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Provost Summer Read Essay Contest and Author’s Forum August 27, 2014

Dear UH Faculty:

Thank you for embracing our inaugural Provost Summer Read Program featuring Step Out on Nothing by Byron Pitts, ABC News Chief National Correspondent and recipient of two Emmy Awards. Because of your thoughtful leadership, more than 1,200 of our incoming first-year students have already participated in discussion sessions, with colleges and departments partnering to launch the fall semester with an intellectual start even before classes began. I especially appreciate those who creatively integrated Step Out on Nothing into your existing curriculum.

I am requesting your help in encouraging your first-year students to submit an essay that encapsulates their reflections on themes in Byron Pitts' inspiring story. Students who submit a 500-word essay emailed to will have an opportunity to meet and share lunch with Byron Pitts. Please also encourage students to attend his forum on Monday, September 15 at 2 p.m. in the Cullen Theater to hear his inspirational story for themselves.

I am proud to see our university community working together to engage our students during their first weeks on campus. Each of you leading dialogue and discourse moves us forward in student success.

Paula Myrick Short