Exposure to New Ideas

A picture of Stephen Kloosterman

Steve Kloosterman’s (‘05) passion for journalism blossomed in high school, when he signed up for journalism on a whim. Later when he attended Dordt, he chose to pursue communication with a journalism emphasis, and dove into the opportunities available for writers on campus. After graduation, Kloosterman worked for daily newspapers, which led to his current position as an assistant editor for two agriculture trade magazines.

Kloosterman has been at his current position in the journalism field for approximately six months. This position involves writing for a national audience and preparing for two monthly deadlines, essentially every two weeks. In contrast to his previous jobs at daily publications, Kloosterman states, “It is a magazine format, so stories are longer, more in-depth, more specialized.” His position also involves various communication mediums, including writing, editing, producing videos, managing the website and updating social media.

Kloosterman gained quite a bit of writing experience during his time at Dordt, which included writing for the yearbook, a devotional, and writing and editing for the Dordt Diamond. “I was really impressed that they had so many opportunities for me to write,” explained Kloosterman.

He benefited from a chance to learn some broadcast basics as well during his time at Dordt. These video skills have been useful tools for Kloosterman, as journalism mediums have changed and evolved through the past ten years. He explained, “I was like one class short of a broadcast emphasis as well, so that was interesting too, I’d never done anything like that. And that actually helped me in my daily newspaper stuff when we were starting to do more videos.”

During his time at Dordt, Kloosterman had the opportunity to study under Professor Emeritus of English Dr. James Schaap. “I grew up reading James Schaap books, and then taking a couple classes with him was really great,” said Kloosterman.

Kloosterman also found that Dordt helped to prepare him for encountering various worldviews when entering the workforce. “I think it was helpful to gain exposure to ideas you’re not used to, and you don’t have to accept them as their own, or feel threatened by them, but it helps to know in detail what other people in the workplace and your particular field might believe about life,” said Kloosterman.

It was not just the classes that helped to prepare Kloosterman for a life in journalism. “I think Dordt does a good job of not just providing the basic education, but the extra programs are really helpful,” said Kloosterman. “I did Chicago semester my last term, and that was really helpful for me in terms of just getting used to the working environment and landing a good internship.”