Lakeland College's Katie Shumway, an instructor of Spanish, is the 2014 winner of the annual Underkofler Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award.
Shumway, who is in her 12th year as a member of Lakeland's faculty, is the college's 23rd winner of the Underkofler, which recognizes outstanding performance in undergraduate teaching.
The Underkofler Award was presented on April 2 at Lakeland's annual Honors Banquet, which recognizes outstanding academic accomplishments of students and faculty.
Shumway's accomplishments include the development of valuable study abroad opportunities and supporting students learning the Spanish language and culture by creating an engaging and comfortable classroom setting.
"Learning a foreign language can be intimidating," said Jessica Korrison, a senior majoring in resort management, in a letter nominating Shumway for the award. "Professor Shumway knows how to take that feeling away. Taking Spanish in high school was far from a pleasant experience for me. I can never thank Professor Shumway enough for changing my view on learning a foreign language."
Shumway has led a number of study abroad experiences that allow Lakeland students to gain immersion into Spanish-speaking cultures. She has partnered with faculty in the hospitality management program to take students to Mexico and Costa Rica and has worked to expand the relationship between Lakeland and its sister school in Colombia, Universidad Reformada.
Karissa Anderson, a junior majoring in education with a Spanish minor, accompanied Shumway to Colombia to study for a month.
"Senorita Shumway helped me to grow intellectually, morally and spiritually by providing an opportunity for a study abroad experience in the life of someone from another culture," said Anderson in a letter nominating Shumway for the award. "She helped us experience their values, create connections with what we learned in Colombia and the United States, be accepting of a diversity of people and make ethical decisions."
Shumway has provided innovative opportunities for Lakeland students throughout her career. She has created an environment where upper-level Spanish students gain experience teaching within the introductory Spanish sequence and has coordinated language learning exchanges through Skype. She has also served as lead English instructor for Lakeland's English Language Institute summer program and engaged students through the interdisciplinary Core.
Shumway has both a bachelor's and master's degree in Spanish from Marquette University.
The Underkofler Award is presented through the Alliant Energy Foundation and the Wisconsin Foundation for Independent Colleges, Inc. The Underkofler Endowment Fund was created in honor of past Wisconsin Power & Light president and chairman James R. Underkofler to recognize his 48 years of service to the utility industry.