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Deans and administrators from each college suggested one of their faculty members who deserves special “kudos” during Faculty Appreciation Week.

David PattersonProfessor David Patterson said he borrows a page from noted cultural anthropologist Angeles Arrien when he tells students that the best way to succeed in class and in their future careers: Show up, pay attention, tell the truth and don’t be so attached to the results that you can’t see the outcome.

“The greatest gift you can give is the gift of your presence and willingness to sit with and be present with people as they struggle to change their lives,” he said.

For the past 19 years, Patterson has taught graduate classes in forensic social work, substance abuse treatment and group psychotherapy. He describes teaching social work to undergraduate and graduate students as a way to prepare people to change the lives of others in beneficial ways.

Patterson, who is past president of the UT Knoxville Faculty Senate, recently was recognized as the Middle East Region, Tennessee Conference on Social Welfare Professional Advocate of the Year.

In 2004, Patterson, along with Roger Nooe, professor emeritus in the College of Social Work, received initial funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and partnered with the City of Knoxville, the East Tennessee Coalition to End Homelessness, Knox County and Comcast to begin the Knoxville Homeless Management Information System (KnoxHMIS), an Internet-based system connecting local agencies that provide services to the homeless. Patterson, whose focus is applied information technology, is the principal investigator and director of KnoxHMIS.

Since its implementation, KnoxHMIS has been very successful. Every major local agency in Knox County is now using the system, and each agency has access to a secure, Web-based date system that is administered by the UT College of Social Work Office of Research and Public Service. Under the direction of Patterson, KnoxHMIS has become an invaluable tool of practice throughout the homeless community.

Patterson received his bachelor’s degree from Kent State University and his master’s degree and doctorate in social work from the University of Utah. He is the author of several multimedia computer programs, as well as two books, “Personal Computer Applications in the Social Services” and “Data Analysis with Spreadsheet.” His research is published in numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on topics including treatment with groups, artificial neural networks and information technology applications in social work. Patterson is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Technology in Human Services, Best Practices in Mental Health, and Currents: New Scholarship in the Human Services.

In honor of Faculty Appreciation Week, Tennessee Today will feature stories and videos based on comments about great faculty members submitted by students, alumni and others.

You can send a shout out to your favorite faculty member or read what others have written.

Also this week, area merchants will offer a variety of discounts for UT faculty.