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Common Experience 2018-2019: INNOVATION: Home

This guide contains resources relating to the 2018-2019 Common Experience Theme and also the Common Reading Book The Runaway Species by David Eagleman & Anthony Brandt

About the Common Experience

Keep informed about Common Experience news and events on social media.

Follow @TXSTCE

Follow @TXSTCE

The Common Experience brings students together to read and engage with a powerful text, explore related themes in University Seminar classes, write responses and reactions to the text in writing courses, participate in related symposia with scholarly panels, hear renowned and respected speakers address the topic, see films related to the Common Experience theme, explore the experience by way of the fine arts, engage in informal discussions in residence halls and coffee shops, and extend the exploration via the avenues of their own choosing.'

- Common Experience website

The Theme


2018-2019 Common Experience

: a new idea, device, or method
: the act or process of introducing new ideas, devices, or methods

—Merriam-Webster Dictionary app for iPhone

Since its inception in 2004, the Common Experience has presented an academic theme each year at Texas State University. Events and activities have expanded far beyond the experiences of first-year students; the initiative has extended its impact across divisions — and to all levels — through cooperation and collaboration among students, faculty, staff, administration, and members of the community. The sustained success of the Common Experience has made Texas State a national leader in first-year experience (FYE) approaches and campus-wide collaborations.

The key to this sustained success: Innovation.

Contributors to the Common Experience — from theme developers to event planners to classroom instructors and the students themselves — have been innovative in their approaches to each theme. And while collaborators often look back for ideas, they always generate new concepts and goals and outcomes, moving forward. When the ideas have been most engaging, students have carried the conversation forward themselves, proud of their experiences and their university.

During the same time that the Common Experience has grown and evolved, Texas State as a whole has expanded tremendously. Total enrollment has increased from 29,105 in Fall 2008 to 38,694 in Fall 2017. The university has earned designations as both a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI) and an Emerging Research University (ERU). Construction has often seemed nonstop, and yet at the same time, divisions and departments have had to find new ways to more efficiently utilize existing programs and spaces as the institution’s reputation and expectations have risen.

The shared solution: Innovation.

Now Texas State prepares to embark on a new journey toward national prominence, another milestone of which students, alumni, faculty, staff, administration, and community members can be proud.

The force powering this undertaking: Innovation.

Common Experience Video: INNOVATION

This year's Common Reading book is The Runaway Species by David Eagleman and Anthony Brandt.

"Which inventions have had the most impact — and why? What can they teach us about game-changing innovation? And how will science and technology revolutionize our lives next? The rest of The Runaway Species sheds light on these issues…bolstered by delightful visuals."
—Harvard Business Review

This guide will help you:

  • Learn about the text and the author
  • Locate copies of the text (in different formats) at Alkek Library
  • Learn about additional resources for further research on the text and this year's Common Experience theme
  • Be informed about related events and happenings related to the text and the Common Experience

The Runaway Species book cover

Text on this page courtesy of Catapult Books.