Dr. Patricia (Trish) G. Patrick, a UNC Greensboro School of Education doctoral graduate, has been named a Fulbright Scholar for the 2019–2020 academic year. Dr. Patrick completed her Master’s degree in 1999 and her Ph.D. in 2006, and both degrees were earned in the Department of Curriculum & Instruction/Teacher Education and Higher Education at UNC Greensboro. Dr. Patrick is an associate professor in the College of Education and Health Professions at Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia. She teaches Qualitative Methodology in the Department of Cultural Foundations and Leadership.
Dr. Patrick was born in North Carolina, as were her parents, and was a first-generation college student and is the only one in her family who has earned a Ph.D. She completed her undergraduate degree at UNC Wilmington in secondary science education with a focus on Biology. Dr. Patrick taught science at Trinity High School and got involved in writing curriculum for field trips to the NC Zoo. Her work with Dr. Fran Nolan, Director of Education at the NC Zoo, sparked Dr. Patrick’s interest in Zoo Education and her interest gradually expanded to informal science education and a focus on learning in all out-of-school environments.
Dr. Patrick’s dissertation, Mental models high school students hold of zoos, was guided by her dissertation committee, Dr. Catherine Matthews, Dr. Heidi Carlone, Dr. Barbara Levin, Dr. David Ayers and Dr. Sue Dale Tunnicliffe. Dr. Patrick has written numerous articles related to informal science learning, with a focus on sociocultural theory. Her work focuses on the importance of social interactions and the importance of those interactions within families. She wrote Zoo Talk (2013; with Sue Dale Tunnicliffe) and edited Preparing Informal Science Educators: Perspectives from Science Communication and Education (2017).
Dr. Matthews co-authored a chapter for the 2017 book with her colleague from Bengkulu University, Dr. Aceng Ruyani. In 2018, Dr. Patrick visited Dr. Aceng at Bengkulu University and discussed the possibility of further collaboration. Dr. Patrick applied for and received the Fulbright Scholar award in March 2019. This September she will return to Bengkulu to study the importance of relationships between students and traditional healers formed during apprenticeships and explore how these relationships influence traditional healers’ as well as students’ understandings of conservation.
Prior to her appointment at Columbus State University, Dr. Patrick held positions at Texas Tech University, Coastal Carolina University, and Carolina Biological Supply Company. She has been a guest speaker at the Chester Zoo (England), University College London Institute of Education (England), Sao Paulo Zoo (Brazil), San Diego Zoo, Tennessee Aquarium (Chattanooga), University of Bengkulu (Bengkulu, Indonesia), and University of Malaysia Sabah (Borneo, Malaysia) where she discussed questioning skills and preparing science communicators. She was a visiting researcher at the Museum fur Naturkunde in Berlin, Germany as a researcher on the development of a new Heinz Sielmann exhibit.