Simpson University Invites Community to ‘On the Same Page’ Featuring Brené Brown’s ‘Braving the Wilderness’

REDDING, Calif.—Simpson University invites North State readers to join students, staff and faculty in its third year of On the Same Page, its common reading program. This year’s book selection is Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brené Brown.

Dr. Jennifer Costillo, chair of Simpson’s Psychology Department, said the book was chosen based on Brown’s significant voice in contemporary culture. The University of Houston research professor has written five New York Times Best Sellers, has one of the most viewed TED talks with over 37 million views, and has spent the past two decades researching courage, vulnerability, shame, and empathy.


Brené Brown / Photo by Maile Wilson

“One of the main aims of Brown in Braving the Wilderness is to invite us into deeper dialogue with one another as we vulnerably engage more fully in authenticity in order that we not remain in our own private ‘ideological bunkers’,” Dr. Costillo said. “I cannot think of a better time within our culture to thoughtfully consider and discuss her recommendations as to how to accomplish this.”

The On the Same Page common reading program was initiated to further develop the mind, faith, and character of Simpson students, faculty, staff and the greater Redding community through intellectual engagement and consideration of diverse topics and perspectives.

Simpson University welcomes all who would like to join in this endeavor. This year, the following engagement opportunities are available:

Monday, Jan. 14, 6:30 p.m. (LaBaume-Rudat Hall, Room 204) – “Brown as Storyteller Researcher”
Wednesday, March 13, 1:30 p.m. (LaBaume-Rudat Hall, Room 204) – Student Panel at the 9th annual Simpson University Student Research Symposium
Wednesday, March 20, 6:30 p.m. (LaBaume-Rudat Hall, Room 204) – Multi-Disciplinary Faculty Panel



In the 2016-17 inaugural year of On the Same Page, participants read Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and met for monthly discussions on campus led by university professors who explored the novel’s themes from various academic disciplines.

The 2017-18 book selection was Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy. Three forums featured speakers Dr. Todd Allen, founder of The Common Ground Project; California Parole Board Commissioner Randy Grounds; and a panel comprising Shasta County Superior Court Judge Stephen Baker; Shasta County Public Defender Jeffrey Gorder; and Yolo County Supervising Probation Officer Zachary Grounds.

More than 350 colleges and universities nationwide have similar common reading programs to foster a culture of reading and community conversation, according to the National Association of Scholars’ 2016 report.

For more information, visit


Simpson University, established in 1921, is a Christian university offering undergraduategraduate, and teaching credential programs. The university will celebrate its centennial in 2021. Simpson was named as one of the 2018 Colleges of Distinction. Academic programs include ASPIRE, a degree-completion program geared toward working adults with both on-campus and online course offerings; the Betty M. Dean School of NursingA.W. Tozer Seminary, the School of Education, and the School of Graduate Professional Studies. For information about the university, or to arrange a campus visit, call 1-888-9-SIMPSON or visit