Penn State Harrisburg Reads

Penn State Harrisburg Reads

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Image: Penn State

Penn State Harrisburg Reads is a program designed to provide a shared experience among students who read the same book while also creating a campaign that fosters dialogue and engagement about the concepts introduced in the book for the campus at large. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot is the 2018-19 book selection.

This #1 New York Times Bestseller, which was made into an Emmy-nominated HBO film, was Skloot’s debut book. Her award-winning science writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine; O, The Oprah Magazine, and many other publications. She specializes in narrative science writing and has explored a wide range of topics, including goldfish surgery, tissue ownership rights, race and medicine, food politics, and packs of wild dogs in Manhattan.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks took more than a decade to research and write, and instantly hit the Times best-seller list, where it has remained for more than seven years since its publication. 

In conjunction with the 2018-19 programmatic theme of DISCOVERY chosen by the Division of Student Affairs and Engagement and the social and scientific themes presented in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, the theme chosen for the 2018-19 PSH Reads campaign is: “DISCOVERY Changes Everything”.

Events

Opening Reception

September 27
Gallery Lounge 4:30-6:30pm

Celebrate the kickoff of Penn State Harrisburg Reads campaign and receive a copy of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. 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!

Movie Screening

October 9, 2018
Kulkarni Theatre 11:30am and 4:00pm

January 22, 2019
Kulkarni Theatre 11:30am and 4:00pm

Come join us for a screening of the film, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.
Movie description: In 1951, cancerous cells from Henrietta Lacks lead to breakthroughs that change the face of medicine forever. Aided by writer Rebecca Skloot, Deborah Lacks embarks on a quest to learn about the mother she never knew. The first 50 students will receive a $5 coupon to any eatery on campus!

Virtual Photo Contest and Exhibition

Penn State Harrisburg Reads invites students to participate in a photo contest in order to further engage with the theme of the 2018 Penn State Harrisburg Reads selection.

To enter the contest, submit a photograph that conveys a compelling story, message, or emotion related to the theme: “Discovery Changes Everything."

Book Club Panel Discussions

October 8
Morrison Gallery, Library 101 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm

Title: The Way of All Flesh Documentary Screening and Discussion
Coordinators: Cindy Carmickle and Tesa Lark Burns, American Studies M.A. and Ph.D students
Description: Join us for a screening of Adam Curtis' BBC documentary Modern Times: The Way of All Flesh (1997), about Henrietta Lacks, HeLa, and the search to cure cancer in the 1950s. A discussion of the film and how it impacted the Lacks’ family, as described in The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks will follow. FYS credit is available and dinner will be served. The first 50 students will receive a $5 coupon to any eatery on campus!

October 22
Olmsted C213 4:30 pm – 6:00 pm


Title: What We Leave Behind: Issues of Personal Archives
Coordinators: Heidi Abbey Moyer, Humanities Librarian and Campus Archives Coordinator and Emily Mross, Business Librarian and Library Outreach Coordinator
Description: An archivist will explore archives, personal information, and institutional control as they relate to The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. After the presentation, we will discuss the issues raised by the handling of Henrietta Lack's personal information and biological samples. FYS credit is available and dinner will be served. The first 50 students will receive a $5 coupon to any eatery on campus!

November 27
Russell E. Horn Student Spiritual Center, SEC 210 11:30 am – 12:30 pm


Title: Faith, Family, Government and Education: A Morality and Ethics Panel
Coordinator: Marcellus Taylor, Assistant Director of Student Activities and Fraternity/Sorority Life
Description: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks investigates the many lenses of morals, ethics, and laws that guided the Lacks family, scientists, doctors, lawyers, and legislators through their complex journeys of discovery related to the life and legacy of Henrietta Lacks. Join our panel for an in-depth conversation on the impact of morals and ethics in our daily personal and professional lives. We welcome all individuals to this riveting event. The first 50 students will receive a $5 coupon to any eatery on campus!

Panel Discussion Spring Dates: 1/28, 2/11, 2/25, 3/11
Themes: Racism, Classism, and Sexism
                Gender and Medicine
                Who Tells Your Story

Lecture Series

October 15
Morrison Gallery 4:30-6:30pm

Coordinator: Dr. Brittany Anderson, School of Science, Engineering and Technology (Co-sponsored event please add link for the School of Science, Engineering and Technology)
Title: Cervical Cancer: Historical Perspectives and Future Directions
Guest Lecturer: Joshua Kesterson, MD, Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Penn State Cancer Institute
Description: This presentation serves to provide a timeline of major milestones in our efforts to understand the pathophysiology of cervical cancer, efforts to prevent the disease, and current roadblocks in our efforts to eradicate it, including a discussion of impactful historical and socio-economic factors. The first 50 students will receive a $5 coupon to any eatery on campus!

March 18
Morrison Gallery 4:30-6:30pm


Coordinator: Dr. Mohammad Ali, School of Business Administration (Co-sponsored event please add link for the School of Business Administration)
Title: Ethical Decision Making and Responsible Conduct in the Workplace
Guest Lecturer: William F. Simpson, Jr. former Chief Executive Officer at Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company
Description: TBA

Discovering Henrietta: An Evening with the Lacks Family and Rebecca Skloot

October 25
CUB Events Room 5:30-7:00pm (Open to Public)

Coordinator: Perdeta L. Bush 
Guest Speakers: Rebecca Skloot, author of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and two members of the Lacks family
Description: Author and family members will discuss the book, the life of Henrietta Lacks and her influence on science, medical advancements and ethics and morality. They will take questions from the audience and sign books. The first 50 students will receive a $5 coupon to any eatery on campus!
 

Registration for Discovering Henrietta is free!
Penn State Harrisburg students can register at the Engage @ Harrisburg.
Non-Penn State Harrisburg students can register by contacting Perdeta
L. Bush at plb156@psu.edu or call 717-948-4393.

STEM Outreach

October 18, 2018
11:00am-2:00pm

Coordinator: Cynthia Daniels, Office of Multicultural Recruitment and Community Affairs 
The Office of Multicultural Recruitment and Community Affairs in partnership with Penn State Harrisburg Reads will host at STEM Outreach Day for students in the Harrisburg School District. Twenty 8th graders from the community will be chosen for a campus visit where they will learn about Henrietta Lacks, participate in a hands-on STEM activity (DNA extraction), and have lunch in Stack’s with current Penn State Harrisburg students. The students will also be invited to hear author Rebecca Skloot and members of the Lacks family on October 25th.

Closing Ceremony

April 22, 2019
Kulkarni Theatre 4:30-6:30pm

Join us as we close out the 2018-2019 Penn State Harrisburg Reads campaign. 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 morality, ethics, medical discovery and research. Refreshments will be served. The first 50 students will receive a $5 coupon to any eatery on campus!

Discover Research!

The Office of Research and Outreach has partnered with Penn State Harrisburg Reads to present two additional research-related contests:

  • Grand Challenges Research Competition
  • Discovering Faculty Research and Creativity Video Competition

For full details, visit the Discover Research website.

Engage @ Harrisburg

Fall 2018-Spring 2019

Students who attend Penn State Harrisburg Reads events and “check-in” have the opportunity to achieve:

  • Gold status
  • Silver status
    • Required events: 1 lecture, 3 panel discussions
    • Optional: Any 2 from the list above
  • Bronze status
    • Required events: 1 lecture, 1 panel discussion, “Discovering Henrietta”: An Evening with the Lacks Family and Rebecca Skloot
    • Optional: None
  • A drawing will be held at the end of Fall and Spring semester for a prize for each status level.
    • Prizes TBD