Congratulations to Andrea Schumaker, College of Western Idaho’s (CWI) Faculty of Distinction for November 2020. Schumaker started at the College in 2009 as a Specialist in One Stop Student Services. Making the shift to faculty five years ago, she has worked as both an Assistant Professor and, currently, as the Department Chair for Physical and Agricultural Sciences.
Raised on a farm in Idaho and a University of Idaho graduate, Schumaker says agriculture paired with education has always been her passion.
“I love taking something I am passionate about and sharing that passion with students,” she said. “It's inspiring when students send me a picture of some veggies they grew and harvested or the wild yeast they collected to bake some fresh bread or when they share a jar of sauerkraut they fermented for the first time. Introducing them to the powerful world of food and the role it plays in their daily life is seriously the best! Every semester, I have a student come back and tell me one of my classes actually changed their life.”
Alongside teaching an Agricultural Science capstone class, Global Foods, Fermentation, and You Are What You Eat, Schumaker spends countless hours tending to and harvesting produce from the campus garden located at the Nampa Campus Academic Building. Food from the garden helps feed students and is featured in the College's annual Farm To Fork event.
“What does Andrea not do,” expressed a colleague. “She is enthusiastic, focused, and driven. She strives to help both her students and her colleagues. Her work on the Farm to Fork dinner brought together students, other faculty, and community partners. It raised awareness of work done at CWI and raised funds to continue that work. This event, and the community garden, is a great way to combine education in the classroom with real life experiences!”
“I have enjoyed my time at CWI. Over the past 11 years, I have made some of my very best friends! The faculty at CWI really care about students and are the best at what they do! I have had the privilege to work alongside some of the best mathematicians and scientists in the field. They have a passion about their subject matter and a powerful way of sharing that passion with their students!”
Schumaker and her husband have been married for 14 years and have two daughters. She loves food and everything about it – growing, harvesting, preserving, fermenting, cooking, and eating it, noting she equally loves the delicious cold beverages that accompany food.
"I also enjoy spending time with my family and friends whether it's camping in the summer, a fire on the patio in the fall, building a snowman in the winter with my girls, or planting the garden in the spring. My secret obsession is drag racing (we are rebuilding a 1968 C10 pickup) and listening to Sturgil Simpson.”