From the Vice Chancellor's Shelf

From the VC's Shelf

Join us in a monthly conversation led by the Vice Chancellor for Student Success with a book selected by Dr. Leming for reading and discussion. All faculty and staff across the TBR system are invited to participate as their schedules allow. A recording and discussion board are available for each book if a participant has a conflict with the live meeting. Our Spring 2022 monthly readings are co-facilitated by campus partners and follow monthly themes. 


January – Book Club Kick-Off

The Privileged Poor: How Elite Colleges Are Failing Disadvantaged Students by Anthony Abraham Jack

Co-facilitated with Tongai Leslie Maodzwa, Coordinator of Inclusive Excellence at Northeast State Community College

January 31, 11 a.m. CT

A native of Miami, Anthony Abraham Jack received a scholarship to attend Gulliver Prep, an elite private high school in south Florida. He went on to receive degrees from Amherst College and Harvard University. He is currently a Junior Fellow at the Harvard Society of Fellows, an Assistant Professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and the Shutzer Assistant Professor at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. His research documents the overlooked diversity among lower-income undergraduates: the Doubly Disadvantaged—those who enter college from local, typically distressed public high schools—and Privileged Poor—those who do so from boarding, day, and preparatory high schools.


February – Celebrating Black History Month

Coming of Age in Mississippi by Anne Moody

Co-facilitated with Dr. Anna Esquivel, Chair of Languages and Literature at Jackson State Community College

February 22, 11 a.m. CT

Born to a poor couple who were tenant farmers on a plantation in Mississippi, Anne Moody lived through some of the most dangerous days of the pre-civil rights era in the South. An all-A student whose dream of going to college is realized when she wins a basketball scholarship, she finally dares to join the NAACP in her junior year. Through the NAACP and later through CORE and SNCC she has first-hand experience of the demonstrations and sit-ins that were the mainstay of the civil rights movement, and the arrests and jailings, the shotguns, fire hoses, police dogs, billy clubs and deadly force that were used to destroy it. A deeply personal story but also a portrait of a turning point in our nation's destiny, this autobiography lets us see history in the making, through the eyes of one of the footsoldiers in the civil rights movement.


March – Celebrating Women’s History Month

The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams

Co-facilitated with Emma Huelskoetter, Coordinator of Campus Mindset Interventions at the TBR System Office

March 24 @ 11 a.m. CT

Pip Williams’ clever and charming debut introduces us to Esme, the daughter of one of the lexicographers working on the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. As she grows up, she learns that many of the discarded words are related to women’s experiences, so she sets out to write her very own "Dictionary of Lost Words". Set during the height of the women’s suffrage movement and with the Great War looming, The Dictionary of Lost Words reveals a lost narrative, hidden between the lines of a history written by men. Inspired by actual events, author Pip Williams has delved into the archives of the Oxford English Dictionary to tell this highly original story.


April – Celebrating International Education

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

Co-facilitated with Tracey Bradley, Executive Director, Tennessee Consortium for International Studies at Pellissippi State Community College

April 20 @ 11 a.m. CT

The memoir of one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed. Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.