Staff Spotlight : Ashante Patterson

Ashante Patterson is the Development and Alumni Relations Assistant at Rutgers Graduate School of Education. She graduated from Rutgers University-New Brunswick finishing her coursework with an English major and Business and Technical Writing minor. Patterson also completed her Masters of Communication and Media degree at the School of Communication and Information (SC&I) at Rutgers University-New Brusnwick.
Patterson has a wide range of responsibilities in her current role such as helping Donna Zaleski, the GSE director of development, with prospect management and planning events called “friend raisers.” She also helps with grant and database management and other administrative tasks. Patterson came to the GSE because she believes in the GSE’s mission to Advance Excellence and Equity in Education and has the drive to advance social justice for all people.
When she was in high school, she wasn’t able to get as many educational opportunities as compared to students at other school districts. Her school didn’t focus much on college at the time so she didn’t have many college tours or programs dedicated to college readiness. “For me, noticing this made me want to get more involved in education because I wanted to bring awareness to certain schools or districts that lack the educational resources that other schools have.”
Patterson is working to create a newsletter for the Office of Development that focuses on spotlighting donors and events. She also works on three major development events – a Scholarship Reception, Emeritus Faculty Dinner, and the recently launched Labcrawl also known as the Research Extravaganza. “I feel like my work is bringing awareness to the great work taking place at the GSE among those who don’t know the GSE and the field of education.”
Patterson believes her greatest achievement thus far has been completing her undergraduate degree. Talking about her undergraduate experience, Patterson stated, “Originally I was supposed to graduate in 2013 – I had one class left but I failed that class and due to financial problems at the time I couldn’t finish. This led to a five-year gap where I built up my financial stability.” Patterson worked at different organizations during that period in New York before going back to finish her class. Patterson’s strong work ethic, determination, and her commitment to advancing social justice make her an asset to the Office of Development at the GSE.
Patterson’s long-term goal is to work as a communicator educating people about health care. “I would hope that in 5-10 years I would be working for a medical school or hospital but in a communications role where I am writing about health disparities or other health issues that affect people especially women of color.”