Academic First Year Experiences

  • Collage of CSUN Common Read Book Covers, 2007-2017

Becoming Nicole: Faculty and Staff Resources


Becoming Nicole book cover

Becoming Nicole by Amy Ellis Nutt will be CSUN's Freshman Common Reading for 2018-2019. During spring 2018, faculty and staff are invited to join colleagues for a workshop-style book discussion of ways to teach and discuss the book. Workshop handouts and assignment ideas will be available below.

Free copies of the book for CSUN faculty and staff, on request: we've got a deal for you

CSUN faculty and staff who would like a free copy of the book are welcome to request one by email (to Susanna: susanna.eng[at], by phone (818-677-6535), or in person: SH 422, Undergraduate Studies on the Roof. The usual deal will apply: one free copy in exchange for your promise to speak about the book with at least one new freshman in fall 2018. Some possible conversation starters:

  • "I see you are reading Becoming Nicole.  How do you like it so far?"
  • "I read this book over the summer. I thought the most powerful part was __________. Have you read that part yet?" 
  • "Are you reading this book for a class? Which one?" 
  • "Did you go (are you going to go) to Freshman Convocation? I heard that the keynote speaker was (will be) really interesting."

Offer valid while supplies last.

Book discussions for faculty and staff

Academic First Year Experiences will host several faculty-staff discussions of Becoming Nicole this spring. You can RSVP by emailing Susanna (susanna.eng[at], or by calling AFYE (818-677-6535), or stopping by in person: SH 422. Be sure to include the date and time for the session you'd like to attend. Please note--you do not have to already have read the book to participate in one of these sessions. All faculty and staff who are interested in the book are welcome to attend! We will add more dates in the near future, so please come back to check if these dates don't work for you!

  • Monday March 12, 12:30-1:45, U.G.S. on the Roof Conference Room (4th floor Sierra Hall). Facilitated by Matthew Clements, Queer Studies Program; Academic First Year Experiences. 
  • Thursday, March 15, 11-12:15, U.G.S. on the Roof Conference Room (4th floor Sierra Hall). Facilitated by Sarina Loeb, Coordinator, Pride Center and LGBTQ Initiatives.
  • Tuesday, April 3, 2-3:15, U.G.S. on the Roof Conference Room (4th floor Sierra Hall). Facilitated by Heidi Schumacher, Queer Studies Program, Gender & Women's Department. 
  • Thursday, April 5, 12:30-1:45, U.G.S. on the Roof Conference Room (4th floor Sierra Hall). Facilitated by Matthew C. Soto, Academic First Year Experiences; Coordinator for Residential Student Engagement.
  • Monday, April 16, 2-3:15, U.G.S. on the Roof Conference Room (4th floor Sierra Hall). Facilitated by Amanda Harrison, Queer Studies Program.
  • Friday, April 27, 12:30-1:45, Oviatt Library, Room 102C (Main floor). Facilitated by Susan Hua, Interim Chief Diversity Officer and Director of Equity and Diversity.

Related campus events

Pride Center: Sex Week — "Tangerine" Film Screening
Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm
Location: Pride Center, Sol Center (2nd Floor), USU (cost: free)
"Tangerine was revolutionary in more ways than one; the entire film was shot with three iPhone 5s smartphones and Mya Taylor also became the first transgender actress to win a Gotham Award for her performance! The Pride Center invites you to come enjoy this celebrated film during Sex Week at CSUN."

NY Times review of Tangerine

Resources for teaching and discussing the book

With your help (and contributions from book discussion leaders and participants), this collection of resources will continue to grow. Please suggest additions by emailing susanna.eng[at]

About the book: reviews and more

Interviews and more

Resources from the publisher

Related newspaper articles and resources

The Peculiar Position of India’s Third Gender - "Hijras occupy a special place in Hinduism. But their relationship to modern Mumbai, where transgender people are legally recognized, remains fraught." (New York Times)

The transgender teenager who helped change Australia (BBC News)

Even as gay rights battles are won, transgender people continue to face obstacles (Los Angeles Times)

Bathroom Bill Legislative Tracking (National Conference of State Legislators)

The True Harm of Bathroom Bills (The Atlantic)

Anti-Trans Bathroom Debate: How a Local Religious-Right Faction Launched a National Movement (Rolling Stone Magazine)

Single-user restrooms to become 'gender neutral' in California (Los Angeles Times)

Walgreens adopts transgender-inclusive bathroom policy (NBC News)


Transgender Mental Health Issues

Why Transgender People Experience More Mental Health Issues - It has nearly everything to do with the way they are treated (Psychology Today)

Probing The Complexities Of Transgender Mental Health (NPR)

Where Transgender Is No Longer a Diagnosis - Denmark becomes the first country to declassify it as a mental disorder (Scientific American)

Select resources from the book