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Dordt College News

Communication professors present papers at listening conference

July 15, 2013

Dordt College Communication Professors Dr. Charles Veenstra and Kae Van Engen attended the annual International Listening Association (ILA) Conference in Montreal, Quebec. The conference, titled “Listening: The Art, The Science, The Joie de Vivre,” was held on June 20 to 22 and was attended by more than 100 of its 300 members from the United States and abroad.

Van Engen, who presented the paper “Listening Within Leadership,” was elected to the position of secretary of the executive board, where she will help with convention planning, connect with members globally, and take on various other responsibilities. The board is made up of 12 people from throughout the U.S. and abroad; most meetings are held online.

A member of the ILA since 1998 and a Certified Listening Professional since 2010, Van Engen said that “the conference was valuable professionally. The sessions on mind mapping and about how the mind works helps us think about how students listen differently in the classroom.”

Veenstra, a lifetime member of the ILA, argues in his paper, “Social Media’s Impact on Listening and Loneliness,” that the misuse of social media can lead to isolation. “Digitized friendships are predicated on rapid response rather than reflection. Listening requires that one slow down, and social media discourages this,” he says in his paper. “Building relationships, which requires a large amount of listening, is by its very nature an inefficient process.”

Last year, Veenstra was awarded the Outstanding Educator of the Year Award from the ILA, an annual award presented to a teacher who is knowledgeable about listening, who is an effective teacher of listening, and who shares his or her knowledge and techniques for teaching listening with others.

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