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Dr. Miguel Zapata, Chair
Associate Professor
Department of Modern Foreign Languages
229 Hill Hall
(304) 766-3068

Dr. Zapata loves languages, culture, and several national literatures, but he loves even more teaching and exchanging ideas about these subjects.  His most important class goal is to create a non-stressful atmosphere where all students can participate. It is through participation and engagement in a variety of topics how students really learn. Dr. Zapata will challenge his students to do their best work, but he will do it gently, just like the sun goes down. This is why one of his favorite sayings is: sin prisa, pero sin pausa.
Dr. Zapata has degrees in Education, in English, in Spanish, and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature. He has many years of experience both nationally and internationally. He is also an editor for two international journals. Some of his hobbies are fitness, health, and gastronomy.     

Ms. Mary Frye
Associate Professor
Department of Modern Foreign Languages
210 Hill Hall
(304) 766-3067

 Mary C. Frye teaches courses in French language, literature, and civilization.  At WVSU she is in charge of the Cercle français, which brings together students, faculty, and French-speaking residents of the Kanawha Valley in order to practice speaking French and to learn about Francophone countries. She completed all requirements except the dissertation for the Ph. D. in French literature at the University of Virginia, holds an MA in French from WVU, and a BA in French from Fairmont State College. She studied in France at the Institute of European Studies in Paris and Nantes for her junior year, and at the Université de Caen from 1971-73, as well as being an “assistante d’anglais” in the French school system during those two years.
For 19 years she has served as the WV Administrator of the National French Examination for competing middle and high school students. She was honored by WVFLTA as Outstanding College Teacher of the 1999-2000 school year.  She has served as the president of the WV Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of French and as Member-at-Large for Higher Education on the Executive Committee of the WV Foreign Language Teachers Association.
Her research interests lie in the areas of language pedagogy, 19th century French poetry, contemporary social problems in France, and relations between France and her former colonies.


Mrs. Rebecca Conner
Department of Modern Foreign Languages
228 Hill Hall
(304) 766-3124

Mrs. Conner has a passion for teaching Spanish and for traveling to foreign countries to experience the richness of the languages and cultures she loves. AT WVSU she is the adviser for Alpha Mu Gamma, the National Foreign Language Honorary, and she also is in charge of the Modern Foreign Language Lab where students can come for free tutoring or to practice their language skills. She developed and implemented the study abroad program in Costa Rica for WVSU students and enjoys traveling with them to this beautiful tropical country.
She received the Rotary Graduate Fellowship for a year of study abroad in Switzerland and has studied extensively in Spanish speaking countries. Her BA in is Spanish and English education, and her MA is in Education.She received the WVFLTA outstanding teacher of the year award in 2010 and was honored by the SGA and students of WVSU as Faculty of the Year in 2011.


Dr. James Natsis                                                                 
Director of International Programs
Department of Modern Foreign Languages
218 Hill Hall
(304) 766-4249

James J. Natsis is a faculty member of the Modern Foreign Language Department and Coordinator of the International Studies degree program at West Virginia State University. He is a former Peace Corp volunteer who served for two years in Chad, Sub-Saharan Africa, and conducted his doctoral research in North Africa.  He holds a BA degree in French from the University of Missouri at St. Louis, an MA in International Affairs—African Studies, and the Ph.D. in International Education from Ohio University.  He serves on the WV Commission on International Education and on the Council for the WV Higher Education Policy Commission Consortium for Internationalizing Higher Education. He speaks French and Spanish.

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