Penn State Reads

Penn State Reads


It's What I Do

It's What I Do, by Lynsey Addario


Penn State Reads is a program designed to provide a shared experience among new students who read the same book and engage with each other in a dialogue about the concepts introduced. It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War by Lynsey Addario is the 2017-18 book selection.

Lynsey Addario is an American photojournalist who regularly works for The New York Times, National Geographic, and the Time Magazine. In 2000, Addario first traveled to Afghanistan to document life and oppression of women living under the Taliban. Over the past 15 years, Addario has covered every major conflict and humanitarian crisis of her generation. 

It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War is a memoir which chronicles Addario’s personal and professional life as a photojournalist coming of age in the post – 9/11 world. 

Events at Penn State Harrisburg

Kickoff Reception
September 27
Morrison Gallery 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Celebrate the kickoff of Penn State Reads campaign and receive a copy of It's What I Do: A Photographer's Life of Love and War. Enjoy refreshments and hors d'oeuvres, visit with administrators, faculty, staff, students, and community partners, and learn more about how you can get involved with this year's campaign!

Virtual Book Club
September 25-October 30

In partnership with World Campus, Penn State Harrisburg is offering a Virtual Book Club as a non-credit course for all first year students. The course will be divided into six lessons, each one a week in duration. Each lesson will cover two to three chapters of the book and will include three to four discussion questions about the content of the chapters for that lesson. The course will be set-up in Canvas and will provide an opportunity for students to build new learning communities. For more information, please contact Perdeta L. Bush at

Panel Discussion
October 9
SEC Theatre 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Penn State Harrisburg will host a panel discussion that marries this year's common text with an awareness and a discussion of global events. The topic of discussion will center on humanitarian and human rights issues across the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa. The panel will consist of local community partners, faculty, staff and students. Framed by the concept of civility, the forum will provide an opportunity to discuss international and interethnic concerns and what affect they may have on learning communities on both a micro and macro level. Refreshments will be served.

Participate in the Author Live Stream Event
October 16
SEC Theatre 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Lynsey Addario's presentation at Penn State's University Park campus will be livestreamed this fall, in partnership with the Office of Student Affairs, Student Engagement, and University Park, and Student Affairs at Penn State Harrisburg. Join us as we watch the Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist chronicle her harrowing work and explain what drives her to keep going back.

Virtual Photo Contest/Exhibition
Submissions: September 27-October 12
Exhibition: October 17-31

Students, participate in a photo contest in order to further engage with the theme of Lynsey Addario's stunning memoir! You will be asked to submit a photograph that conveys an important message, story, or emotion of their home community or of ordinary life where you live. Photos should reflect the themes found within the book.  Please submit a description that explains the subject matter and any creative or artistic approaches used in the photograph. Photos can be submitted online,

  • Submissions: September 27-October 12
  • Photos Displayed (On Campus & Instagram): October 17-31
  • Campus/Instagram Voting: October 17-30
  • Final Judging of Top Three Photos with the Most Votes: October 31
  • Announcement of Winner: November 1 at the Awards Ceremony

Essay Contest
October 1-8

Students will submit a 200 word essay around the theme of the campaign “All In…It's What WE Do!” and how it promotes civility, inclusion, and diversity in their personal life and campus life. Essays will be judged by a panel comprised of faculty, staff, and community partners. Winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony on November 1.

Awards Ceremony/Closing Ceremony
November 1
SEC Theatre 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Join us as we close out the 2017-2018 Penn State Reads campaign and announce the winners of the Virtual Photo Contest and Essay Contest. All those who participated and supported the campaign will be celebrated on as we reflect upon the collaborative efforts that promoted a love for reading, built new learning communities, and encouraged a shared dialogue surrounding human rights and humanitarian efforts both locally and abroad. Refreshments will be served.