Pennylyn Dykstra-Pruim

Pennylyn Dykstra-Pruim


Professor Dykstra-Pruim graduated from Calvin College with a BA in German. She then studied at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she earned her MA in German literature, a certificate in ESL, and a PhD in German-English applied linguistics.


Professional history

  • Professor, Calvin College (2018-present)
  • Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion, Calvin College (2015–present)
  • Associate Professor, Calvin College (2010–2017)
  • Series Editor for Yale University Press (2013–present)
  • Cultural Intelligence Consultant for the Christian Reformed Church in North America, Office of Race Relations (2011–present)
  • Workshop facilitator and trainer for Cultural Intelligence Building (2010–present)
  • Assistant Professor, Calvin College (2005–10)
  • Researcher and developer, Evia Learning (1998–2007)
  • Lecturer and TA director, Brown University (1995–98)
  • Teaching Assistant, University of Wisconsin-Madison (1989–94)

Academic interests

  • Intercultural learning
  • Foreign language pedagogy
  • Cultural Intelligence Building
  • Intergroup Dialogue

Favorite courses to teach

  • German 201: Intermediate German
  • German 361: Advanced Writing in Cultural Context
  • German 362: Culture and Language through Performed Text
  • German 302: German Cultures and Intercultural Studies
  • IDIS 290: Muslim Neighbors and Christian Hospitality

Additional information

  • Penny has been nationally recognized for Excellence in the Teaching of Culture receiving the ACTFL Nelson Brooks Award in 2013.
  • She enjoys cooking, knitting, spending time with her family, exploring new cultures, and learning from people’s stories.
  • She and her husband, Randall J. Pruim, a professor of mathematics at Calvin College, have three children.


  • Interpersonal Cultural Intelligence for Community Building. Forthcoming
  • Christians and Cultural Difference (with David I. Smith). Grand Rapids: Calvin College Press, forthcoming.
  • “New Media Texte für die Millenials im DaF Unterricht” (with Rachel Halverson). Unterrichtspraxis. Teaching German 48, no. 2 (October 2015).
  • Schreiben lernen: A Writing Guide for Learners of German (with Jennifer Redmann). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2012.
  • Coauthor, Auf geht’s! and Weiter geht’s!, nationally distributed German curricula in use at 100 institutions nationwide.
  • “Getting Outside the Box.” Nuevo Impact (April 2013).
  • Exploring Cultural Intelligence." Web seminar for the CRCNA, 2013.

In the news

Understanding Us & Them

Interpersonal Cultural Intelligence for Community Building

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