Department of Modern Languages

Faculty and Staff Information

Heba El-Attar, Associate Professor of Spanish. Her teaching interests include both Spanish and Arabic languages and Literatures. Originally from Cairo, Egypt, she has received her M.A. in Translation from Cairo (1996), then her PhD in 20th Century Peninsular Literature from Universidad Complutense de Madrid (2003). In 2004, She received an M.A. in Latin American literature from UW-Milwaukee. Her research interests include Peninsular, Arabic and Latin American literatures.

Room: Rhodes Tower 1625
Phone: 216.523.7174

Engelking Tama Lea Engelking, Professor of French and Chairperson of the Department.
Click here for a link to: Putting the contents of "Entre Amis" textbook and workbook disks on your computer (it will be an Adobe file).

Click here for supplementary teaching materials for French Review article, "Senegalese Women, Education and Polygamy in Une si longue lettre and Faat Kine."

Click here for a link to:  AATF Book Club Preview: Lafayette

Room: Rhodes Tower 1620
Phone: 216.523.7175


Kathy Ewing, Part-Time Instructor of Latin.

Room: Rhodes Tower 1607
Phone: 216.523.7166


Delia V. Galván, Associate Professor of Spanish was born in Mexico City, where she studied business and acquired experience in the international field. She earned a BA in Foreign Affairs, and a M.A. and Ph.D. in Romance Languages and Literatures from the University of Cincinnati. Before coming to CSU in 1991, she taught at Bucknell and John Carroll Universities. Her teaching interests are literature and civilization of Spanish America. Her research and publications are on Latin American women writers of fiction, and contemporary Mexican narrative.

Room: Rhodes Tower 1621
Phone: 216.687.4857

Stephen D. Gingerich, Associate Professor of Spanish: specializes in Spanish Literature from the Generación de 98 to the present. He received his PhD. in Comparative Literature from the University at Buffalo and worked for two years as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Kansas. He has an abiding interest in Spanish Cinema and in the relationship between literature and philosophy; this latter takes form in his recent studies on Juan Benet and in his ongoing work on post-Heideggerian philosophy. Although he lived in Ecuador as a child, his closest ties in the Hispanic world are to Barcelona, where he studied and worked for several years.

Room: Rhodes Tower 1628
Phone: 216.687.4677


Laura Graf, Administrative Assistant. Assists chairperson; responsible for managing department, gift, and grant budgets; composes brochures, fliers, etc.; maintains department website; assists faculty and students; supervises student help; enters course schedule into Peoplesoft; assists with travel forms; schedules and coordinates events; and maintains office supplies. Laura is a Cleveland native and lives in North Olmsted with her family.  She earned her B.A. in Anthropology from Cleveland State University. Laura enjoys reading (mainly Asian/Eastern fiction translated into English and nonfiction), searching flea markets and antique stores for old tea cups and saucers, and roaming library book sales looking for "just the right books" for her family library.

Room: Rhodes Tower 1619-A
Phone: 216.687.4646

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Amhad Hamo, Part-Time Instructor of Arabic
Room: Rhodes Tower 1609
Phone: 216.523.7185

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Jacqueline Hara, Part Time Instructor of French
Room: Rhodes Tower 1612
Phone: 216.523.7316


Elia Iafelice, Term Instructor, Italian and Spanish, is a native Italian. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Modern Languages with a concentration on Spanish and Italian from Lake Erie College in Painesville, where she served as the language assistant in Italian. She later received her Master of Arts in Spanish with a concentration in linguistics from CSU where she worked as one of the Spanish assistants.

Her teaching experience includes Spanish and Italian language, literature, and culture. Prior to becoming a Term Instructor at CSU, she taught Spanish part-time at Cuyahoga Community College and Lakeland Community College.  

Elia has visited Costa Rica and returns to Italy annually to visit family and touristic cities. Within the community Elia is the past president and a current member of Il Convivio the Italian club of Lake Erie College. She is also the co-organizer of the Cleveland Italian language group. In addition, she is an Italian translator and an Italian tutor.

Her professional affiliations include being a member of AATI (American Association of Teachers of Italian) and ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languags).

Room: Rhodes Tower 1615
Phone: 216.687.4633

Jakovljevic Zivojin Jakovljevic, Lecturer of Serbian Language and Business Culture
He received his Ph.D in Eastern European Languages and Literature at the Ohio State University. Before coming to Cleveland State he taught as a Teaching Associate Serbo-Croatian Language and Russian Culture at the Ohio State University. His research interests include: Medieval Russian and Serbian Church Slavonic lexicography and semantics; Language acquisition; Eastern European business culture; Medieval Serbian History.

Room: RT  1626
Phone: 687-4651

Jouan-Westlund Annie Jouan-Westlund, Associate Professor of French.

