2019 Summer Reading List

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With the long days of summer ahead, it is time to consider grabbing a favorite cool beverage and a good book to nurture body and soul. In the spirit of the season, we thought we would share a few publications that have proved to be especially insightful. Perhaps you will want to tuck a volume or two into your bag before heading off for a well-deserved summer break. Each book is available online and through your local independent bookseller or public library.

Inclusive Directions: The Role of the Chief Diversity Officer in Community College Leadership
Clyde Wilson Pickett, Michele Smith, James, III Felton 

This book will significantly benefit those interested in learning more about diversity and inclusion at community colleges and will provide insight into strategic diversity leadership. The book provides an in-depth view of the roles and responsibilities of the chief diversity officer, diversity strategic planning, and examines the various roles of diversity leaders at community colleges.

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The Educational Odyssey of a Woman College President
Joanne V. Creighton 

Early in her tenure as president of Mount Holyoke College, Joanne V. Creighton faced crises as students staged protests and occupied academic buildings; the alumnae association threatened a revolt; and a distinguished professor became the subject of a major scandal. Yet Creighton weathered each storm, serving for nearly fifteen years in office and shepherding the college through a notable revitalization.

In her autobiography, The Educational Odyssey of a Woman College President, Creighton situates her tenure at Mount Holyoke within a life and career that have traversed breathtaking changes in higher education and social life. Having held multiple roles in academia spanning undergraduate, professor, and president, Creighton served at small colleges and large public universities and experienced the dramatic changes facing women across the academy. From her girlhood in Wisconsin to the presidency of a storied women’s college, she bears witness to the forces that have reshaped higher education for women and continues to advocate for the liberal arts and sciences.

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Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.
Brené Brown 

The ultimate playbook for developing brave leaders and courageous cultures. Daring leadership is a collection of four skill sets that are 100% teachable. It’s learning and practice that requires brave work, tough conversations, and showing up with our whole hearts.

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13 Ideas That Are Transforming the Community College World
Terry U. O’Banion (editor) with 23 contributors representing 12 national organizations

America’s community colleges are experiencing the most creative and substantive period of transformation in their 118-year history. There has never been so much research, so much support from foundations, and so much commitment from national leaders to reimagine community colleges for today and for the future.

13 Ideas that Are Transforming the Community College World, edited by Terry U. O’Banion, is the seminal work that captures the major ideas faced by community college leaders in this period of transformation. The book includes 23 authors representing 12 national organizations, perhaps the most significant and substantive list of individuals ever to participate in an edited book on the community college. Each author is a nationally-recognized authority on his or her chapter, and all have played major roles as leaders of national organizations.

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Learning to be Latino: How Colleges Shape Identity Politics
Daisy Verduzco Reyes

In Learning to Be Latino, sociologist Daisy Verduzco Reyes paints a vivid picture of Latino student life at a liberal arts college, a research university, and a regional public university, outlining students’ interactions with one another, with non-Latino peers, and with faculty, administrators, and the outside community. Reyes identifies the normative institutional arrangements that shape the social relationships relevant to Latino students’ lives, including school size, the demographic profile of the student body, residential arrangements, the relationship between students and administrators, and how well diversity programs integrate students through cultural centers and retention centers. Together these characteristics create an environment for Latino students that influences how they interact, identify, and come to understand their place on campus. Drawing on extensive ethnographic observations, Reyes shows how college campuses shape much more than students’ academic and occupational trajectories; they mold students’ ideas about inequality and opportunity in America, their identities, and even how they intend to practice politics.

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The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution
Walter Isaacson 

Following his blockbuster biography of Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson’s New York Times bestselling and critically acclaimed The Innovators is a “riveting, propulsive, and at times deeply moving” (The Atlantic) story of the people who created the computer and the Internet.

What were the talents that allowed certain inventors and entrepreneurs to turn their visionary ideas into disruptive realities? What led to their creative leaps? Why did some succeed and others fail?

The Innovators is a masterly saga of collaborative genius destined to be the standard history of the digital revolution-and an indispensable guide to how innovation really happens. Isaacson begins the adventure with Ada Lovelace, Lord Byron’s daughter, who pioneered computer programming in the 1840s. He explores the fascinating personalities that created our current digital revolution, such as Vannevar Bush, Alan Turing, John von Neumann, J.C.R. Licklider, Doug Engelbart, Robert Noyce, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, Tim Berners-Lee, and Larry Page.

This is the story of how their minds worked and what made them so inventive. It’s also a narrative of how their ability to collaborate and master the art of teamwork made them even more creative. For an era that seeks to foster innovation, creativity, and teamwork, The Innovators is “a sweeping and surprisingly tenderhearted history of the digital age”

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Ellen Heffernan

President - Spelman Johnson

Ellen Heffernan graduated from Smith College with a B.A. in economics and government. She joined Spelman Johnson in 1996, after a ten-year career in higher education that included positions at Smith College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is also a national speaker and writer on topics related to recruiting and professional development in higher education and serves as faculty for several national higher education association professional development programs. Ellen also currently serves on the executive board of the National Association of Executive Recruiters.