Kristina (Tina) Patterson holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Virginia and a M.A. in History from Virginia State University. With guidance from Professor Dirk Philipsen, she merged a wide-eyed, reverent mainstream view of American history (for which she credits her father and “Number One Fan”) with an interest in studying the barriers to the realization of the “American Dream” that exist for many Americans. Her thesis, “Waking Up from the American Dream” examines the writings of James Madison and Thomas Jefferson concerning the importance of economic equality, constraints on corporate power, and the availability of a free and diverse press to a thriving democracy, provides an analysis of economic, social, and political reality in America today and draws conclusions on the state of American democracy. Tina chose to pursue a Ph.D. in Public Policy to develop the tools necessary to address the problems that she was only able to describe in her previous graduate work. Prior to joining the UNC Department of Public Policy, Tina taught U.S. History, American Politics, and Comparative Politics at the Appomattox Regional Governor’s School and Richard Bland College of the College of William and Mary, and served as an instructor for Northwestern University’s Center for Talent Development’s Civic Leadership Institute. Her research interests include civic engagement, both as a policy input and policy outcome, with a particular interest in K-12 education policy to facilitate civic engagement. Tina currently serves as a Graduate Research Consultant, assisting undergraduates with policy research, and as a Graduate Research Assistant with the Carolina Institute for Public Policy’s Education Policy Initiative, primarily evaluating North Carolina’s Race to the Top initiatives. Tina is an alumna of the Tufts University Summer Institute of Civic Studies, where theorists and practitioners collaborate to develop Civic Studies as an academic discipline. She has a deep seated love for Thomas Jefferson, to whom she refers as “her boy, T.J.” and prides herself on taking her work very seriously, but never taking herself too seriously.


Kristina (Tina) is a Graduate Research Fellow at EPIC and doctoral student in the Department of Public Policy at the UNC–Chapel Hill. Her work at EPIC includes quantitative analysis on the Race to the Top Evaluation and the Teacher Quality Research Initiativeroject. Tina specializes in qualitative data collection and analysis, and mentors undergraduates on the use of the longitudinal database housed by the research team at EPIC. Tina’s research interests include youth civic engagement, civic education, educational inequality, and teacher quality. Her dissertation examines the relationship between high school social studies course taking and adult civic engagement.