Vice Chancellor for Governmental Relations and Educational Policy for the Texas State University System
Education:B.A. University of Texas at Austin, J.D. Pepperdine University School of Law
Law School Stats: Member of the moot court board, president of the Black Law Students Association, and winner of the Wiley M. Manuel Award for Pro Bono Legal Services.
Family: Husband Kevin Workman, 6-year old daughter Kyndal, and 21-month old son Carson
On her career: "As a liaison, I represent to the Texas legislature the eight institutions and 64,000 students that make up the Texas State University System."
The best part: "Implementing policy change at the state-wide level."
On the work/family balance: "[I balance it] very carefully. I'm still learning and Kevin helps me a great deal. When the legislative session starts (January to June) we joke that he is the solo parent. But I do set limits on what I will and will not do for work. Also, we have a strong family and network of friends from church who support us."
Early in her career, Patricia had no idea that switching jobs and sectors would help her. Holding a variety of positions in both public and higher education seemed risky, or at the very least, not advantageous in the long term.
While in law school, Patricia worked as a legal intern in the Office of the Speaker in the House of Representatives before landing a job as a staff attorney and legislative liaison for the Texas Classroom Teachers Association. She continued in the Texas Senate as committee director for a senate subcommittee on higher education before taking the position of special assistant for education in the Office of the Lieutenant Governor. Broadening her work in higher education, Patricia became legal counsel and government relations officer for Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas, Inc. in 2002.
In 2004, she began to draw the two spheres of public and higher education together when she created a new division at the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to coordinate policy efforts between the two. "It used to be the case that there weren't a lot of people who worked in both sectors," says Patricia. "Having that experience helped me see both sides and to help the two collaborate."
In 2005, she became the associate commissioner for educator quality and P-16 initiatives at TEA, which made her a member of the senior executive team at the agency. By September 2006, the Texas State University System recruited her to be the vice chancellor for governmental relations and educational policy.
Her latest role brings together her diversity of talents: knowledge of the law, the ability to collaborate with public schools and higher education institutions, to coordinate with the legislature, and to implement positive policy changes for the people of Texas.
"I strongly believe that educating our diverse population is the key to the economic future of the state of Texas," says Patricia. "I'm glad to know that I am playing an important part in effecting positive change for our future."