As a professor, my ultimate goal is to help students further build their reading, writing, speaking, and thinking skills. Class time is devoted to working with students and creating spaces where we have high-level conversations about the difficult subjects–conversations I help initiate and moderate, conversations where I’m often learning as much as they are.

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A few examples of unsolicited emails or notes from students about my class and teaching:

Over the course of the semester I have really come to appreciate and respect your passion for teaching and your willingness to help your students succeed. Although it has been challenging (just like you promised in the beginning of the semester), the constant studying has really made your class more of an immersion environment, and I have noticed ideas from yours class popping up while in my everyday life. In that respect, I would say that we both had a successful semester. Thank you for your efforts!

Dr. Pegoda, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for teaching me so many valuable lessons and verifying that we are all unique individuals and that social construction takes away our individual essence. You’re an amazing professor and I am so thankful to have met you and I will forever cherish the lessons that we learned through this course.

I also want to say thank you for understanding that this quarantine has not been easy for anyone. You continue to keep in contact with all of us just to make sure we are not alone and that we have a friend.

I will keep you in mind whenever I talk about queer studies and all of the topic’s we discussed….

Hi Dr. Pegoda, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for all that you have done this semester. I really appreciate all the hard work and dedication that you put into our class, and I appreciate you opening up your class to have discussions that are necessary. I especially want to thank you for having a mental health day so that you can check up on your students. I know that you’re a professor that genuinely cares about your students and it really shows. I’m honored to have been one of your students and I hope that I will be a student of yours again. From the bottom of my heart, thank you so much.  Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Holidays

Hey Dr. Pegoda, I know it’s a bit late but I just really want to say thank you for everything. You were one of the biggest parts of my college experience with everything I was going through with what felt like my lowest point that first semester. You taught me so much and gave me confidence again. To this day I always educate people with what I learned from you and your class. I would not have finished college if it wasn’t for you. I’m so glad you were my professor and so glad we became friends.

I just wanted to say thanks for letting us have that conversation time in class. Honestly I feel like I have a weight lifted off of my shoulders….With all of this going on it has been extremely difficult to focus on the assignments let alone making it to class. Thankfully I believe that this is all coming to an end. You are the only professor who has shown any concern and for that I am thankful. I will try my hardest to finish the semester off on good terms with my school work. Thank you for being who you are

After finishing writing for 3 hours I wanted to hit the road and celebrate, relax, and reflect. Thanks for a great class. When I enrolled in H1378 originally, I needed to take a class and was looking for a job, so a Saturday class seemed like the best idea. I had to drive from Austin, so a class that started at noon sounded better than a class at 9 am. I always wanted to learn how the US became what it is today. I enrolled in the class due to it’s day and class time but ended up learning everything I always wanted to and probably more than I would have learned in any other class.

I just wanted to let you know that this was by far the most eye opening class I have taken so far in college. There was a lot going into this class that I did not quite understand on certain LGBTQ issues but I see a lot of things in a much broader perspective now….Because of you I was actually able to help give some advice to one of my cousins on accepting it and just be able to come out to her parents….I am so glad I took this class, I genuinely learned some real material and made new friends. Thank you so much for a great semester and I wish nothing but the best for you, your family, your pets and future classes going into 2017.

Thank you so much for your efforts this semester, Dr. Pegoda. I honestly feel like I’ve learned a lot and I appreciate how you challenged us.

YAY! It has been a crazy insane summer for me, I don’t think I have even had so much homework in my life! I am so happy it is almost over, but I’m sure I’ll feel lost without it all. Both classes have been an eye opening experience for me, I think I have actually learned a lot. Not only about the topics but about people in general. I would say I learned a little about myself also. Thank you for all of your help all summer long, I really do appreciate the hard work you put into every class and the care you take for every person. It is a rare thing and I hope you know that you are making a difference.

I just wanted to get in contact with you because I remember when you had us all sit in a circle and we just talked about what has been going on in our lives. I didn’t want to talk about my issues but I am thankful that you called on me to bring up my problem regarding my fear to speak up to my parents about what I wanted to study. It was hard for me to talk about but listening to what my classmates and you told me was taken to heart for me and I am tremendously grateful for you deciding to take a day to just talk. I wish more professors would do that….Thank you so much and I will be forever grateful.

Dr. Pegoda,
My name is [redacted]. A couple of years ago I had the pleasure of taking your Texas History class at Alvin Community College during the semester that you were completing your PhD. The way that you taught the class, inspired discussion, and respected the thoughts and opinions of every member of the class is essentially the sole reason I’ve found any desire to continue my studies. Due to personal constraints I had to take a couple of years off, but I’m now back on track to complete my degree. Long story short, I found your class to be nothing short of inspiring, and I wanted to see if you were still teaching classes at ACC? I have one more semester here before transferring to UHCL and if you’re still teaching that Mexican-American History class at ACC I’d love to take it. Wasn’t sure if you were still teaching classes here or if you were exclusively at UH now!

Either way, thank you for passion for the subjects that you teach and the care you take in providing an environment where anyone can learn and thrive. I attribute much of my academic success thus far to the lessons I learned in your class. Apologies if this was the wrong medium to reach you, but I wanted to do everything I could to see if there was the possibility of taking another of your classes!

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  1. Statement of Teaching Philosophy – Without Ritual, Autonomous Negotiations

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