English faculty

Barbara L. Turnwall, M.A.

Instructor in English

M.A., State University of New York, Albany
B.A., Hope College



Professor Turnwall has been teaching English at Northwestern College since 1966 and specializes in teaching writing classes. Besides chairing numerous faculty committees and serving on the Iowa Writing Project Steering Committee, she has chaired the English Department nine years during her tenure. For her professional contributions the Iowa Council of Teachers of English honored her with its 2009 Distinguished Service Award.

For more than 20 years, Turnwall has been active as an instructor, site director and steering committee member of the Iowa Writing Project (IWP). Her contributions to IWP led to her receiving the organization’s Star Thrower Award in 2008. Founded in the late ’70s, the IWP has provided professional growth opportunities for more than 8,500 Iowa teachers, including—under Turnwall’s leadership—78 members of Northwestern’s faculty. In 1999 Turnwall was the college teacher chosen to receive the Iowa Council of Teachers of English Literacy Award for contributions to language development and literacy learning in the state of Iowa.



    • Turnwall's innovative Pedagogy Project, a collaboratation between IWP and Northwestern College, provides a year of professional development for a small group of Northwestern faculty who study,discuss, experiment with,and reflect on teaching methodology. The project has served 78 faculty since its beginning in 2001. For more information, you may access the following link to the National Writing Project website: http://www.nwp.org/cs/public/print/resource/3077
    • In 2006, Turnwall initiated the Hispanic Story Project, another collaboration between IWP and Northwestern. The purpose of the project is to honor and preserve local Hispanic immigrant stories. A small group of trained teachers gather, write and translate the stories bilingually. The stories serve to bridge the two cultures, providing curriculum materials for ESL, English, Spanish, and human relations classes from elementary school to college. They have also been used for sensitivity training of teachers and for adult classes studying immigration. The recently updated stories are now available on the Iowa Writing Project website in English, Spanish, and bilingual versions.


    • National Council of Teachers of English
    • Iowa Council of Teachers of English
    • Iowa Writing Project Steering Committee
    • Delta Kappa Gamma International
    • University of Northern Iowa Adjunct Faculty


    • Iowa Council of Teachers of English 2009 Distinguished Service Award
    • Iowa Writing Project Star Thrower Award (2008)
    • Iowa Council of Teachers of English Literacy Award (1999)