Center for Teaching, Learning & Technology

Book Circles - Spring 2024

Book CirclesThe CTLT hosts book circles every academic quarter and during summers. They are open to all Cal Poly educators. Selected books draw from a broad array of thoughtful and inspiring educational literature. These are opportunities to enrich your knowledge about timely and significant topics related to higher education while engaging with colleagues from across campus. Participants receive a complimentary copy of the selected book with the expectation that they will engage in three or more discussion sessions. Themes for book circle selections include: Mindful Educators, Mastery Teaching, Inclusive Educators, Navigating Academia, Sustainability Educators, and Writing Educators. 

NOTE: Our cumulative Book Circles list of titles is available on the CTLT's Book Circle archival webpage.

Beyond Guilt Trips: Mindful Travel in an Unequal World

by anu taranath

 Resilient book cover

“In Beyond Guilt Trips: Mindful Travel in an Unequal World, storyteller Anu Taranath begins at home, unpacking our baggage about who we are, where we come from, and how much we have. She takes us on a journey through engaging personal travel stories and thought-provoking questions, providing us with tools to grapple with our discomfort and navigate differences with accountability and connection.” (From AK Press WEbsite book description)

The differences experienced through global travel often fuel our desire for travel but can also be unsettling. Through book circles, we will navigate the questions raised by Dr. Taranath that invite us to think more deeply about race, privilege and culture.

Dr. Anu Taranath will be the keynote speaker for the International Symposium on May 15th hosted by Cal Poly International Center. CTLT, a co-sponsor of the event will be hosting book circles with Dr. Taranath’s book prior to the symposium, leading groups in thought-provoking discussions around the ethics and politics of global travel. Join us!

An "Inclusive Educators" selection

Option 1

  • Dates: Mondays, April 29, May 6, 13, 20
  • Time: 11:10am-12:00pm
  • Location: Chase Hall Room 104
  • Facilitators: Dr. Jerusha Greenwood and Dr. Sarah Macdonald

Option 2

  • Dates: Thursdays, April 25, May 2, 9, 16 
  • Time: 10:10am-11:00am
  • Location: Zoom
  • Facilitators: Dr. Dawn Janke and Dr. Cari Vanderkar


Self-Compassion:  The Proven Power of Being Kind To Yourself

Kristen Neff, PhD

 Resilient book cover

Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind To Yourself offers expert advice on how to limit self-criticism and offset its negative effects, enabling you to achieve your highest potential and a more contented, fulfilled life. Dr. Neff’s book offers exercises and action plans for dealing with every emotionally debilitating struggle. (Harper Collins Publishers)

This is a timely topic for campus educators in light of the unrelenting waves of stresses that have infused our professional and personal lives for years. At the same time, academic culture often defines the ideal faculty member as one with a strong drive to be better and a unquenchable dedication to doing more. The research on this topic demonstrates that practicing self-compassion results in not just reductions in the damaging effects of acute and chronic stress but positive gains in many measures of well-being that enable us to be at our best more often and more consistently. Learning and applying these skills also better prepares us to be models and supporters for students' well-being, which is important for their academic success and personal health.

A "Mindful Educators" selection

  • Dates: Tuesdays, April 16, 23, 30 and May 7
  • Time: 12:10-1pm
  • Location: Onsite (Chase Hall 104) and online (zoom)
  • Facilitator: Patrick O'Sullivan, PhD, CTLT director


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