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 25th - November 6th

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.

Penn State Reads Author Live Stream Event

October 16
SEC Theatre 7:30-8:30 p.m.

In partnership with the Office of Student Affairs, Student Engagement and University Park, Penn State Harrisburg will live stream Lynsey Addario  the author of “It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War”. Join us as we watch the Pulitzer Prize–winning photojournalist chronicle her harrowing work and explain what drives her to keep going back. The first 100 students to arrive will receive a $5 coupon redeemable at Stacks, Biscotti’s, or The Outpost!

Virtual Photo Contest/Exhibition

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Submissions: September 27th-October 16th 

Photos Displayed (On Campus & Instagram): October 23rd 30th
Campus/Instagram Voting: October 23rd-30th

Penn State Harrisburg Reads invites all students (the contest is open to all students not just first year students)

Submissions: September 27-October 12
Exhibition: October 17-31

Penn State Reads invites all first year students to participate in a photo contest in order to further engage with the themes of the 2017 Penn State Reads selection It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War by Lynsey Addario.

To participate in the contest, submit a photograph that conveys an important message, story, or emotion of your home community or of ordinary life where you live. Explain the subject matter and any creative or artistic approaches used in the photograph.

Limit submissions to one photo and one essay per person. In addition, please add a caption description that briefly describes the basic details (who, what, when, and where) of the photo. Essays should be no longer than one page.

Submissions will be judged based on

  • connection to the Penn State Values;
  • demonstration of an understanding of self-reflection, personal identity, and diversity; and
  • artistic style and creativity.

Photos can be submitted: September 27th-October 16th via the Photo Contest 

Contest Guidelines

Submitted photographs will be displayed both on campus in the Morrison Gallery and on the Penn State Reads Instagram for voting. Voting will take place October 17th-30th.

The top three photos that receive the most Instagram and on-campus votes will then be submitted for a last round of voting to a panel comprised of faculty, staff, and community partners. The Penn State Harrisburg Reads judge’s panel will make final selections and reserves the right to withhold any submission.

First Place: GoPro HER05 Bundle

Second Place Winner: $100.00 Gift Card to the Penn State Book Store

Third Place Winner: $50.00 Gift Card to the Penn State Bookstore

The winning photo will be featured on the Penn State Harrisburg Reads website and other Penn State Harrisburg media channels. Winners will be announced at the Penn State Reads Awards Ceremony on November 6th. 

Awards and Closing Ceremony

November 6
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. 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.