Cherokee professor brings unique perspective to social work

David A. Patterson, a professor at Washington University in St. Louis, brings a unique perspective to social problems facing Indian Country.

Patterson, who has Cherokee ancestry, struggled with substance abuse as a youth and attempted suicide at age 18. After being told he was dyslexic and mentally retarded, he became sober and entered college at age 27.

“I never shared this with anyone until I got my Ph.D.,” Patterson recently told students at Haskell Indian Nations University, The New York Times reported.

Patterson, who received his bachelor's, masters and doctorate degrees in social work, focuses his research on substance abuse, drop out rates and mental health issues.

Get the Story:
Overcoming Addiction, Professor Tackles Perils American Indians Face (The New York Times 5/12)

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