Common Read Program

We are elated to have Dust Tracks on a Road (1942) by renowned author Zora Neale Hurston as our Common Read selection for 2018-19. The selection is so close to our great campus: Eatonville, Florida! What makes Eatonville so unique is that it has the distinction of being the first incorporated all-black city in the United States.

All summer B 2018 and fall 2018 admitted freshman students will receive a copy of Dust Tracks on a Road at their respective orientation dates.

Dust Tracks on a Road will challenge UCF students to think outside the box and allow them to self-reflect upon issues related to Social Justice, Diversity, Participation in Undergraduate Research, and Community Engagement. Through poetic imagery and stories, students will learn about the life story of Zora Neale Hurston and be challenged to critically identify and evaluate themes of the text.


Dear UCF Knight:

Welcome to the University of Central Florida (UCF)! I am honored that you have chosen to spend your collegiate career with us. Today marks the beginning of one of the most exciting periods of your life; a time where you will have the ability to learn, develop, and explore in an environment where you will be challenged, encouraged and supported. The Common Read Program was developed to build a sense of community among students via a common experience that will create connections and assist with your academic and social transition to university life. This will be achieved by your class reading the same book and participating in events throughout the year together. I hope that you will enjoy the experience.

The book selected for this year is Dust Tracks on a Road by renowned author Zora Neale Hurston. Dust Tracks on a Road is an amazing narrative of the life of Zora Neale Hurston. Through poetic imagery and stories, students will learn about the life story of Zora Neale Hurston. As a result, you will be challenged to think about your life story by engaging with the major themes of the text and applying them to your transition as a freshman student at UCF! Also, Zora Neale Hurston lived in Eatonville, Florida – only minutes away from UCF.

Do not lose the bookmark you received at Orientation: it contains important information and provides the QR code to this website where you can keep updated on our exciting calendar of events just for you. Additionally, you can earn LINK Loot for attending events. A proven student success strategy is engaging in campus programming. To be fully prepared to participate, you will want to ensure that you have read Dust Tracks on a Road prior to your first semester at UCF. All freshman students are welcome to apply for one of two $500 scholarships regarding Dust Tracks on a Road – more information is on the right side of this page.

As you prepare for your first week of classes, our expectation is for you to begin living out the UCF Creed of Integrity, Scholarship, Community, Creativity, and Excellence. I challenge you to take the tenets of the UCF Creed, apply the lessons learned from reading Dust Tracks on a Road, and engage in lively discussions about what you have learned with not only your peers, but with your faculty and family members alike. I hope this is the first step on an enriching journey here at UCF.

Once again, welcome to UCF and Go Knights!


Dr. DeLaine Priest
Associate Vice President, Student Development and Enrollment Services

$500 Scholarship

Freshman students may apply for the Common Read Scholarship. Two $500 scholarships will be awarded to freshman students who submit an essay regarding the impact of Dust Tracks on a Road has had on their transition as a freshman student.

Application period has closed. Notifications will be via Knights email by Wednesday, January 30, 2019.

Campus Resources

Visit the following websites to ensure your health and wellness while at UCF:

Wellness & Health Promotion:

Recreation and Wellness Center:

Student Health Services:

Past Selections

  • 2017: High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery that Challenges Everything You Know about Drugs and Society by Dr. Carl Hart
  • 2016: Outcasts United by Warren St. John
  • 2015: The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore
  • 2014: Garbolgy: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash by Edward Humes

Contact Information

For any questions regarding the Common Read Program, or to suggest future books, please contact Dr. Jamil D. Johnson.