Department of Languages & Cross-Cultural Studies
After a decade of teaching Norwegian at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, while raising children, sheep, goats, and vegetables in the nearby township of Primrose, Frankie Shackelford joined the Augsburg faculty in 1990. She teaches all levels of Norwegian language, as well as culture and literature courses and the departmental keystone “Issues in Global Interdependence.” She loves teaching Norwegian, not only because it’s a relatively easy language for native-speakers of English but also, “because I get to profess the values of the welfare state and social justice that Norway is known for.”
During her four terms as chair of the department, Shackelford has overseen two name changes, the first in the mid-90s from “Foreign Languages” to “Modern Languages” to reflect the absence of classical Greek and Latin from the curriculum and the increasing popularity of Ojibwe, a native language of the Midwest. In 2006 she led a curriculum renewal project that resulted in a new interdisciplinary major in cross-cultural studies and the current department name. “Many students are interested in world cultures,” she noted, “but they don’t have time to complete the advanced courses required for grad school in languages. These students are really attracted to our new major, which combines a minor in one language (or intermediate competency in two) with supporting courses in other disciplines that are often part of their second major.”
Shackelford serves as advisor for cross-cultural studies, Norwegian, and study abroad. In the summer of 2011 she was field-trip co-ordinator in Oslo for the ten Nobel Peace Scholars from Augsburg, Augustana, Concordia, Luther and St. Olaf who were studying Norway as a peace nation and experienced first-hand the dignified and non-retaliatory response of the Norwegian people to terrorism on their own soil.
Although teaching is her favorite part of her Augsburg life, over the years Shackelford has worn many other hats across campus, including director of professional development, associate dean for teaching and learning enhancement, and president of the faculty senate. She was part of the team that developed the Augsburg Seminars (AugSem) and helped to write the Lilly Grant to fund the “Exploring Our Gifts” program that later became the Christensen Center for Vocation. As associate dean she encouraged increased synergy across academic advising, CLASS, and TRIO support services, reorganized the tutoring and academic skills offices, and spearheaded an initiative to co-locate the several units that constitute the Gage Center. Since 1998, she has been active in new faculty orientation each summer and was instrumental in establishing the ongoing new faculty seminar series. In 2010, she was recognized by the dean’s office and the Center for Teaching and Learning for her “Distinguished Contributions in Academic Leadership.”
After finishing her bachelor’s degree in psychology and German at Texas Christian University, Shackelford was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship for study at the University of Hamburg, which inspired her to take an active role in encouraging and mentoring student applicants for prestigious scholarships. Since completing her doctorate at the University of Texas at Austin, she has received several grants for research in Oslo and Bergen on literary history, narratology, and translation. She has translated three novels by New Norwegian writer Edvard Hoem, receiving the Scandinavian American Foundation Translation Prize and a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts. Professor Shackelford also co-authored an intermediate level textbook in Norwegian with her St. Olaf colleague Margaret O’Leary. Her current research focuses on the role of calling in several contemporary Norwegian novels.
- B.A. Texas Christian University
- Ph.D. University of Texas