Ursuline Studies Common Book Initiative: Discuss ‘Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain’


Now in its second year, the Ursuline Studies Program common book for the 2014-15 academic year is a memoir titled Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain by Portia de Rossi, charting her struggles with self- doubt, body image and acceptance – struggles that manifest themselves in a severe eating disorder that nearly costs de Rossi her life.

As with last year’s offering, all incoming students received a complimentary copy of the book, stamped with her or his name, as a gift of welcome to the college. The book also serves to provide a truly common experience to all new students in 2014, and is a symbol of their purpose at Ursuline: to earn a college education. Faculty and staff likewise had the opportunity to pick up a copy, and will again participate in Chew & Chat events to foster connections across the campus. This year, alumnae will also be invited to participate, whether by attending Chew & Chat events, or by posting comments on VOICES online.

Dr. Mimi Pipino, Director of the Ursuline Studies Program introduced the common book initiative to begin the 2013-2014 academic year. This initiative was originally designed for the traditional freshman and transfer students as a meaningful introduction to the core curriculum at USP Stage I level and the beginning of the Ursuline Experience. After sharing the idea with her peers, it was decided to expand the audience to faculty, staff and alumnae.

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