September 12, 2011

Honors program kicks off with author Patti Digh

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Patti Digh, author of “Life is a Verb,” presents the first University Honors Program lecture of the academic year at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Digh, best-selling author, award-winning blogger, co-founder of the revolutionary public education project known as The Circle Project, and sought-after speaker will bring her motivational style in a lecture tailored for SIUC starting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13, in the Student Center Auditorium.  A book signing and reception immediately follow Digh’s talk.

Digh’s topic, “Community is a Verb: Six Practices to Strengthen Our Structures of Belonging,” includes a highlight on civility, the topic selected as a theme for this years Saluki First Year, the SIUC program for first year students at the University.  Digh will explore the “quality of engagement” within a community, and “what it means to live in a civil community with others across a difference.” 

A reviewer described Digh this way: “If the Buddha had two kids, a dog named Blue, a Southern accent, and a huge crush on Johnny Depp, his name would be Patti Digh.” 

Her first book, “Life is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful, and Live Intentionally,” originated with her blog,  Since then, Digh added several other books to her credit, including the most recent one, released this past April.  She has another in the works, due in 2012.

The lecture is free and open to the public.  It is part of the Michael and Nancy Glassman University Honors Lecture Series.  Audiences should not, however, expect to be lectured at.  Instead, they should expect to be moved, inspired, shaken, and realigned.

The University Honors Program at SIUC is an undergraduate program for some of SIUC’s highest-achieving students.  The program helps these students form a community and presents them with research opportunities, mentoring opportunities and classes designed specifically for honors students.  For more information about the program, visit

The Saluki First Year program helps students new to SIUC maximize the resources available to them, and helps them negotiate that often-tricky first year.  The establishment of a common theme, reinforced in many of the courses typically taken during a student’s first year, and the academic University orientation, University 101, contribute to the building of community and a sense of belonging among first year students.  For more information, visit