight Business Breakthroughs to Career Success in the 21st Century, is a must have for those seeking insight on career pathways and success in the 21st Century.

 Biblical: The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri is a timeless classic. I have read it several times and each time I see something new. This read may take the entire summer, but enjoy the journey. Keep in mind that it is not about the end of the journey that culminates into paradise, but the experiences and knowledge gleaned to get there, much like your education that culminates with a degree from Trinity Washington University. Those who know me may recall a quote I have used for over a decade, seen under my email signature line and cited at the end of everything that I do. I truly believe that

“Education is what remains once you have forgotten everything you learned in school.” I may not remember ever classmate or every formula from Physics or acid-base reactions from Biochemistry, but the journey is as vivid as the day I stepped foot on the campuses of Lincoln University (PA), Howard University, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine (MD), The Paedological Institute, (The Netherlands), Princeton University (NJ) and Harvard Graduate School of Education (MA).

Social Justice and Inequality: Have you ever wondered why there is such a great disparity between teachers, professors and scientist, those that inspire and invent to make the world a better place compared to Professional athletes and how this long familiar difference is increasingly permeating industries such as law, fashion, and publishing? There is a growing gap between rich and poor. Business and Human Relations students will find The Winner-Take-All Society: Why the Few at the Top Get So Much More Than the Rest of Us an interesting read.

Ethics and Integrity: In the world of selfies, photo-bombing and texting, people have become self-absorbed and detached. In David Brooks’ The Road to Character, he explores what is important and meaningful in a life well lived.

Disruptive Innovation: When our thoughts and ways of doing things become complacent in a dynamic environment and we fail to adapt to changes around us, extinction is our fate. In The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail, Clayton Christensen shows how even the most outstanding companies can do everything right, but still loose out. It discusses how not knowing how and when to abandon traditional ways will inevitably lead to peril. Anyone who is a business major should have this book in his or her repertoire.

Role of Women: Harvard University reported that in their recent Harvard Seminar for New Presidents 23 female presidents attended — almost half of the total 50 attendees. Anderson and Webb (2014) reported that the days of the college presidency as a job for men is quickly becoming outdated as more and more women step into the role. Notwithstanding, women continue to lag far behind men in senior management positions and their voices are still not heard equally in the decisions that most affect our lives. In Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, she explores the stall in progress and its root causes, and offers words of empowerment for women to actualize their full potential.

Social-culturalism: One of my two favorite books of all times is Jared Diamond’s Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed and Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. If you ever wanted a place to go and understand why some groups or societies fail and others succeed, this is a great starting point. Those who are in the Human Relations program would enjoy these two reads and I encourage you to read them.





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