Over the last twenty years Patty has been an academic at various institutions of higher education in the United States, with experience at both large public universities and small private colleges. She is Associate Professor of Spanish at Ferrum College, and has been Director of International Programs at two liberal arts colleges.
Patty’s international experience includes work as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco, study abroad in France, and leading programs in Honduras, Mexico, Peru, and Spain. She has presented her academic research in nine countries, is a fellow of the Salzburg Seminar, and recipient of various institutional and professional development grants. She is in the Executive Leadership of NAFSA (the Association for International Educators in the US) Region 8, and is a member if NAFSA’s Trainer Corps. She is also on the boards of Sister Cities of the Roanoke Valley and the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine Global Engagement Council.
In order to increase international student enrollment and to support the success of domestic and international students, Patty has created strategies that improve communications with students and families, facilitate better tracking of budgets, and enhance cooperation between campus offices. She was instrumental in the creation and implementation of innovative curricula at two institutions, focusing on student learning outcomes and strategies for retention and student success. She has also developed required training for faculty and staff to incorporate best practices, risk management, marketing, and system-wide changes to better support students who study away, and to prepare professors to run successful faculty-led programs abroad.