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Author of freshman summer reading book to address campus students

9/14/2011 —


Noon, Wednesday, Oct. 19, Forum Theatre

Robin Wiszowaty, author of "My Maasai Life: From Suburbia to Savannah," the selected book for freshmen at the campus, brings her inspirational creativity to Penn State New Kensington at noon Wednesday, Oct. 19, in the campus Forum Theatre.

The Freshman Summer Reading Program was instituted at the campus in 2005 to encourage reading and critical thinking and to provide a shared experience among new students. First-year students at the campus had a homework assignment over the summer -- read a book, chosen by a committee of campus faculty and prepare to discuss it during orientation. Small group discussions are slated with fellow students, faculty and staff throughout the fall semester.

Wiszowaty lives in her adoptive country of Kenya where she serves as program director with Free the Children, a non-profit organization that helps children to make a difference in their worlds.  As director, she implements long-term development projects in partnership with local communities.

A product of a middle-class family in Schaumburg, Illinois, Wiszowaty made the life-changing decision to go to Kenya while in college. The journey took her to Nairobi, the capital and largest city in Kenya, to East Africa, home of the Maasai, a semi-nomadic tribe in the remote area of the southern region of the Great Rift Valley. She moved in with a Maasai family and adopted their customs and language. Her book is a memoir of her experiences, and it explores the personal side of many African struggles. Drawing upon her fieldwork experience, Wiszowaty is able to share stories about the lives of rural Maasai community members.

Wiszowaty is the third author of a selected book to speak at the campus. Tamara Draut, author of "Strapped: Why America's 20- and 30-Somethings Can't Get Ahead," talked with students in 2006, and Bill Strickland, author of "Make the Impossible Possible: One Man's Crusade to Inspire Others to Dream Bigger and Achieve the Extraordinary," spoke on campus last year. The author's talk is free to the public.

For more about the author, the book and the guild, visit http://www.arnettandassociates.com/SpeakerDetails/28651/Robin-Wiszowaty.html online.

For more about the Freshman Summer reading program, visit http://www.nk.psu.edu/Documents/StudentServices/Book_Insert_2011.pdf online.

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