Megan Deichler to Speak in Common Read Lecture Series


November 8, 2021—On the evening of November 10, Marist will welcome Megan Deichler, the Executive Director of the Catskill Hudson Area Health Education Center, to present the “Social Determinants of Health and Healthcare Access.” Deichler will be joined by Dr. Lisa Stephens, Senior Lecturer of Chemistry and Pre-Health Program Coordinator, to discuss her work in the community, which focuses on improving access to quality, primary healthcare in medically underserved areas throughout the Hudson Valley. The Center supports educational activities that recruit, train, and retain community-based healthcare personnel in under-served communities.

“Issues in healthcare equity and social determinants of health are very important for our students to have awareness of even before becoming healthcare providers,” said Stephens. “Not only do social determinants of health and lack of access to appropriate care affect individuals, but also the health of entire communities, and exposure to these issues early will help prepare students for what they will face in the future.”

Wednesday’s event is part of a yearlong lecture series focusing on the 2021-2022 Common Read, Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man by Emmanuel Acho. In September, former NFL wide receiver Donte Stallworth discussed Acho’s book with Jane McManus, the Director of Marist’s Center for Sports Communication. In October, the philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah presented “What is Racism?” to the College community.

The common read is integrated into students’ First Year Seminar (FYS) and selected by a committee of faculty, administrators, and staff. The book is used to assess incoming students’ critical thinking, values awareness, and writing. Dr. James Snyder, Dean in the Office of Academic Affairs, whose works focus on high-impact practices, explains that the “common read gives us the special opportunity to focus students on our core institutional learning outcomes that are at the heart of a Marist education.” Snyder adds that “the book is more than an assessment, signaling to our incoming class that their college education will take them to new places, challenge their thinking, and help them grow personally and intellectually.” Snyder notes that in recent years, the college has selected common read books about immigration, sexism and the “Me Too” movement, and the 2020 presidential election.

This year FYS and Academic Affairs took a different approach to encouraging discussions about the common read by requesting each academic school to host an event that connects with prominent themes in Acho’s book. This approach was taken to ground the book in the expertise and academic disciplines of each school, with the goal of making the book a tangible part of the Class of 2025’s first year. With the lectures split into two semesters, the fall semester includes events planned by the Schools of Communication and the Arts, Liberal Arts, and Science. The spring semester will include events from the Schools of Management, Computer Science and Mathematics, and Social and Behavioral Sciences.

The common read is an opportunity for the entire Marist community to engage in important discussions about pressing social and political matters. “As each school takes on the task of organizing an event related to Acho's book, we hope to create more opportunities for learning, conversations, and self-reflection outside of the classroom, and these conversations will continue with all new academic programming in the spring semester,” said Dr. Robyn Rosen, Director of First Year Seminar.

Asset Publisher