Michael Wilhelm will be the new director of the Intensive English Program (IEP) at West Virginia University, effective Aug. 16.

The program, housed in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, has been led for the past 10 years by Helen Huntley.

Huntley received a Fulbright Award to spend the 2006-2007 academic year as a Teaching English as a Second Language specialist at the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California. She expects to return to WVU as assistant director of Academic Affairs in the IEP for the 2007-2008 academic year.

I have seen the program grow and diversify to include international students from many cultures in both semester-long and short-term programs,Huntley said.

These programs range from a Korean Teachers Program, a Thai Scholars Program and a Mexican Faculty Exchange program to several programs with Japanese and Korean universities and institutions, she noted.

Huntley also worked to gain professional accreditation for WVU s program through the American Association of Intensive English Programs, and instituted four English as a Second Language (ESL) credit courses for WVU s international students.

“I want to extend my great thanks to Helen Huntley for her many years of dedication and hard work in leading the IEP ,said Dr. Donald Hall, chair of the Department of Foreign Languages.It is a strong and vital program because of her leadership. I am also very excited about the new role that Michael Wilhelm will play at the IEP . He has the vision and skills necessary to build upon the successes of his predecessor. I know the IEP will thrive under his directorship.”

Wilhelm joined the faculty at WVU as the SPEAK Test Coordinator in 1999. SPEAK assesses the spoken English of teaching assistants from non-English speaking countries before they are assigned teaching duties at WVU . In 2001, he became a full time member of the Department of Foreign Languages. His professional experiences began as an ESL instructor and an IEP Coordinator of Special Programs, webmaster and student recruiter in Latin America and in Asia.

It is important for us to remember that English is the critical language for the rest of the world, and we have the opportunity to make it available to all who can come to Morgantown,Wilhelm explained.

His goals for the IEP are to develop a working relationship with other departments, to increase the visibility of the IEP as the initial step for many international students, and to contribute to WVU President David C. Hardestys goal of making WVU a truly global campus.

We have a dedicated staff and group of graduate teaching assistants who are ready to recommit to helping the IEP meet its full potential,he added.It is a great time to be involved with international education, and I am very motivated by the vision of President Hardesty and Provost Gerald Lang at the University level and Eberly College Dean Mary Ellen Mazey.

For more information, contact Wilhelm at Michael.Wilhelm@mail.wvu.edu .