Previous SSRPs

Implemented in 2012 at the personal request of College President John A. Pieper, the STLCOP Summer Reading Program (SSRP) has quickly become one of the most comprehensive efforts in the College’s academic mission, enlisting all of the College’s constituencies to renew and pursue one of the defining goals of STLCOP 20/20: to foster personal development among all members of the college community by encouraging “continuous/lifelong learning/inquisitiveness/curiosity.”

Henrietta Lacks

SSRP 2013: HeLa Spheres - The Legacies of Henrietta Lacks

In 1950, Henrietta Lacks sought treatment in the colored ward at Johns Hopkins Hospital for what turned out to be an aggressive form of cervical cancer. During her treatment, her doctors took - without her knowledge or consent - a sample of her cancerous cervical tissue and provided it to Dr. George Gey to use in his efforts to develop an immortal line of human cells. After Henrietta passed away, her cells lived on in laboratories and were eventually used all over the world to contribute to scientific advances.  

SSRP 2012: Catch the Spirit

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down
Lia Lee, the beloved infant daughter of a Hmong refugee family from Laos, was brought to a local hospital in Merced, Ca., where she was diagnosed with severe epilepsy. Through a series of miscommunications and misunderstandings, Lia's condition worsened until she eventually fell into a coma at the age of 4. The story of Lia Lee and the extraordinary but largely futile efforts of her health care teams to treat her epilepsy both inspires and devastates the reader, dramatizing the clash between the superbly humane goals of medical care and its inbuilt limitations.