Robert Michael Pugh

Senior Lecturer in English and ESOL

English Minor
English Teaching, B.A.
UNH Manchester
Office 234


Michael Pugh is a Senior Lecturer in the English Department and Coordinator of ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages). He received his B.A. in English from Dartmouth College and then went to Nigeria, where a two-year Peace Corps commitment turned into a seven-year stay. During that time, he taught English and French at elementary, secondary, and post-secondary levels, and served as interim principal of a high school. After returning to the United States he worked in Human Services for the State of New Hampshire while continuing to teach in Adult Basic Education and Refugee Resettlement programs.

Answering an ad in a local newspaper led him to a one-year teaching appointment in Honduras, and this experience confirmed his desire to return to teaching full-time. He received his M.A. in English from William Paterson College (now University) and his Ph.D. from the University of New Hampshire at Durham. His doctoral research grew out of his ongoing connection with the Shaker Village in Canterbury, New Hampshire, where he was a historical interpreter / tour guide for fifteen summers. He has made further use of this connection as a way of introducing summer ESOL students to perspectives in American history, religious studies, gender issues, music, business management, and material culture, all academic disciplines in which the Shakers have made significant contributions.

Michael came to UNH Manchester as a Teaching Assistant while still pursuing his doctoral studies and continued teaching here in an adjunct capacity after completing his Ph.D. He received the Outstanding Part-time Teaching Award for 2000-2001. In 2005, he moved into his position teaching courses in ESOL and literature and coordinating services for students who are Speakers of Other Languages. These services include testing and advising prospective ESOL students; helping organize and implement an ESOL College Fair; and administering two intensive summer programs, one for high school and returning adult ESOL students, and the other for middle school English Language Learners, ages twelve through fourteen. Both programs have been well-received by students, their teachers and families, and the larger Manchester community.

Here at UNH Manchester, Michael teaches an ESOL course that prepares students for English 401 (First-Year Writing), and a special section English, 401A, that provides ESOL support. He has also taught such literature courses as Introduction to Critical Analysis, Major Writers in English, Madness in Literature, African Literature, Post-colonial Literature, and a Special Topics course in the Marriage Plot as a fictional and social narrative. Michael likes UNH Manchester because it reflects the city itself, with its rich diversity of national origins and cultural traditions. He enjoys working with local schools and agencies to help make higher education accessible to people who are starting new lives in a new language and bringing their own wisdom from their varied life experiences to the new experience of college. He admires the motivation of his students, from the United States and from other countries, and he appreciates the way that they are taking responsibility for their education and managing to add in-depth academic pursuits to lives that are already full of commitments. He also appreciates the atmosphere at UNH Manchester, where a supportive Administration, small classes, and a shared sense of purpose all encourage teachers and students to work and learn together.


  • Ph.D., University of New Hampshire, 1994

  • M.A., William Paterson College, 1986

  • B.A., Dartmouth College, 1966