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First-Year Writing Seminar Faculty Pick Common Reader for 2019

Date Posted: May 31, 2019 Author: Steve Reed


Cottey College’s first-year and transfer students will learn about a tragic period in the region’s history in this fall’s First Year Writing Seminar. Faculty selected Killers of  the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann as the common reader for the First-Year Writing Seminar. The book details the disturbing and mysterious deaths of Osage Nation members in the 1920s and how the newly created FBI unraveled the mystery.

Killers of the Flower Moon was a New York Times bestseller and National Book Award Finalist. Numerous publications named it a best book of the year in 2017 and it was the Amazon Editors’ Pick for the Best Book of 2017.

First-Year Writing Seminar is a foundational course for Cottey students in which they focus on both writing and content relevant to their transition to life at Cottey. Faculty introduce students to the benefits of women’s-only education, Cottey history, women’s leadership, social responsibility, and global awareness through the practice of thoughtful reading, analysis, and writing within a liberal arts and sciences context.

“The First-Year Writing Seminar provides students the opportunity to connect with the institution, and connection is shown to increase student success,” said Dr. Jann Weitzel, president of Cottey College. “The selection of Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI, a historical account of a tragic time in this region’s history, will further connect students to the region.”

In addition to deepening connections, reading Killers of the Flower Moon will prepare students for dialogue on social responsibility in the First-Year Writing Seminar.

“We believe this book has the potential to guide the leaders, the socially responsible and the globally aware citizens that all Cottey students, faculty, and staff are or want to become,” says Denise Hedges, Cottey College director of leadership development.

After reading Killers of the Flower Moon, students will go beyond the classroom to attend a program on Osage history at the Bushwhacker Museum in Nevada. They also will hear from a panel of women leaders and participate on activities to develop their own leadership skills.


Steve Reed

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Steve Reed