The Excellence in Academic Outreach award honors those who exemplify UT’s land-grant mission by using intellectual capital to benefit the citizens of Tennessee.
David A. Patterson
David A. Patterson has spent much of the past eight years studying and trying to ease the problem of homelessness in our community. His work has helped improve conditions for people who are homeless and agencies that help them. Patterson, a social work professor, has been at UT since 1993. He teaches primarily in the Master of Science in Social Work program. Since 2004, Patterson has directed KnoxHMIS, a web-based data system administered by UT’s Social Work Office of Research and Public Service. It logs information about the homeless and their needs. The project has required Patterson to work closely with a long list of agencies, including the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, the United Way, Knox County, the City of Knoxville, the East Tennessee Foundation, and the Knoxville Homeless Coalition. Last year, Patterson and KnoxHMIS released major reports giving community leaders ideas about how to provide more efficient and cost-effective services for homeless people. Patterson and KnoxHMIS were honored as an “Exemplary Project” in the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ C. Peter Magrath University Community Engagement Award competition. Contest officials praised Patterson’s work as “a wonderful example of the spirit of the higher education engagement movement and an outstanding reflection of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.”