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Colorado State University recently launched a Thematic Year initiative as students, faculty, and staff prepare for the fall semester.
The initiative is an expansion of the Rams Read program, which was started in 2020 to foster more meaningful engagement on campus surrounding significant topics and issues evident in the community. The annually selected theme is chosen to stimulate interdisciplinary partnerships across departments, colleges, and the campus, and is designed to encourage and highlight current and potential research, events, programs, and collaborations among students, faculty, and staff.
The program is headed by a team of dedicated committee members that span across CSU colleges and departments and is managed by Associate Director of University Events and Ceremonies and Presidential Fellow Marissa Dienstag.
This year’s inaugural theme is HEALTH, including physical, mental, animal, and public health. The book selected for the program’s common read is What the Eyes Don’t See by Mona Hanna-Attisha. Set in Flint, Michigan, the book chronicles a first-hand account of the pediatrician’s fight to stop increasingly high levels of lead poisoning in the local water supply. All incoming first-year students were given the book at Ram Orientation and introduced to the Thematic Year theme. In addition, many first-year seminars will include the book as part of their fall curriculum.
The Thematic Year website also launched on July 1, and it includes information about upcoming health-related events, including Dr. Hanna-Attisha’s campus visit on September 21, where she will be discussing her book and expertise at the Lory Student Center Theatre. The event is free and open to the campus community.
Additional resources on the website include health and wellness information for faculty, staff, and students, along with classroom and discussion guides and resources pertaining to the common read book. The website is continuously being updated. To request that any research, program, or event be featured, or to submit additional ideas for useful resources to add to the list, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The committee encourages departments and organizations on campus that have public health-related programs, lectures, and events to submit them to the CSU Events Calendar. To propose a health event on the Events Calendar, visit the Thematic Year’s events page and submit an event at calendar.colostate.edu/. Check “Health & Wellness” as one of the event types.