Michael Pogach ’05M, ’09M:
Arcadia Faculty Inspired Me to Teach
Leaping comes more easily than looking for Michael Pogach ’05M, ’09M, who recently accepted a tenure-track position at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, Pa.
While he worked toward his Master’s of Humanities at Arcadia, Pogach took two education courses without feeling particularly drawn toward teaching. “I didn’t have any idea what I wanted to do or what I would be good at,” Pogach says. He decided to take the risk when Montgomery County Community College in Bluebell offered him an adjunct position one week before the Fall 2005 semester began. That semester marked the beginning of three years of teaching composition and introductory literature courses. Pogach looked to Arcadia faculty as he found his stride as a teacher.
“Everything I did in my first year, and probably now, I stole from someone else,” Pogach said with a laugh. He notes that aspects from Professor of English Dr. Pradyumna Chauhan’s History and Teaching of Rhetoric class still feature prominently in his teaching.
Dr. Dick Wertime, Director of the English and Humanities master’s programs, profoundly influenced Pogach’s decision to pursue a teaching career. While working toward his Master’s of English, Pogach served as a temporary full-time instructor at Kutztown University in the 2008-09 school year.
“Dr. Wertime is single-handedly responsible for me not working in a garage anymore,” Pogach says.
Now almost done with his first semester at Northampton, Pogach enjoys becoming a part of campus life in a way that he never could as an adjunct professor. He is teaching a full roster of composition courses and will add Drama and Introduction to Literature next semester.
Northampton’s open-minded attitude meshes well with Pogach’s own adventurous spirit. “They remove the red tape so you can try something new.” He plans to launch a literary magazine on campus, inspired by writing groups he participated in while at Arcadia.
Pogach’s gift for capitalizing on the unexpected extends into the classroom, where students anticipate his improvisational flair. “If I walk into class with notes, the students know it’s going to be a boring day. But if I walk in with nothing, they know they are going to have fun and probably learn more, too.”