Patricia Somers is Associate Professor of Higher Education, Coordinator of the Higher Education Graduate Programs and Fellow in the Community College Leadership Program at the University of Texas at Austin. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Administration (Higher Education Concentration) from the University of New Orleans, an M.A. in Portuguese from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, and a B.A. in Spanish from Michigan State University. She received the Melvene Hardee Dissertation Award from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators in 1993 and the Emerging Scholar Award from the American Association of University Women in 1997.
Her areas of research include students at two- and four-year colleges, college choice, the impact of 9/11 on college students, and international education, especially gender and education in the Middle East and Latin America. Her doctoral students have researched areas as various as the Lost Year in Little Rock, Arkansas, student persistence, the first-year experience, new faculty initiation, community college choice, and academic integrity. Her students have won NASPA, CSCC, AIR, AERA, ASHE/Lumina, and other dissertation awards and fellowships.
She has extensive international experience - as a Fellow in Germany and Thailand; as a Malone Fellow and a King Fahd Center Fellow in the Middle East; and as field researcher in linguistics. She is currently the Vice President for Research and Publications of the Council for the Study of Community Colleges and First Vice President of the Texas Conference of the American Association of University Professors.
- Somers, P., Bauer, J., Haines, K., Keene, B., Pfeiffer, M., McCluskey, J., Settle, J., & Sparks, B. Towards a theory of choice for community college students. Community College Journal of Research and Practice, Fall 2004.
- Somers, P., Cofer, J., & Vander Putten, J. The early bird goes to college: The link between early college aspirations and postsecondary matriculation. Journal of College Student Development, Winter 2001.
- Somers, P., & Somers-Willett, S. Collateral Damage: Faculty Free Speech after 9/11. Teacher’s College Record, available online at http://www.tcrecord.org/Content.asp?ContentID=11004, 2002.
- Somers, P., Tucciarone, K., Austin, J., Keene, B., Deloach Packnett, G., & Stoll, L. Dying to get in: Cinematic views of college choice. College and University. Fall, 2006.
- Somers, P., Cofer, J., Martin Hall, M., & Vander Putten, J. The Persistence of African American College Students: How National Data Inform a Hopwood-Proof Retention Strategy. In Gregory, S. (ed). The Academic Achievement of Minority Students: Perspectives, Practices, and Prescriptions, University Press, 2000.