- Lieber Memorial Teaching Associate Award (1987)
Patricia Calkins grew up on the campus of a small liberal arts college in Indiana, where her father was a professor. She received a BA from Gustavus Adolphus College in 1980, and an MA and PhD from Indiana University in 1983 and 1993 respectively.
Dr. Calkins has been teaching German at Simpson College since 1997, and values the close working relationship with students and the broad educational experience that are fostered at a liberal arts college. Both of these aspects of a liberal arts education are exemplified in the Simpson Semester in Schorndorf, Simpson's study abroad program in Germany, which Dr. Calkins has led every other year since coming to Simpson. Dr. Calkins is passionate about providing opportunities for all learners to experience a foreign culture in its own context - namely through its language. She has been a strong advocate to teachers of German in Iowa and is working to advance language education in the Midwest.
In 1987, while studying at IU, Dr. Calkins was awarded the Lieber Memorial Teaching Associate Award; in 2004 she was named the Outstanding Foreign Language Educator of the Year at the University Level by the Iowa World Language Association. Her current projects include working to add world language education to the Iowa Core Curriculum and changing and revitalizing the way world languages are taught in Iowa from the elementary grades through the college level.