Room: Rhodes Tower 1634
Phone: 216.687.4655


Antonio Medina-Rivera, Professor of Spanish. Originally from Caguas, Puerto Rico, Dr. Medina-Rivera received his BA in Hispanic Studies from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras. His MA is from SUNY at Stony Brook, and PhD from University of Southern California. Dr. Medina-Rivera's fields of study include sociolinguistics and cultural studies with special emphasis on Spanish in the US, stylistic variation, food and literature, Rosario Ferre, and US Latino writers. He is the Director of the Linguistics Program, Cultural Crossings, and the coordinator of the Crossing Over Symposium. Dr. Medina-Rivera also edits the Journal of Cultural Encounters, Conflicts, and Resolutions.

Click here to view Dr. Medina-Rivera's curriculum vitae.

Room: Rhodes Tower 1633
Phone: 216.523.7168

Photo not available Francesco Melfi, Part Time instructor of Ancient Greek
Room: Rhodes Tower 1608
Phone: 523-7172
E mail:
Pruitt Reenie (Maureen) Pruitt, Term Instructor, Spanish obtained her undergraduate degree in Spanish Education from the University of West Florida in Pensacola. As a part of her studies, she lived in Costa Rica where she taught English as a Foreign Language. She subsequently earned a Master’s of Accountancy degree from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and for several years worked as a tax manager of a Fortune 500 company and as a tax accountant and investment consultant for one of the Forbes Richest 200 people in the World. She later earned her Master’s in Spanish with a concentration in linguistics and culture from Cleveland State University to return to her first love teaching. She taught in several colleges and high schools and coached basketball in her community before returning in 2006 to CSU to teach Spanish.

Reenie loves to travel and has visited 43 states and 18 foreign countries, including Spain, Mexico and Costa Rica.

Room: Rhodes Tower 1614
Phone: 216.523.7170

Tayyara Abed el-Rahman Tayyara, Assistant Professor of Middle Eastern Studies and Arabic. He earned his Ph.D. in Islamic Studies at New York University. His dissertation is entitled, "The Reflection of non-Islamic Cultures in Early Islamic Universal Histories." He earned his BA in History and Classical Studies, and M.A. in Roman History at Tel-Aviv University. He taught at New York University before coming to Cleveland State University where he is teaching Middle Eastern Studies and Arabic. Dr. Tayyara's teaching and research interests include a wide range of areas, such as History of Islam and the Middle East, Islamic historiography, classical Arabic literature, the transmission of knowledge from Greek culture to the Islam, Semitic languages, and Byzantine history.

Room: Rhodes Tower 1606
Phone: 216.687.5138

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Lena Vidahl, Part-Time Instructor of Japanese
Room: Rhodes Tower 1635
Phone: 216.687.4672

Wilberschied Lee Wilberschied, Associate Professor of Spanish and Foreign Language Instruction: holds a bachelor's from Cleveland State University, a Masters degree from University of Akron, and a Ph.D. from Ohio State University. She is a member of the ACTFL New Visions Task force on Teacher Recruitment and Retention. Her research work has included recruitment and retention of preservice and inservice foreign and second language teachers, service learning in language instruction and teacher training, and peer mentoring.

Room: Rhodes Tower 1610
Phone: 216.687.4648

Wrenhaven Kelly Wrenhaven, Assistant Professor of Classics. Prof Wrenhaven obtained her PhD from the University of St Andrews. She also holds an MPhil in Ancient History from the University of Cambridge and an MA in Classics from the University of British Columbia. Before arriving at CSU, she held lectureships in Ancient History and Classics at the University of Victoria and Trinity College Dublin. 

Her research interests include Greek slavery, especially how the Greeks used artistic and written representations of slaves to justify and "naturalize" the institution. She is also interested in ancient perceptions of the body, especially ideas about beauty and ugliness and perceived differences between slave and free, barbarian and Greek bodies, depictions of courtesans in art and literature and, more broadly, ancient ideas about prostitution and sexuality. She is currently preparing a book entitled Reconstructing the Slave: an examination of slave representation in the Greek polis (Duckworth, 2011). She has recently published an article on "The Identity of the Wool-Workers in the Attic Manumissions" (Hesperia 78.3) and has three chapters forthcoming in edited collections on ancient slavery, Attic comedy, and interconnectivity in ancient Mediterranean communities. She also recently contributed an entry on the phialai exeleutherikai for the forthcoming Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Ancient History.

Room: Rhodes Tower 1629
Phone: 216.523.7167


Qizhi Zhang, Part Time Instructor of Chinese

Room: Rhodes Tower 1651
Phone: 216-687-3929

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Michele Zelazny, Part-Time Instructor of French
Room: Rhodes Tower 1626
Phone: 216.687.4651


Luka Zibelnik, Part-Time Instructor of Slovenian

Room: Rhodes Tower 1654
Phone: 216.687.4689

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Mailing Address
Cleveland State University
College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences
The Modern Languages Department
2121 Euclid Ave., RT 1619
Cleveland, OH 44115-2214
Campus Location
Rhodes Tower, Room 1619
1860 East 22nd Street
Laura Graf
Phone: 216.687.4645
Fax: 216.687.4650
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