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Texas State University
Texas State University

New Theme: Dynamics

May 4, 2020

Star field with overlay of colorful fractal pattern

By Twister Marquiss
Director of the Common Experience

We're #1 at This

Texas State University presents an academic theme each year, providing numerous opportunities for everyone — students, faculty, staff, and community members — to share in a Common Experience. This theme-first approach makes our Common Experience the nation’s #1 initiative of its kind. We proudly offer our students more themed academic event opportunities than any other university, and our students’ participation totals and social media engagement are national trendsetters, as well.

New Theme: Dynamics

Movement and Motivating Forces

The Common Experience theme for the 2020-2021 academic year is Dynamics. When we discuss dynamics, we’re talking about movement. It’s motion — but it’s more than that. Think of the motivating forces behind everything, everywhere. There are physical forces, moral forces, and driving forces. You can see and feel dynamics in growth, change, inspiration, and action.


A video introduction to our 2020-2021 Common Experience theme.

From There to Here

We will consider the movement from where you are to where you will be, approaching dynamics both literally and metaphorically, from the observations of astrophysics to the momentum of daily life.

This theme will ask you to explore your own experiences in the contexts of space, place, movement, and time. By studying the past while examining your personal values, you can trace the paths of social, political, and cultural movements. Each new opportunity will add knowledge and experience — leading you to see the influences and responsibilities you have in shaping our global future.

Common Reading

Book: American Like Me

Editor: America Ferrera

The Book

As part of the Common Experience, all incoming first-year students receive a critically acclaimed book related to the year’s theme. Students discuss the book in their University Seminar class and other courses. The 2020-2021 Common Reading book is American Like Me, edited by award-winning actress America Ferrera. The book is a collection of first-person reflections by prominent figures about the experience of growing up between cultures.

We'll distribute the books to new first-year students in August. ✯

Twister Marquiss

Twister Marquiss is director of the Common Experience at Texas State University, a role he began in 2017. A writer and designer with extensive backgrounds in marketing and communications, he has served as a faculty member in the Department of English, University College, and Honors College, as well as editor for several journals and magazines. Today the Common Experience is the nation’s #1 initiative of its kind.