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NHPR Host Virginia Prescott Speaks March 31 as Part of Landmark College Series

by Solvegi Shmulsky

On Monday, March 31, Virginia Prescott, host of New Hampshire Public Radio’s (NHPR) Word of Mouth, will speak at Next Stage Arts, located on Kimball Hill Road in Putney, Vt., as part of the Landmark College Speaker Series. In an engaging, interactive presentation, Prescott will explore the role that storytelling and active listening can play in binding together human relationships—from personal to intercultural. Co-sponsored by Landmark College and Next Stage Arts, the talk is titled “Listening Beneath the Noise” and begins at 7 p.m.

Landmark College faculty member Liza Burns, a personal friend of Prescott’s, helped set up the March 31 event.  “I was thrilled to help bring Prescott to Landmark for the Speaker Series,” said Burns. “Aside from her personal charisma and charm, as an NPR listener, I find her interviewing skills captivating. Word of Mouth is riveting both in its breadth of topics and the depth of information Prescott taps into when interviewing guests.”

What is “Listening Beneath the Noise” about? As a lead-in, Prescott cited the strong human need for up-close communication and the trend toward disconnection that has accompanied technological advances. She explained that although we have unprecedented access to connective media, we engage in less conversation. “I will use examples from a career in broadcasting to talk about how active listening can change personal and communal dynamics and be used as a tool to move beyond conflict,” wrote Prescott. She will also talk about her eclectic experience in broadcasting, from starting radio stations to supporting conflict resolution in West African villages, to creating sound installations from the oral histories of former residents who had lived in now-abandoned buildings.

“I know Prescott's visit will bring great excitement to any student who is open to new ideas. Many academic classes study listening—exploring what we can learn from others when we truly listen,” said Burns. “I look forward to hearing more from Prescott about how listening can impact us as people, learners, and indeed, global citizens.”

Word of Mouth is NHPR’s daily conversation about emerging trends, new ideas and under-reported stories from viral and pop culture. Prescott’s deep roots in public radio began at WWOZ in New Orleans. She later launched the Edward R. Morrow Award-winning interactive media team at WNYC in New York City, and became editor, producer and director for NPR’s On Point and Here & Now while at WBUR in Boston. Throughout her radio career, she’s helped build independent radio stations throughout the developing world and trained journalists in post-conflict zones from Sierra Leone to the Balkans. Her commitment to the power of sound and story-telling led her to create audio installations in Houston, Texas; Watertown, Mass.; and at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was awarded a Loeb Fellowship at Harvard University and was a member of the Peabody Award-winning production team for Jazz from Lincoln Center with Ed Bradley. 

This event is part of the 2014 Landmark College Speaker Series and is co-sponsored by Landmark College and Next Stage Arts Project (NSAP), which is a non-profit organization dedicated to revitalizing Putney’s cultural and economic village center through the programming, development and operation of Next Stage. Since its founding in early 2011, NSAP has hosted dozens of events including classical, folk, and popular music concerts, a community film series, and a spoken word series. Speakers appearing have included Taylor Mali, Pulitzer Prize winning author Tim Weiner, Dr. Carol Gilligan, Archer Mayor, and Bill Littlefield.

Prescott’s talk on March 31 is free for Landmark College students and staff with a valid Landmark College ID. For all others, there is a $10 suggested donation to support Next Stage's educational programs.

Landmark College was the first institution of higher learning to pioneer college-level studies for students with dyslexia. Today Landmark College, offering two- and four-year degree options, a graduate-level certificate in universal design with technology integration, and summer programs for students who learn differently, is a global leader in integrated teaching methods for students with dyslexia and other learning disabilities, ADHD, and ASD. Students, faculty, and other professionals from all over the world are drawn to Landmark College for its innovative educational model—designed through research and practice to help all students who learn differently become confident, self-empowered, and independently successful learners.

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