Higher Education in Maryland

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Higher Education in Maryland


Commissioner Patterson was appointed to serve on the Commission by Governor Martin O’Malley in March 2012 to fill a term that will expire in 2016. Dr. Patterson has an extensive background in both secondary and post-secondary education, education policy and administration. A former science teacher for the District of Columbia and Charles County public schools, a majority of her professional career has been with the College of Southern Maryland where she served as a Counselor and later as the college’s Program Director for the U.S. Department of Education’s Educational Talent Search Program. An experienced grants reviewer and writer, Dr. Patterson has helped the college secure over $4.1 million in grant funds to support programs to assist students who are first-generation and low-income. In addition, she was the co-director and grants writer for two grants (FIFSE and MHEC) designed to help women and minorities enter technology careers. She is a consultant/grants reviewer for both the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and in prior years the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Education Braintrust and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Commissioner Patterson’s administration and leadership expertise are a cumulative result of her having spent twelve years as a member, vice-chair and chair of the Charles County Board of Education and Charles County Board of Commissioners. During her tenure on the school board, she was responsible for providing direction and establishing educational policy for Charles County Public Schools and ensuring effective fiscal oversight and management. In 2005, her appointment to the Charles County Board of Commissioners (Council) as its first minority and seventh woman was cited as being historic. As a member of the Board of Commissioners and Vice-President from 2006-2010, her primary responsibilities included overseeing the development process; enforcing county rules, regulations and ordinances; raising revenues to fund capital and operating budgets of county departments and agencies; providing for public health, safety and welfare of county residents.
Commissioner Patterson has been a founding member and President of Charles County Public Schools Education Foundation, a non-profit group designed to create scholarships for teachers and classrooms, and Vice-President of Education Technology Think Tank, a non-profit organization committed to funding programs to help underserved communities have access to technology. For eight years she served as national organizer of “National Education Funding Support Day” and has had two congressional appointments from Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-MD) Military Review Board and Congressman Major R. Owens (D-NY) National Commission for African American Education. Commissioner Patterson is the recipient of numerous local, state and national citations, proclamations, and awards including Maryland State Teachers Association’s “Outstanding Achievement in Community Service Award”, Congressman Owens’ “Women Opening the Pipeline Award”, Omega Psi Phi Fraternity’s “Citizen of the Year”.

Her current/prior memberships in professional and civic organizations are numerous and include: American Association of University Women, Maryland Association of Counties, Maryland Executive Council for Educational Opportunities, National Association of School Board Members and Washington Area Council of Governments. Other organizations include: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority – Nu Zeta Omega Chapter, Southern MD Chain Chapter The Links, Inc.

Commissioner Patterson earned a Bachelor of Science Biology/Chemistry from Virginia Union University, Master of Education Guidance/Counseling from Bowie State College and Doctorate of Education from George Washington University along with advanced graduate studies through National Science Foundation Academic Year programs. She lives in Pomfret and is the mother of sons - Ralph and Robert and grandmother to two granddaughters.

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