Associate Professor

2009-2014: Portland State University (Portland, OR, USA) Specialization: Community Psychology and Research Methods

2005-2007: DePaul University (Chicago, IL, USA) Master of Science in Psychology, with Honors

2002-2005: DePaul University (Chicago, IL, USA) Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, with Honors


Dr. Patka is an American community psychologist working in the UAE since 2019. Prior to moving to the UAE, Dr. Patka worked with communities and schools in Mauritius and Kenya to explore way to promote well-being for various stakeholder groups. From 2013 to 2016, Dr. Patka worked at Governors State University in the United States as an Assistant Professor. Dr. Patka was a member of the international research delegation for Special Olympics International in 2011 and 2013. Dr. Patka also served as United State Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine from 2007 to 2009 as a university instructor while also engaging in health promotion projects.


Dubai Academic City, F-L2-036

Teaching Areas

Dr. Patka’s research interests center on understanding the dynamics of oppression and liberation and the social and psychological forces that drive social change. Dr. Patka has pursued these interests through formal research, activist work, university service, and teaching; these experiences contribute not just to their understanding of the dynamics of social change but also directly to social justice. Dr. Patka is not committed to working with a single population or social problem; their interests and experiences center around two broad areas (1) the use and understanding of participatory action research and (2) the examination of social, psychological, and environmental factors that facilitate critical consciousness development.

Research and Professional Activities

Patka, M. & Murry, A. (In Press). Emirati student attitudes toward people with intellectual disabilities. International Journal of Disability, Development, and Education.

Murry, A. T. & Patka, M. (In Press). Critical consciousness is an individual difference: A test of measurement equivalence in American, Ukrainian, and Iranian universities. Studies in Social Justice.

Patka, M., Murry, A., Wallin-Ruschman, J., Sabt, M. (2023). Critical Consciousness: The Mixed Effect of Sense of Community on Sociopolitical Action. Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice.

Patka, M., Bukhash, M. F., Jogia, J., Barbato, M. & Moussa, M. (2021). Undergraduate teaching assistantships: Exploring career readiness and relationality among Emirati students. Higher Education, Skills, and Work-Based Learning, 12(1).

Patka, M., Wallin-Ruschman, J., bin Nauman, H., Ul Hasan, T., Ikram, S., Sharif, J. M….Sharif, G. M. (2022). Special Olympics Pakistan: Using a segregated space to transition to independence in mainstream settings. Disability & Society, 37(10), 1591-1613.