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Rubin Patterson


  • Office of the Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Arts & Sciences


Rubin Patterson, Ph.D., is the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Howard University after serving as the Chair of the Department of Sociology and Criminology for five years. Throughout his career, Dr. Patterson has established himself as a distinguished scholar, researcher, and educator as well as advocate for environmental justice in underserved communities. 

Before earning a Ph.D. in Sociology at Howard University, Patterson received a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Physics and Electrical Engineering from Florida State University and a Master of Science in Engineering Management from George Washington University. His expertise is wide-ranging, including environmental inequity, sustainable development, diversification of environmental leadership, clean technology, social change, and environmentally sustainable socioeconomic development in Southern Africa.

Patterson has authored, edited and co-edited multiple books, along with being the recipient of externally funded projects supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Park Service. His extensive international experience aligns with several programs within COAS, having served as a research associate at the University of the Witwatersrand, in South Africa and visiting professor at the University of Ghana.

Patterson previously served at the University of Toledo in various capacities, including chair of Sociology and Anthropology, Director of Africana Studies, Director of the Institute for the Study and Economic Engagement of Southern Africa and Professor of Sociology. He has also served as a visiting fellow at Morehouse College and the University of Maryland.

Education & Expertise



Howard University


Engineering Management
George Washington University


Interdisciplinary Physics and Electrical Engineering
Florida State University




  • National Education Equity Lab (PI). $100,000. 2022 - 2022. 
  • PSEG Foundation (PI). $392,000. 2021 - 2024. 
  • National Education Equity Lab (PI). $100,000. 2021 - 2021. 
  • National Education Equity Lab (PI). $40,000. 2021 - 2021 
  • Mellon Foundation (co-PI). $5,000,000. 2020 - 2023. 
  • National Education Equity Lab (PI). $40,000. 2020 - 2020. 
  • National Park Service (PI). $87,000. 2018. 
  • National Science Foundation (PI). $424,147. 2017 - 2022. 
  • National Park Service (PI). $127,010. 2016. 
  • Brill Academic Press. $120,000. 1999 - 2011. 
  • Ohio Department of Youth Services. $41,000. 1997.

Related Articles

Rubin Patterson, Ph.D. Appointed as Dean of Howard University College of Arts and Sciences

WASHINGTON (January 18, 2019) – Howard University announces the appointment of Rubin Patterson, Ph.D., as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences (COAS). Patterson will begin his new role in July, after serving as chairman of the Department of Sociology and Criminology since 2014. READ MORE -…