An alumnus gives you the tools to assess your life.

By Christine Van Dusen
January 2013

Dr. Leo Parvis.
Dr. Leo Parvis.

Ink on the page is of great importance to Dr. Leo Parvis ’98, who earned a Ph.D. in Health Services and the 2007 Outstanding Alumni Award, whether it’s in his textbooks for teaching diversity and global studies at Dunwoody College of Technology in Minneapolis, his stamp-filled passport, or the sweeping selection of books piled on his bedside table. A methodical reader who takes notes as he goes, these volumes are among his dog-eared favorites:

HAPPIER: LEARN THE SECRETS TO DAILY JOY AND LASTING FULFILLMENT by Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar

I use this book for a class on the psychology of positive thinking. Written by a Harvard professor, Happier uses science, research, spirituality, and self-help to show how happiness can be learned. You won’t want to put it down—except to do the exercises at the end of each chapter.

THE NEW JIM CROW: MASS INCARCERATION IN THE AGE OF COLORBLINDNESS by Michelle Alexander

This book argues that the idea of “colorblindness” is a fallacy, as illustrated by the country’s high rate of incarceration and the discrimination suffered after sentences are served. I teach my students about the state of diversity in the United States, and this book helps me engage them with essential discussion questions about racial justice.

CHINA 2.0: THE TRANSFORMATION OF AN EMERGING SUPERPOWER AND THE NEW OPPORTUNITIES by Dr. Marina Yue Zhang with Bruce W. Stening

This is a good primer for Americans who want to understand how the Internet is changing China’s politics, its economy, and the way its citizens connect and collaborate. Zhang gives an honest portrait without jeopardizing herself or betraying her country.

What’s on your nightstand? Share your top reads by emailing myWaldenImpact@waldenu.edu.