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Columbia College Chicago

Audio Arts & Acoustics' Benj Kanters makes waves in Hearing Awareness & Conservation worldwide!

AA&A associate professor and associate chair, Benj Kanters, has been teaching, researching, publishing, and offering educational and professional workshops on the topic of hearing awareness and conservation for over 10 years. This is now officially his time! The impact of his accomplishments in the area is exemplified in

1. Two National Hearing Conservation awards recognizing his development of the AA&A course Studies in Hearing, the founding of HearTomorrow.org , and the touring seminar “The Hearing Conservation Workshop,” receiving rave reviews for his “in-depth knowledge of sound” and “his passion about raising awareness of hearing loss.” 

  • The 2014 “Safe in Sound Award for Innovation in Hearing Conservation,”, bestowed by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health  and the National Hearing Conservation Association.  The award honors organizations/individuals that have demonstrated commitment and results in the prevention of noise-induced hearing loss in the work environment and beyond, and were formally presented at the 39th Annual NHCA Hearing Conservation Conference on March 14th, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

    From the NIOSH/NHCA press release: “The award for innovation goes to Benjamin Kanters, founder of “HearTomorrow,” and an Associate Professor at Columbia College Chicago where he teaches “Studies in Hearing,” addressing hearing physiology, disorders and conservation for students studying audio engineering and acoustics. In 2008, this course became the foundation for “The Hearing Conservation Workshop” which is designed to teach hearing awareness and conservation to students and professionals in the audio, music and hearing science industries. Benjamin Kanters is being recognized for his development and widespread dissemination of the 2-hour seminar which has been delivered at 37 colleges and universities, 23 professional conferences, and as an online webinar. His passion for hearing loss prevention is tangible and positively promotes the need to educate the music and audio engineering community and those who provide hearing healthcare to them.

  • The 2014 “Natalie Stukas Hearing Conservation Award,” bestowed by the Illinois Academy of Audiology  This award acknowledges outstanding achievement in clinical practice, consumer education, research, or product development in the area of hearing conservation. The award was established in 2004 in the memory of Natalie Stukas, a founding member of the Illinois Academy of Audiology, who dedicated her professional life to the identification and prevention of hearing loss in the work place.

2. A featured cover article for the Nov-Dec/2013 issue of Audiology Today, a journal of the American Academy of Audiology ; Kanters, B. (2013). “Bringing Together the Cultures of Music, Audio & Hearing,”  Audiology Today, 25(6): 16-23.

The article grew out of previous work and conference presentations, including Benj’s 2012 presentation at the 47th International Conference: Music Induced Hearing Disorders , a conference co-organized by Benj and held at Columbia College Chicago, in collaboration with Dr. Michael Santucci, founder and president of Sensaphonics Hearing Conservation, Inc. Details of that conference here.

3. The chapter on “Hearing Conservation” for the upcoming 5th edition of the Handbook for Sound Engineers . The Handbook is a leading reference text, used by audio engineers all over the world, and recognized as a definitive audio reference by The Audio Engineering Society , also featuring chapters written by other Audio Arts & Acoustics faculty, Professors Dominique Chéenne and Peter Zhang, and Professor Emeritus, Douglas Jones.

4. A “rock-star” schedule of invited seminars and workshops in some of the most reputable educational, professional, and research institutions in the country and beyond. Just this week, Benj’s schedule included the following presentations:
  • “Strategies for Building Hearing Awareness Advocacy" at the Department of Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences, University of Connecticut AND the Doctor of Audiology Program, City University of New York
  • "Developing Hearing Conservation Initiatives in Performance Medicine" at the Annual Meeting of The American Society for Sports Medicine
  • "Hearing Loss Prevention" at the Department of Otolaryngology, Tulane University AND the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts (Performing Arts High School) >
  • “Praise the Lord and Pass the Earplugs: Hearing Loss Prevention in Religious Settings” at the Department of Otolaryngology, Loyola University
  • “Noise Hazard Awareness in the Music Performance Venues" at the New Orleans Musicians Assistance Foundation, Lil Gem Saloon, Safe Sounds Seminar.
    Note: the presentations at Tulane University and Loyola University were organized by The New Orleans Musician's Assistance Foundation,
A University of Connecticut faculty put it best: “I'm so very appreciative that [Benj] came here and did those two talks for us. I really think [he] opened the eyes of the Au.D. students...and the speech students...and the faculty....that hearing loss prevention is COOL! The overlap between music, audio, and audiology...that's BEYOND COOL! That's where it all starts for me!”

5. Recent AA&A graduate and advisee, Karson Glass (B.A. Dec. 2013) , joining the list of past AA&A graduates accepted at prestigious Audiology doctorate programs, and

6. Numerous past students and advisees making the news and impacting our community .


Benj, we are proud to call you our own!



   Presentation of the Safe in Sound award to Benjamin Kanters (third from left)
Safe in Sound Committee (left to right)
Rick Neitzel, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Michigan; Deanna Meinke, Ph.D., Associate Professor, University of Northern Colorado; Benj Kanters, MM, Associate Chair, Audio Arts & Acoustics, Columbia College Chicago; Greg Lotz, Division Director, NIOSH; Thais Morata, Research Audilogist, NIOSH/CDC/DART; James Lankford, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Northern Illinois University