As an Assistant Professor of American Studies at the University of Kansas, Christopher Perreira is focused on teaching and serving students, especially first-generation college students and students of color. It’s a mission that has a special significance for him thanks to his own experience at San Diego City College.
Perreira, a father of two, came from a working class background and took night classes at City College. Professor Kelly Mayhew remembers well how Perreira immersed himself in the study of English in her classes.
“Chris welcomed everything that I threw at him,” Mayhew said.
Perreira earned an associate’s degree in English and Transfer Studies from City College in 2002 and transferred to UC San Diego, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in literature. He then earned a master’s degree in English at the University of Connecticut and returned to UCSD to complete a Ph.D. in literature and cultural studies. While working on his Ph.D., Perreira taught English as an adjunct instructor at City College and taught as an assistant professor at Southwestern College.
Perreira said the honors program and was particularly important to his success at City College.
“It helped to develop the tools to see myself as a learner, a shaper of knowledge and my own education, and a participant in many communities in San Diego,” he said.
Perreira is quick to credit faculty and staff at City College for contributing to his success.
“I was incredibly fortunate to have outstanding classes and mentors at San Diego City College,” he said. “There were many people at City who supported me along the way, but in particular, professors Kelly Mayhew and Jim Miller provided the encouragement and guidance that ultimately shaped my decisions to transfer to UCSD, pursue graduate studies and become a professor.”