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05/19/2017

Freshmen Will Learn About “Spare Parts” in Upcoming Common Book

Quick Facts

 Winthrop University has selected "Spare Parts" by Joshua Davis as its Common Book for the 2017-18 academic year.
 Since 2011, Winthrop has used its Common Book to emphasize global awareness through the Global Learning Initiative.

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Gloria Jones
ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – This summer, Winthrop University freshmen will read about the lives and experiences of four Hispanic youth who build an underwater robot — constructed entirely of scavenged materials — for a contest.

Winthrop University selected the book, entitled "Spare Parts" by Joshua Davis, as its Common Book for the 2017-18 academic year.

In 2004, four Latino teenagers arrived at the Marine Advanced Technology Education Robotics Competition at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Born in Mexico, they were raised in Phoenix, Arizona, where they attended an underfunded public high school. Two inspiring science teachers had convinced these impoverished, undocumented kids from the desert who had never even seen the ocean that they should try to build an underwater robot.

They competed against some of the best collegiate engineers in the country, including a team from MIT backed by a $10,000 grant from ExxonMobil. The Phoenix teenagers had scraped together less than $1,000 and built their robot out of scavenged parts. Against all odds, they won, but their story doesn't end there. Their tale became a key inspiration to the DREAMers youth movement for immigrant families to stay in this country.

New students will receive “Spare Parts” at Orientation sessions in June and August. The Common Book Project, in place at Winthrop since 2004, works to integrate Winthrop students into the university environment and offers them a common intellectual experience that upholds Winthrop's strong academic values.

Since 2011, Winthrop has used its Common Book to emphasize global awareness through the Global Learning Initiative. While this book is not set in a foreign country, it adheres closely to the university's adopted definition of "global": local, regional, national, and/or international experiences that may differ from one's own culture.

"This book continues Winthrop's commitment to ‘global education’ and our desire to incorporate a book that supports the themes of the individual's place in education, in community, in the natural world and in identifying what we hold as 'sacred,'" said Gloria Jones, dean of University College.

For more information, contact Judy Longshaw, news and media services manager, at 803/323-2404 or e-mail her at longshawj@winthrop.edu.

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