For four weeks, Austin Community College will talk to the incoming 2019-2020 employee association presidents. We will ask each of them 10 questions to get to know them better.
Our second Q&A in the series features the new Full-Time Faculty Senate President, Dr. Missi Patterson. She is a Psychology professor who has been teaching at ACC for 20 years.
1. When did you start working at ACC and in what role?
I joined ACC in 1999 as an adjunct instructor in the Psychology department.
2. What additional role(s) at the college have you held?
In 2008, I became a full-time faculty member in the Psychology department. From 2014 to 2018, I served as assistant dean for Faculty Development. Along with a team of amazing faculty colleagues, we founded and launched the FCTL (Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning). I also ran "Project ACC" for three years.
3. What inspired you to run for president?
I was asked! In all honesty, I never could have envisioned myself in this role. The job seemed too enormous to take on! When others tell you that they think you can handle it though, you begin to consider the possibility. I think service to the college is incredibly important, and so I thought this might be an interesting and helpful way to do my part. So far, it has been an utter joy to have an excuse to connect with more of my amazing faculty colleagues. Watch out! If you are a full-time faculty member, we might ask YOU to take this on next!
4. Where did you grow up? What was it like?
I grew up in Baton Rouge and Nachitoches, Louisiana. I loved it. Coming from a family of New Yorkers, a move to Louisiana was a lovely lesson in a new culture. I found the people warm and wonderful, and it was a great place to grow up.
5. What is something you think everyone should do at least once in their lives?
I'm not much for presuming to know what others should do, but my own life has been enriched by having pets. So, I'd say, find a creature that needs a home, and give it a great one. Also, eat lots of pizza.
6. What do you "geek out" about?
I'm a complete geek in so many ways. I love music (performing and listening), knitting, baking, swimming, and watching my family members do the things they love. I am a board game geek, a science geek, and a classic sci-fi geek, too. Sadly though, even with all those pastimes, my mind somehow drifts to work anyway!
7. Do you have a motto, mantra, or personal philosophy?
I have a lot, but I'll share two:
8. What's the biggest lesson you've learned professionally?
I've learned that no one person ever has a better perspective than a group of people. I find this true in my teaching, where I ask colleagues constantly for advice. I find this true in my classes where students construct knowledge better together than individually, and I find it everywhere else, too. I try to always remember that no matter how much I think I know or can offer, collaborating with others is key.
9. What do you believe it takes to help students succeed?
To succeed, I think students need us to have empathy for their life experiences and their role in the classroom. I try to teach the way I'd want to be taught. I work to ensure that all my students feel connected to others and a part of something valuable. It is my hope that every student at ACC believes that their life has been improved by their association with this college. When we reach that goal, students are succeeding.
10. Any final thoughts you'd like to share?
I'm really excited for this year! The senate is amazing, and I hope people who have never joined or have been away for a while will consider connecting with us again. We have a spectacular group of senators and officers, and I'm confident that we'll all do our best to serve our colleagues and our students. I hope our colleagues will let me and the rest of the senate team know how we can represent you. Also - I have a problem with commas and capitalization, so Help me grow, Y'all!
Read other Q&As in the series:
Jo Ann Larkins-Foster, Classified Employee Association President
Christina Michura, Adjunct Faculty Association President
Latisha Addison, Association of Professional-Technical Employees President