Western Kentucky University -- Hospitality Management Program

A Little Bit 'bout Me

I am Dr. Rich Patterson, a retired Associate Professor in the Hospitality Management and Dietetics program at WKU. For a little over three years, I was also a part-time Associate Dean for the College of Health and Human Services. My role as Associate Dean involved all construction and renovation projects for the college which included the construction of the Health Sciences Complex and the renovation of the Academic Complex. Even though I am retired, I currently teach one graduate level course -- Food Service Systems Management -- for our Dietetic Internship Program. Before teaching at WKU, I taught graduate level courses at the University of Maryland and Southwest Texas State University.

I am originally from Long Island, New York [pronounced Noo Yawk]. I attended Hanover Park High School in New Jersey [pronounced Noo Joisey] then went to college at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA [Philly] where I studied Hotel and Restaurant Administration and Dietetics. After graduation, I received a direct commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Army Medical Specialist Corps and completed a dietetic internship program at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and also a masters degree in Institutional Administration from the University of Maryland. Several years after that, I attended George Washington University, Washington, DC to obtain a doctorate in Human Resource Development with a support field in Management Science. Over the years, I have lived in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Tennessee, Maryland, South Carolina, Texas, and Germany -- the last four, thanks to the Army. I lived in Bowling Green, KY for twenty-five years -- the longest I have ever lived in one place -- and I currently reside in Murfreesboro, TN.

My background is mostly in food service -- having over 30 years of experience in the food industry. However, I have also worked in hotels although that was many years ago. I find the tourism industry fascinating especially determining how to market a destination and what motivates people to travel to a certain venue. Also, I really enjoy traveling, learning about other cultures, and meeting people with different customs. My focus in the Tourism industry has been primarily in the meeting and convention management sector where I have worked extensively in the past.

I like to work with wood in my spare time, especially woodcarving. I am currently working on two larger projects -- a French Musketeer and a Cigar Store Indian -- as well as several smaller projects (see the link above/left to view some of my carvings). I also like technology -- especially working with computers and designing webpages. I don't play any musical instruments although I probably had one of the few left-handed, 5-string banjos ever made -- I am left-handed and had it custom made during a moment of insanity! I never learned to play it, though -- something I now regret.

I have one daughter, who is currently the library director at a prep academy in Pennsylvania and also has a teaching appointment there. She attended Kenyon College in Ohio and majored in English (to which her Daddy asked "and what do you plan to do with that?") Her answer was that she wanted to be a librarian so upon graduation from Kenyon, she attended UNC, Chapel Hill and graduated with a master's degree in library science. She loves to read, typically averaging over two books per week and read 120 books last year.

Something different about me is that, in a former life, I was a distance runner. I trained for marathons typically averaging over 70 miles per week. One afternoon, I went running in a corn field for a change of scenery and got lost and it was starting to get dark. I couldn't see where I needed to go because the corn was so high so I had to run in one direction until I came to the edge of the cornfield then run around the perimeter of the field until I found the place I came in. Needless to say I got a good workout that day and a bit of a scare because corn fields are dark at night -- but I certainly had a change of scenery! That's what happens when you put a "city boy" on a farm!!

Classes I have taught at WKU

Catering and Beverage Management (Food Laboratory Course)
Commercial Food Preparation (Food Laboratory Course)
Cost Control and Financial Management
Food Service Sanitation
Food Service Systems Management (Graduate Level for the Dietetic Internship Program)
Human Nutrition
Human Resource Management
Institutional Management
Internship in Hotel and Restaurant Management
Introduction to Management in the Hospitality Industry
Lodging Management
Meeting, Convention and Exposition Management
Menu Planning and Purchasing
Practicum in Hotel and Restaurant Management
Purchasing for the Hospitality Industry
Quality and Service Management
Restaurant Management
Tourism Planning and Development