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Michael Shaughnessy appointed Executive Director

Thursday, May 14, 2020  
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The Board of Directors of the American Association of Teachers of German (AATG) has appointed Michael Shaughnessy as Executive Director effective July 1, 2020.

Mike Shaughnessy holds a Ph.D. in German from the University of Cincinnati and is currently Professor of German, Washington & Jefferson College, Washington, PA. He has been a national and international advocate for German and foreign language education since 2002. As a Professor, he grew and built a German program at Washington & Jefferson College that doubled the number of students and tripled the number of majors in the program. 

“Mike has a thorough understanding of the German-teaching profession. His vast experiences as a teacher, educational leader, and administrator, make him uniquely suited to serve as Executive Director,” said AATG President Doug Philipp in announcing the appointment. “Mike’s experience in program creation, consensus building, and strategic planning will bring a lot to our organization. His commitment to AATG, its mission, and the profession at large is outstanding.”
In 2012, Mike was appointed Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Senior International Officer where he worked to establish new curriculum models and establish international partnerships and gained a deep understanding of budgeting, marketing, distance learning, and creating sustainable enterprises when program sustainability is called into question. As Dean, he managed multi-million-dollar budgets and endowed funds. In 2018 he passionately returned full-time to the classroom.

A member of a number of academic and professional organizations, Mike has contributed actively to the profession at large. He served as the director of the Fulbright summer seminar for Fachhochschulen since 2017 and the National German Honorary Society, where he worked to standardize and grow revenues while ensuring responsible use of funds within these organizations. 

Mike’s research has been guided by educational technology and the application of technology in the humanities. His research such as the Culturally Authentic Pictorial Lexicon (CAPL), a database of images in a culturally authentic settings for language learning, has been internationally recognized as best practice. Recent research projects involve data visualization for historical and cultural education.

Mike has received a number of professional honors including the AATG / Goethe-Institut Certificate of Merit, the ACTFL/Cengage Learning Faculty Development Programs Award for Excellence in Foreign Language Instruction Using Technology with IALLT, the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure Fellowship to Yad Vashem, and the Outstanding Alumnus Award from the University of Cincinnati Department of German Studies. In 2016, Washington & Jefferson was designated a German Center of Excellence by the AATG.

The Board of Directors thanks Susanne Rinner, chair of the Search Committee, and members John Capasso, Kathy Fegely, Tony Jannotta, Priscilla Layne, Charlotte Melin, Juan Carlos Morales, Karl Otto, and Doug Philipp for their important work. 

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