Fall convocation speaker to address how introverts can find their voice in an extroverted world

Susan CainSusan Cain, author of the best-seller Quiet, The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, will share how introverts can excel in a society often overpowered by extroverts during Case Western Reserve University’s fall convocation Aug. 28, at 4:30 p.m. in Severance Hall. The event is free and open to the public, but ticket reservations are required.

Cain’s book was selected as the university’s “common reading” choice for first-year students for 2013-14. The common reading author is invited to give the Elaine G. Hadden Distinguished Visiting Author Lecture, established last year with a generous gift from Elaine G. Hadden, a longtime supporter and friend of Case Western Reserve and an emerita board member.

Quiet offers hope to introverts lost in the noisy world of extroverts. “There’s zero correlation between the gift of gab and good ideas,” writes Cain.

Although our culture may seem to reward social and outgoing people, “introverts should not try to pass as extroverts, but learn and value their strengths,” said Edwin Mayes, director of the First-Year Experience and a member of the Common Reading Committee.

Quiet will be a great read for our students,” said Timothy Beal, the Florence Harkness Professor of Religion and chair of the faculty-led Common Reading Committee. “We hope it will encourage them to reflect on what kinds of learners and professionals they are and will be, as well as how they fit into this community socially and how they relate to others in and out of the classroom.”

Quiet will be read as part of the First-Year Experience program, which helps new students transition from high school to university life and develop connections and a sense of belonging.

Books were sent to first-year students’ homes over the summer for students to read and then discuss in small groups when they come to campus.

Beal said Cain’s book, chosen from among 20 suggested titles, ties in with several campus courses and programs, including SAGES First Seminars, First-Year Experience programming and the Department of Psychological Sciences.

A self-proclaimed introvert, Cain says she has learned how to work in an extrovert world, but it took some practice. The book offers tips on how to deal with extroverts, who tend to dominate conversations, while introverts listen, consider and then talk and are more comfortable expressing themselves in writing.

To reserve a ticket, contact the Severance Hall box office at 216.231.1111 or print one at home from the hall’s website.