Bobbi Patterson, a longtime Emory administrator and faculty member in the Department of Religion, has been named the 2015 recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Award, which honors a member of the faculty or staff for significant service to the university through personal activities, influence and leadership.
Patterson joined Emory professionally in 1981 as associate university chaplain and, in the intervening decades, has served as dean of students, director of the Emory Scholars Program, founder of the Theory-Practice Learning (TPL) Program, a faculty associate of the Office of Sustainability Initiatives, and now professor of pedagogy in the Department of Religion. She earned her PhD in interdisciplinary studies from Emory in 1994.
In addition, she served on the task force that led to the creation of the Emory Center for Women and on the Task Force on Dissent, Protest and Community that led to the university’s current Open Expression Policy; and chaired the first president’s task force on LGBT issues.
Through her scholarship on community-partnered learning and service, she founded the TPL Program, which offered workshops, trainings and placement coordination for faculty and community leaders. She has remained engaged in community-partnered teaching and research through Emory’s Center for Community Partnerships.
Among other programs she has initiated is Emory as Place, a program of the Office of Sustainability Initiatives designed to educate students, staff and faculty about Emory’s living systems, built environments, human histories and values.