Marine memoir named NLC Common Book

News-Register | Joanna Mikolajczak Pamela Ice with the 2014-2015 Common Book.

News-Register | Joanna Mikolajczak
Pamela Ice with the 2014-2015 Common Book.

By Keith Sena
Staff Writer

Many colleges have a Common Book, a book for all students, faculty and staff to read, and North Lake College is adopting a book as well.

Beginning this fall,  the  2014-2015 Common Book will be Rye Barcott’s memoir, It Happened on the Way to War: A Marine’s Path to Peace.

The selection began last fall with the formation of the Blazer Common Book Committee chaired by English professor Pamela Ice.

The committee includes faculty members Sonya Hopkins-Barnes, Harry Holden, Maria Hossu and  Fredella Wortham, as well as Beth Nikopoulos, assistant director of Student Life, Gina Federer, director of Public Information and Marketing, and librarian Jane Bell.

The committee developed criteria and then conducted a school-wide survey for book suggestions in fall 2013.

From more than 50 suggestions, 11 books were selected for further consideration.

Then the selections were narrowed to four and read partially or completely during winter break.

On Jan. 24, the decision was made after a 6-2 vote for Barcott’s book. It was chosen for its enthralling telling and intriguing story, its mass appeal and social sustainability message, among other admirable qualities.

The committee will continue through this spring and summer planning activities and speaking engagements to enhance the reading.

Professors will also integrate the Common Book into their lessons.

In an email, Ice said that the first faculty— full-time and adjunct —who agree to include the Blazer Common Book in their courses starting fall 2014, will receive a free desk copy of It Happened on the Way to War this spring to facilitate their planning.

To commit to using the book in classes, send an email to Pamela Ice at

For more informaton or an overview of the book visit

If you want to learn more about the  Common Book committee, email

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