In The News

Book Group Planned for Women Veterans

From the SIUC News
August 13, 2015

CARBONDALE, Ill. — A book reading and discussion group for women veterans will start later this month at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Morris Library.

“Standing Together: A Book Group for Women Veterans,” is a free, five-session program open to all women who have served in the military in any capacity, whether during war or peacetime. The group is open to university faculty, staff, students and the community.

Organized and facilitated by Cheryl Barnett, who is recruitment coordinator for SIU Carbondale’s Center for International Education, the effort is an outgrowth of the university’s “Soldiers Among Us” initiative that explores the complexities of the relationship between civilian and military life. Barnett is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan and an officer in the Army National Guard.

The meetings are every other Thursday, beginning at 7 p.m., Aug. 27, in Morris Library, Room 0480A. Light refreshments will be available. Pre-registration is not required, but interested veterans may contact Barnett at Additional program information is also available at under the “Standing Together: A Book Group for Women Veterans” section.

Each session will consist of two or three articles along with discussion. There will be a mixture of material relating to veterans, written by women and men, Barnett said.

The readings will include works representing various literary styles, including “Be Safe, I Love You,” by Cara Hoffman, “A Jury of Her Peers” by Susan Glaspell, and selections from “Redeployment,” by Phil Klay and “POWDER: Writings by Women in the Ranks, from Vietnam to Iraq.”

The program is conducted by Illinois Humanities, with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and assistance from the Maine Humanities Council and the university’s Veterans Services.

“Illinois Humanities is privileged to offer this opportunity to women who have served our country in the military,” Matt Meacham, a program coordinator with Illinois Humanities, said. “We hope the participants will relate the stories and ideas contained in the readings to their own and use them as a basis for reflection, conversation, and development of beneficial relationships.”

Paul S. Copeland, SIU Carbondale’s Veterans Services coordinator, said the reading group is important because it will create a comfort zone, where women can openly discuss their experiences.

“It’s important to provide these opportunities,” he said.

For more information, contact Barnett at 618/453-3070 or


The original article can be found here.