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Common Read: Where Am I Wearing?

Summer Reading Introduction

The Summer Reading Program at Ohio Northern University is your first college assignment – an introduction to the habits of the mind and heart that will continue to be developed throughout your ONU experience. As a first-year student, you are asked to read a book over the summer months prior to arriving on campus, to reflect on a series of thought-provoking questions, and to actively participate in small, faculty-led group discussions as part of the Fall Orientation and Convocation each August. By engaging in the common reading and orientation discussions, you will begin to develop the skills of critical thinking and effective communication that are fundamental to your college education. Depending on the book, you will also be encouraged to contemplate the importance of integrating learning among disciplines within the arts and sciences and professional studies; of seeking understanding from different perspectives; and of striving for ethical responsibility.

The summer reading, completed by all incoming students, helps to provide a common experience and sense of community for students transitioning to college life at ONU. An essential part of the orientation process, the summer reading and discussions are an important foundation for academic success at Ohio Northern University.

Use the prepared reading questions as a guide to thinking about significant themes within the book and to form a basis for the discussion that will occur when you return to campus in August. Keeping a journal where you can organize your ideas, ask your own questions and develop your thoughts on the various topics raised in the book is highly suggested. Such a journal will also be a valuable resource for additional discussions or coursework that your professors may assign in your classes.

When returning to campus in August for Welcome Weekend, you will meet with your Transitions Experience professor and your classmates on Friday, August 19 from 1:15 – 2:15 p.m. for discussion of the book. This discussion is the first meeting of your class – the location will be announced in August at Welcome Weekend. The following courses are included in the Transition Experience according to your College/major:

Arts & Sciences: TREX 1001

Business Administration: BIZ 1001


Engineering and Eng. Education majors: ENGR 1041

Computer Science majors: ECCS 1101

Pharmacy: PHPR 1011

Following this discussion, all classes will join together to take the 2016 incoming class photo on the Tundra.


About the Book

When journalist and traveler Kelsey Timmerman wanted to know where his clothes came from and who made them, he began a journey that would take him from Honduras to Bangladesh to Cambodia to China and back again. WHERE AM I WEARING? intimately describes the connection between impoverished garment workers' standards of living and the all American material lifestyle. By introducing readers to the human element of globalization—the factory workers, their names, their families, and their way of life—WHERE AM I WEARING? bridges the gap between global producers and consumers.

New content includes: a visit to a fair trade Ethiopian shoe factory that is changing lives one job at time; updates on how workers worldwide have been squeezed by rising food costs and declining orders in the wake of the global financial crisis; and the author's search for the garment worker in Honduras who inspired the first edition of the book.

Enlightening and thought-provoking at once, WHERE AM I WEARING? puts a human face on globalization.

Highlights include:

  • Selected as the freshman Common Reader at 18 universities including University of Kentucky, Texas State, Ball State University, Winthrop University, West Texas A&M
  • Widely adopted in fashion, business, anthropology, and sociology courses across the country, including Rutgers, Carnegie-Mellon, Colorado State, Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business, California State, and University of North Carolina-Greensboro.
  • Featured in national publications like TIME, Financial Times, US News and World Report, Christian Science Monitor and more.


About the Author

Fueled by passion and curiosity, Kelsey Timmerman tells the story of the items we often take for granted and how they connect us to the world as global and local citizens. From garment factories in Cambodia to banana plantations in Costa Rica, Kelsey Timmerman is dedicated to addressing global issues through storytelling. By traveling the world and telling the stories of the people he meets, Timmerman is able to educate his readers and initiate dialogue about our responsibilities as local and global citizens.

In his first book, WHERE AM I WEARING? (2nd Edition, April 2012, Wiley), he traveled the world to find out where his clothes came from. Visiting garment factories in Asia and Latin America, he shared the stories of the people who make our clothes. From a 20-something t-shirt maker in Honduras to a single mother of two in Bangladesh, Timmerman humanizes the issues of globalization and provokes readers to check their tags and think about where their clothing comes from.

An acclaimed public speaker, Timmerman has lectured on travel and globalization around the world. He is particularly passionate about educating students through humor and storytelling, and encourages them to think globally and act locally. He is a frequent keynote speaker at universities, high schools, and conferences. He brings the world to students, and, through a partnership with the socially responsible travel company The Village Experience, he takes students to the world on weeklong excursions around the globe.


Supporting Links


Many thanks to Lynda Nyce, Assistant Vice President of Academic Affairs, for the many resources she provided and her help in creating this guide.