Dr. Natasha Patterson is a proven leader in higher education. Her experience includes teaching courses focused on organizational systems and leadership, non profit management and policy. After 15 years in higher education, teaching, conducting research, serving on many leadership committees, including hiring committees, she perfectly poised to provide institutions with assistance in developing policies and procedures that are more inclusive and welcoming to individuals- students, faculty or staff, who may not have the knowledge or experience passed down to them. With respect to the pipeline to careers in public health and higher education, many are systemically excluded from the pipeline leading to certain positions simply because they do not know the process or expectations. It is not always transparent and sometimes it is extremely vague, leaving many people to their own devices as to how to proceed. Not knowing can be the very thing that prevents people from obtaining desired positions in the field. We we hope to do at OTJTB is to uncover all of the unwritten, unspoken expectations that are used by hiring committees to judge the fitness of a candidate applying for a position.
With respect to public health careers, the increase in schools and programs will lead to more and more graduates who may need additional guidance and direction when it comes to finding a career in public health. During this time of the “great resignation” many are looking for more in their careers. Public Health is a broad field and professionals have crosscutting competencies that could place them in various industries, some traditional, some non traditional. Exposure is the key to finding one’s place in the public health field. Schools and programs of Public Health will need to provide additional support to students as well as guidance to the institution’s career center staff who will be responsible for connecting students and alumni to public health opportunities. OTJTB hopes to be a resource and provide the knowledge and direction necessary to improve career placement rates.
Dr. Patterson holds a PhD in Education from Capella University, a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree and Bachelor of Art degree in Sociology both from Temple University. Dr. Patterson is the founder of the award winning Public Health Associate Degree Program at Montgomery County Community College. Dr. Patterson has received awards for teaching, curriculum development and community service. She presents at international, national and local conferences and sits on expert panels, most recently she facilitated a conversation with the student athletes and meeting with the faculty and staff at Shippensburg University focused on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in sports. Dr. Patterson also produces conferences and panel discussions like the statewide professional development conference entitled: “The Recovery Ecosystem,” on recovery best practices interventions and, most importantly, on understanding the people behind the epidemic. In 2020, Dr. Patterson joined the Collegiate Recover Center in producing a Racial Justice and Recovery Series panel discussion focused on how drug laws, policy, and enforcement have targeting BIPOC citizens in the US which have led to health disparities and barriers to accessing care including culturally responsive support for people experiencing substance use disorders and seeking recovery.
Dr. Patterson is very active in the community. She serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Health Spark Foundation in Montgomery County, PA; The Hispanic Family Center of Southern New Jersey, Inc., and Temple University Black Alumni Alliance (TUBAA). She is a member of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women- PA Chapter (NCBW) and serves as the president for the National Association of University Women Suburban Philadelphia Branch (NAUW). And finally but most importantly, she serves as a mentor to high school and college students, providing guidance and encouragement during their academic and career journey.