October 4, 2023

The Books That Changed Us

In honor of National Reading Month, we decided to poll some of our esteemed faculty members on their literary choices. Specifically, we asked these professors which books made the biggest impact on their lives.

After reading their answers, comment below to let us know which books have made the biggest impact on your life.

Misti Kill
Academic Program Director, Emergency Management and Technology

Red River Rising by Ashley Shelby
“Without a doubt, the book that has had the greatest impact on my life thus far is Red River Rising by Ashley Shelby. The book takes an in-depth look at a major flood that took out the entire city of Grand Forks, ND in 1997. I attended graduate school close to this area in North Dakota and took a course called ‘Sociology of Disasters’ where this was required reading. At the time, I was not interested in Emergency Management yet, but this book peaked my interest and eventually directed me to get a PhD in EM. It definitely impacted my life for the better!

Ron Signore
Professor, Human Resources Management

Battle Cry by Leon Uris
“I was about 10 years and my older sister, who has loved reading since childhood and is almost never without a book in her hand to this day, gave me a copy of Battle Cry knowing I wouldn’t want to read it.   She made a deal with me to read the first three chapters and told me if I wasn’t interested I could return it to her. She knew it would hook me into reading. It worked. I read the book cover to cover and loved it.

It is a story of a group of U.S. Marines in World War II. It takes the reader from the beginning of their enlistment all the way through Boot Camp, their radio signal school, shipping overseas together to prepare for war, hitting the beach and the aftermath of the battles. This book not only instilled a passion in reading but also a love for the military and U.S. Marine Corps. It was a major influence in my joining the Navy while in college. I spent 30 years in the Navy and still believe the U.S. Marine Corps is one of the most professional organizations in the world. I have major respect for them and the only group that I place ahead of them is the Navy Seals, especially after the raid to capture Bin Laden.”

Jeffrey Barksdale
Provost & Chief Academic Officer

The Law of Success by Napoleon Hill
“The book that has most dramatically influenced my professional life is The Law of Success published in 1928 by Napoleon Hill. The Law of Success is a motivational personal development book that consists of 16 lessons on how to be successful. I first read this book while I was in college. I have read this book several times since, learning something new every time, applying lessons learned in my daily life, and frequently quoting excerpts to students I have taught over the years.”

Sonya Rogers
Lead Faculty, Organizational Leadership

Killing Jesus by Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard
“In all honesty, the book in which I have most certainly enjoyed reading this year is Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard’s, “Killing Jesus”. This novel depicts the historical events which are based on Jesus’s death, one of the most influential leaders who ever existed. The facts surrounding his teachings and his execution are mind-boggling. This account of his life has had an impact on every leader throughout our history. It is not just a story; it is educational for all!”


One Comment

  1. Bev Roberts

    The book that changed and continues to change my life is The Bible. There is no other book like it.