Dr. Patricia A. Gajda began her career at The University of Texas at Tyler, September 1, 1974, when the Tyler State College Board of Regents approved her hire as Assistant Professor of History. Gajda began teaching in the fall of 1974 as the first historian of Europe, and was instrumental in developing the European history curriculum. Prior joining the faulty at Tyler State College, Gajda received a doctorate and master’s degree from Case Western Reserve, Cleveland, Ohio, here hometown, and a bachelor’s degree from St. John College, Annapolis, Maryland.
During her forty-three year tenure from 1974 to 2017, Dr. Gajda taught a variety of classes, focusing on modern Europe. She published The Faces of Tyler (1978), and Postscript to Victory: British Policy and the German-Polish Borderlands, 1919-1925 (1982), and worked on independent research projects on The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception Church, a community she was a part of since her arrival to Tyler. Additionally, Dr. Gajda served as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs and Director of International Programs. The International Travel-Study program was established by Gajda, who would lead student, faculty, and staff groups across Europe, Russia, and China, from 1977 to 2008. Dr. Gajda retired as Professor Emerita of History in 2017.