Niagara Reads

What is Niagara Reads?

Niagara University will be suspending the Niagara Reads program for 2011 while the university's freshman seminar course undergoes significant changes.

The book for the first-year student reading program in 2010 was Escape from Slavery by Francis Bok. Students received a copy of the book at their CARE sessions and they discussed the book and participated in activities related to its theme.

Niagara Reads would like to acknowledge the sponsorship of Barnes & Noble Bookstore and ComDoc in supporting various aspects of its programming. We are grateful for their support of the 2010 program.

Congratulations to our Niagara Reads 2010 contest winners!  

  • Essay - Crista Gugliuzza
  • Poem - Danielle Graham
  • Visual - Bethany Zakrzewski  

Why does Niagara University have a freshman summer reading program? What are its goals?

  • To provide freshmen with a common experience that is intellectually stimulating.
  • To set the tone for serious college work.
  • To convey the message that Niagara University is a place where reading and the exchange of ideas are important.
  • To encourage students to develop the habit of regular reading for pleasure.
  • To transmit the values of Niagara University.

How does Niagara Reads support NU’s mission?

Niagara University's mission statement includes the following goals regarding education:

  • “Niagara seeks to develop within its students a passion for learning.”
  • “…through its curricular and co-curricular programs, Niagara University seeks to develop the whole person, mind, body, heart, and soul, for the benefit of one’s personal and professional life.”

Niagara Reads supports these goals by supporting incoming students as they read for pleasure and discuss a common book with their peers and other members of the university community. We hope that our shared book and related activities are enriching to all who participate, and that they motivate students to continue their own reading/discussion activities.

Who runs Niagara Reads?

The Niagara Reads program is run by a committee of faculty members, staff and students who decide on the book, organize activities, and provide support for  NUS 102 instructors in their discussions of the book. Current committee members are:


  • Co-chairs: Sharon Green (Reading Coordinator, Office of Academic Support) and  E.J. Gonser (Assistant Director for Off-Campus Housing Affairs)
  • Michelle Ciminelli (Visiting Professor of Education)
  • Kris Bradshaw (Assistant to the Dean, College of Hospitality & Tourism Management)
  • Carolyn Makey (Advisor, Academic Success Program)
  • Melissa Langridge  (Information Literacy and Reference Librarian)
  • Dr. Erin Karper   (Associate Professor of English)
  • Dr. Craig Rivera (Associate Professor of Criminal Justice)
  • Ginny Pasceri (Academic Skills Specialist, Office of Academic Support)
  • Michele Smith-Link (Stewardship & Donor Relations Coordinator, Advancement Office)


  • Juliana Donner
  • Josie Crosland
  • Leslie Makowski  
  • Megan Hoover  
  • Gina Puntoriero  
  • Brigid Kelsey