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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Kimberly Contag

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Kimberly Contag Biography
College of Arts and Humanities, Minnesota State University, Mankato


Dr. Kimberly Contag has a remarkable background, and a highly distinguished career as a writer, an educator, and a researcher. She earned a Ph.D. in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics from the University of Minnesota, after an MA in Spanish Language and Literature from the same institution. She served as the Interim Assistant Vice President of Undergraduate Studies from 2009-2010, chaired the department for 6 years, and served as Graduate Coordinator for 5. She came to Mankato because of family, and stayed for the opportunity to “have coffee with my parents who live in New Ulm.” She has built a career and a family in Mankato, not necessarily in that order.

Dr. Contag teaches courses in the field of Medieval to Contemporary Spanish studies. To make learning meaningful, she has emphasized student classroom development, originally without PowerPoint, and more recently with online education. She believes strongly that vision improves student competence, no matter what tools they’re using.

She participated in the 2005 Don Quixote conference, which celebrated the publication of that work. During that event, students and faculty could engage in the full College of Arts and Sciences experience: they could dance, enjoy art shows and a film festival, see a production of Man of La Mancha, and listen to period music. Dr. Julie Kerr-Berry, Dr. Kurb Germundson, Dr. Paul Hustoles, Dr. Nina LeNoir, Dr. Kimm Julian, Dr. Don Larsson, and Dr. Henry Dunscombe all contributed within their areas of expertise (with invaluable insight and energy from students in their programs), and the collaboration resulted in a published book.

In her words, her transformational growth has come from scholarship on sabbatical and research overseas. She has sleuthed out the path of German-Ecuadorian relocation with her collaborator, Jim Grabowska. Next year, she’s going to be taking a sabbatical to Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Chile to develop future course materials within a new Masters of Science degree, “Spanish for the Professions.”

Congratulations to the 2014 Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award at Minnesota State University, Mankato, Dr. Kimberly Contag.



Awards and Recognition (last 10 Years):

2014 - Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award, Minnesota State University, Mankato

2013 - Order of Omega faculty appreciation, McNair Faculty mentor certificate, Woman of Courage and Vision nominee, Golden Key (invited speaker)

2009 - Nadine B. Andreas Creative or Research Faculty Grant

2008 - Global Citizen Award (MSU Kearney International Center)

2008 - Faculty Appreciation Award from the MSU Student Ambassadors Apple Polishers

2007 - Alumni Educational Achievement Award, Iowa State University, Ames

2006-2007 - Fulbright Scholar Award for research on Fantasy and Realism in Ecuadorian Literature Since 1975

2005 - Program for Cultural Cooperation between Spain's Ministry of Culture and United States' Universities


Current Projects:

  1. Building MSU Mankato scholarly work on Ecuadorian writers, published “New Voices in Contemporary Ecuadorian Literature: Fantasy and Realism.”
  2. Develop materials and educational contacts for the new Masters of Science degree in Spanish for the Professions.
  3. Preparation for research sabbatical.