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Dr. Michael R. Shaughnessy
Associate Professor of German
M.A., Ph.D. University of Cincinnati; B.A. University of Dayton

Mrs.  Cathy Altmeyer
German Instructor
MA WVU German; BA WVU German; BS WVU Secondary Education

Cathy Altmeyer is a PA-certified teacher of German K-12 and has been teaching at W&J since 2001.  Her interests include everyday life in Germany, East Germany past, present, and future, and the use of film, music, and children’s literature as a tool in undergraduate German courses.  She has taught students of ages 5 to 70 years in German, Spanish, and ESL.  She is very active in the Western Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of German, and helps to arrange biannual workshops for foreign language teachers.  She also enjoys working with future foreign language teachers.  Cathy is the W&J coordinator for the Three Rivers German Day Competition for secondary students, which is held annually at W&J.

Judith Atzler is an assistant professor of German in the Department of Modern Languages. Her primary research focus is on Second Language Acquisition with a secondary focus on Literature and Cultural Studies. She is currently working on developing an online language learners’ dictionary (based on the principles of frame semantics) focusing on the specific needs of language students. Her project has been picked up by The Center for Open Educational Resources & Language Learning (COERLL) at the University of Texas, Austin and she is working on this project in collaboration with other members of the University of Texas, Austin. In addition, to creating the online frame-based dictionary she is also working on analyzing frames between languages (specifically German and English) in order to understand if certain frames are harder to learn in a foreign language, what those frames are, why those frames are harder to learn and how we can help students with learning vocabulary. Apart from linguistically influenced research she is interested in Early Modern to 18th century literature and culture, specifically encounters with the other, travel accounts, witchcraft, secret societies and technology and science.
Besides language courses in German she teaches courses introducing students to environmental issues in German-speaking countries, Early Modern literature, and Freshman Seminars on the topic of secret societies.
Dr. Guido F. Halder
Visiting Assistant Professor of German
Ph.D. University of Texas, Austin; M.A. University of Texas, Austin; M.A.T., Trinity University; B.A. International Economics, Trinity University; Eidg. Handelsdiplom (MBA equivalent), Handelsschule KV Baselland, Switzerland

Dr. Judith K. Atzler
Assistant Professor of German
Ph.D. University of Texas, Austin; M.A. University of Kentucky; B.S. Clemson University

Questions regarding the German program at W&J should be directed to Dr. Atzler.

Guido Halder is a visiting assistant professor of German in the Department of Modern Languages. His research interests besides German language, literature and culture are in linguistics: Syntax, Semantics, Lexical Semantics, Pragmatics, Swiss German, Language Acquisition, Foreign Language Education, Contrastive Linguistics, Dialectology, Second Language Acquisition, Corpus Linguistics, Philosophy of Linguistics, Historical Linguistics, and Sociolinguistics. Dr. Halder is applying frame-semantic and construction grammar insights in his on-going research on support verb constructions in German and English. He also focuses on second language acquisition and foreign language education.

Michael Shaughnessy is an associate professor of German in the Department of Modern Languages. In addition to German language, literature, and culture, Dr. Shaughnessy has a professional interest in educational technology. He is particularly interested in the perception of technology within education and the role it plays within the humanities.
He has published a CD-ROM for introductory German, written numerous articles on the subject, does educational and commercial consulting for computer assisted language learning, and has given lectures on the subject of educational technology and humanities computing. His latest project involves creating the first multi-lingual authentic photo dictionary. The Culturally Authentic Pictorial Lexicon (CAPL) provides free access to high quality authentic images to the language learning community worldwide. Dr. Shaughnessy is a strong advocate for foreign language education, an active member in the American Association of Teachers of German, and a lifelong member of the Society for German American Studies. He is an expert on the subject of German speaking immigrants to Pittsburgh and published the book German Pittsburgh in 2007.

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