Pennylyn Dykstra-Pruim


  • Spending time with her family
  • Cooking
  • Knitting
  • Musizieren (yes, that's making music) with her daughter, husband and friends

Additional information 

  • Her husband, Randall J. Pruim, is a professor of mathematics at Calvin College, and she has three children.

"My three children are all the proof I need that gene mixing is unpredictable, and that outliers are part of statistical averages. My husband may not affirm the mathematical validity of that last statement."

Courses taught


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  • B.A. Calvin College 1988 (German)
  • M.A. University of Wisconsin-Madison 1989 (German Literature)
  • Ph.D. University of Wisconsin-Madison 1995 (German-English Applied Linguistics)


  • Associate professor, Calvin College (2010–present)
  • Assistant professor, Calvin College (2005–2010)
  • Researcher and developer, Evia Learning (1998–2007)
  • Lecturer and TA director, Brown University (1995–1998)
  • Teaching assistant, University of Wisconsin-Madison (1989–1994)

Academic interests

  • Culture and intercultural learning
  • Building cultural intelligence (CQ)
  • Second language acquisition (SLA) and materials development
  • Community building and learning environments.

Recent activities

  • Developing the new German curriculum at Calvin College
  • Leading and coordinating German chapels
  • Organizing and baking Apfelstrudel for Department Kaffeestunden
  • Chair, American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) Culture Task Force
  • National Exam Testing Chair for the Michigan Chapter of AATG
  • Co-author of two nationally distributed German curricula "Auf geht's!" and "Weiter geht's!" used at over 50 institutions
  • Co-author of "Schreiben Lernen: A Writing Guide for Learners of German" with Yale University Press
  • Leader in Building Your Cultural Intelligence workshop



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