Dr. Valerie Patterson '81, MS '85, PhD. '95

Clinical Associate Professor with FIU

Hall of Fame: 2013

Valerie L. Patterson’s relationship with Florida International University began in August of 1977 when she
was admitted to the Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration program. After graduating in
1981 she returned to complete both a Masters of Health Services Administration (1985) and a Doctor of
Philosophy in Public Administration (1995). In 1993 she was the student recipient of the FIU Martin Luther

Her research interests have led to numerous conference and panel presentations focused on ethics, women
in administration, and government and hip-hop culture. She has presented before the Leadership Training
Institute of the National League of Cities, the Hip-Hop Journalism Association, International Trade and
Finance Association, the Florida Association of Black Faculty and Staff, the Florida Association of Women in
Education, the Bialystok School of Poland, the Conference of Minority Public Administrators, Black Student
Association, Florida Women in Government, Center for Nonprofit Management, the Education Trust, the
National Forum for Black Public Administrators, the Foundation for Democracy in Africa and numerous
As an artist she has had two exhibits in the Green Gallery of Florida International University - Validating
the Maslowian Experience: Beads and Textiles in May 2009 and Creating in H-D, Resolving Heronian
Conflict and Juxtaposition in July of 2011.Dr. Paterson attributes much of her success to the support of her
family - husband Abdullah J. Abdul-Hakeem, daughters Yaasmeen Johnson, Emahn Sanchez (FIU ’05),
nephew Jarius Williams (FIU ’13), mother Shirley A. McLean and cousin Joseph Scavella.
When questioned about her FIU experience Valerie offered the following “FIU has made a significant and
lasting difference in the lives of my entire family. The education, opportunities, and experiences that I have
been afforded are far beyond what I could have imagined back in 1977 when I first stepped foot on
campus. But even more compelling is the fact that my story can be found in the experiences of so many
others in this community and beyond. These opportunities have been made possible because of this great
institution. As a child of the segregated south I also remain mindful of the sacrifice of Dr. King and others
who were and continue to be committed to social justice and a more inclusive society”.
King Jr. Peace Award.

In 1995, Dr. Peterson was appointed Interim Student Services Coordinator in the College of Urban and
Public Affairs of FIU. She has remained at FIU and is currently Clinical Associate Professor in the Public
Administration Program in the School of International and Public Affairs. Her university and community
service participation has been extensive. At the University and School level she serves on several
committees including the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Celebration Committee and
the Steering Committee of the African and African Diaspora Program. On the national level, she currently
serves as the Chair of the Section on Historical, Artistic, and Reflective Expression (SHARE) of the American
Society of Public Administration (ASPA). While a product of the Miami Dade Public School System and a
“daughter” of Coconut Grove, as an academic she has worked on several initiatives focused on the
Overtown community, including three years on the St. John Community Development Corporation’s Board
of Directors and for ten years served on the steering committee of the annual event “Things Are Cooking in
Overtown”. Dr. Patterson served for several years on the Youth Ethics Initiative Advisory Board and the
Miami-Dade County Ethics Task Force.