Students publish book of Reading Police biographies, event on April 22

Penn State Berks is celebrating the most recent student publication, titled The Reading Police Oral History Project: Understanding Those Who Serve and Protect. Student authors are hosting a "book party" on April 22, 2016, at 1:00 in Janssen Conference Center where students and police officers will reunite to discuss this original publication.

When Justin De Senso was selecting a project for his Writing in the Social Sciences course, he had to look no further than the media headlines. The ongoing series of protests and civil unrest throughout the country sparked the idea to take a fresh approach to the topic of the local community?s perception of their police force. De Senso assigned his class to interview and write short biographies of members of the Reading Police Department.

De Senso, Lecturer in English Composition at Penn State Berks, worked with Reading Police Sergeant John Solecki to coordinate interviews, which were held on campus. The class of 28 students worked in two-person teams to interview the officers and write the biographies.

The Reading Police Oral History Project was supported by the Penn State Berks Center for Service Learning and Community-Based Research. Students conducted primary research by interviewing the police officers who provided a lasting resource for their community in terms of the finished manuscript, which will ultimately be located at the Berks Historical Society. The project has been partially funded by the Howard O. and Jean S. Beaver Endowment for Community Service.

For more information, contact De Senso at 610-396-6378 or via e-mail at [email protected].