Augustana Professor Kim Fordham is among 2011 recipients of the University of Alberta’s highest honour for excellence in undergraduate teaching – the Rutherford Award.
Dr. Fordham, who is also Chair of the Humanities Department, has taught German at Augustana since 1991. She is a past recipient of Augustana’s Distinguished Teaching Award. She is also director of the Canadian Summer School in Germany.
“She is a teaching leader,” Dean Roger Epp wrote in his letter of nomination, “one who brings care, passion, creativity and honesty to the classroom, and one who continues to inspire not just her students, but also her colleagues down the hall and her counterparts in Modern Languages across the country. . . . She is, in a real sense, always teaching.”
Her nomination dossier highlighted her innovative pedagogy in drama and language learning. Letters from students also attested to her dedication, personal warmth and life-changing impact on them.
“Teaching,” Dr. Fordham says, “is about creating relationships and opening doors.”
In addition to her work in the classroom and as Chair, she has established herself as a scholar. In the past year she has given invited lectures at the Goethe Universität in Frankfurt and at the University of British Columbia, and will be a visiting researcher at Berlin’s Humboldt University in 2011-12. She has presented papers at international conferences on the theme of violence, gender and literature as well as on language pedagogy. Her book, Trials and Tribunals in the Dramas of Heinrich von Kleist, was published in 2007.