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Patricia Calkins

Professor of German
Patricia Calkins brings expertise in the intersection of culture and language learning to head the German and ESL programs on campus.


Patricia Calkins has taught at Simpson College since 1997. She has taken students on semesters abroad eight times and on numerous May Term experiences. Helping students to respectfully interact with new cultures and people is one of her passions. She works towards the inclusion of all people into the Simpson community and is particularly interested in serving those who are culturally and linguistically different from the majority culture of Iowa. She is spearheading the development of an English as a Second Language program at the college as part of these efforts.


  • German culture and language
  • Intercultural communication
  • Language Pedagogy
  • English as a Second Language
  • Assessment


  • Simpson Award for Faculty Leadership, 2014
  • Simpson Award for Exemplary Teaching, 2012
  • Simpson Distinguished Research Award, 1999
  • Iowa World Language Teacher of the Year, 2004


  • Ph.D. in Germanic Studies, Indiana University, 1993
  • M.A. in German, Indiana University, 1982
  • B.A. in German, Gustavus Adolphus College, 1980
  • M.Ed. in Learning, Teaching and Curriculum with a concentration in TESOL, University of Missouri, May, 2019 (expected)


  • Wilkinson, Sharon, Calkins, Patricia and Dinesen, Tracy. (2015) Creating a Culture-Driven Classroom One Activity at a Time. Learn Languages, Explore Culture, Transform Lives: Selected Papers from the 2015 Central States Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, 1-16.
  • Wo das Pulver liegt: Biedermeier Berlin as Reflected in Adolf Glassbrenner’s Berliner Don Quixote. New York: Peter Lang, 1998.