Department of Communication Studies Hosts IMPACT Conference

Marina Al Naser, guest writer

On Saturday Feb. 4, the Department of Communication Studies hosted the 30th Annual David C. Bicker IMPACT Conference in Wilden Hall. The event included student paper and panel presentations, faculty workshops, alumni speed networking and more.

Previously known as the Communication Ethics Conference and created in 1987 by the founding chair of the Department of Communication Studies, David C. Bicker, Ph.D., the conference’s purpose was to bring together students, alumni and practitioners in conversations about impacting the culture for Christ.

Assistant Professor Courtney W. Davis, Ph.D., coordinated the event alongside students and other faculty and staff. Davis explained that she and her team decided to change the name of the event to better represent the breadth of communication topics discussed at the conference.

In comparing this year’s conference to those of the past, Angela Sele, a senior communication studies major and an organizer of the event, explained how the planning process was different.

“We renamed the conference, added an alumni speed networking event, charged admission for the first time, which included lunch and coffee, none of which had been the case before the rebranding,” Sele said.

Though this conference aimed to serve the Department of Communication Studies, Davis noted the other majors in attendance as well.

“We had public health majors, education majors, history majors and nursing majors who all found that there is something of value here,” Davis said. “We were also happy to welcome students from six different institutions regionally.”

The students and faculty from other schools, including Westmont College, California Baptist University, Point Loma Nazarene University and others, brought along research to present, with topics such as “Workplace sexism and female achievement,” “Social influences and food intake in a college setting” and “Compatibility dating,” to name a few.

James Powell, a student from San Diego Christian College, discussed interpersonal communication and how the way we talk to ourselves affects our interaction with others. In his presentation, Powell talked about his childhood journey and how he realized that in order to live a healthy life, he needed to remove a lot of negativity from his mind.

In keeping with tradition, the department presented the David C. Bicker Distinguished Achievement Award to a student who not only excels academically but also exhibits skill in integrating faith and learning.

This year’s award went to Corey Langerveld, a senior communication studies major. Assistant Professor Ryan Montague, Ph.D., presented the award to Langerveld.

“He has a gentle and humble spirit about him that you can recognize a mile away,” Montague said of Langerveld. “He attracts others into conversation and relationship, and draws out the best in others…I have no doubt that Corey is going to be used in great ways as a light in the darkness, and when given the opportunity to share his motivations for all of this, God will get the glory.”

The 31st Annual David C. Bicker IMPACT Conference is scheduled for February 2018.