San Jose State University’s Campus Reading Program for 2019 will kick off on September 11, with movie screenings, discussions and guest speaker events planned through the middle of November.
The book selection this year, Spare Parts: Four Undocumented Teenagers, One Ugly Robot and the Battle for the American Dream, by Joshua Davis, is an underdog story about four Mexican American Teenagers from Phoenix who form a robotics team with the encouragement of their high school teachers. The teens go on to challenge reigning champions from MIT at a national robotics competition. The book, a gift from President Mary Papazian, was given to all incoming first-time frosh as well as all new tenure-track faculty.
The campus reading program committee selected Spare Parts because it reflects SJSU’s commitment to inclusion, diversity and understanding across differences.
“We are pleased that the book documents how teachers can make a significant difference in the lives of students, particularly students from underrepresented backgrounds,” said Kathleen McSharry, a professor of English who coordinates the Campus Reading Program. “Our diverse array of programming is designed to stimulate discussion about critical issues surrounding immigration and undocumented families, access to educational opportunities, and STEM education.”
Oscar Vazquez, a student featured in Spare Parts, will speak on campus and sign books on Monday, September 16, from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the Hammer Theatre. Julio Navarette, an SJSU alumnus who was undocumented while in college, will share his journey on Tuesday, October 8, at 7 p.m. in Student Union 1A. He now teaches at American High School in Fremont and was voted Teacher of the Year by his students.
In conjunction with Campus Life’s Spartan Speakers Series, Orange is the New Black actress and activist Diane Guerrero will speak on campus, Monday, September 30, at 7 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom.
The Center for Community Learning and Leadership will host three “craftivism” sessions in which participants will discuss the book while creating community art.
See the full list of events and activities: http://www.sjsu.edu/reading/events_discussions/
The diversity of Campus Reading Program events is matched by the wide array of campus units sponsoring the events, including the College of Education, the Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering, the College of Humanities and the Arts, the School of Journalism, the University Library, the UndocuSpartan Resource Center, the Chicanx/Latinx Student Success Center, Campus Life and the Center for Community Learning and Leadership.