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New Student Book Experience

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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

by Rebecca Skloot

The Offices of Institutional Advancement and Undergraduate Education,
Division of Student Affairs and Welcome Week Committee would like to thank our guests (l to r) Mr. Ron lacks, Dr. Ruth Faden and David "Sonny" Lacks for an incredible evening of insights on "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks."

Barbara Simon Memorial 2012 Fall Essay Contest

Students, don't forget to participate in the Barbara Simon Memorial 2012 Fall Essay Contest. The deadline is December 7, 2012. You could win a $200 gift certificate to the UMBC Bookstore.  Also, two honorable mentions will receive a $100 gift certificate.

(This contest is now closed.)

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Essay Contest

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This year's selection, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, has content of interest to students in many majors. It connects directly to the life sciences and provides content for discussions of medical ethics. It is also a story of journalistic research and journalistic ethics. It is a study of history and employs oral history techniques. The emergence of a thriving international business providing cell lines creates an entrepreneurial/business connection. The book presents policy issues that society is still wrestling with.

The book is set in Baltimore and includes local institutions and geography that will be familiar to some students. Nominators, readers on the committee, and others have all described the book as interesting and engaging.


  • The opportunity to participate in a Essay Contest.
  • Reading and discussion that is good preparation for English 100, which uses the book in assignments throughout the semester.
  • Related campus-wide lectures throughout the year
  • Preparation for other classes, which discuss topics addressed by the book.

For More Information:
Jill Randles
Assistant Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education | (410) 455-3715