Dr. William M. Patterson, a lifelong Champaign‐Urbana resident and married father of three is an Associate Director of the Nesbitt African American Cultural Center. He also teaches regularly in the Department of African‐American studies on Black Leadership at the University of Illinois. Dr. Pattersonʹs work concentrates on linking the academy (higher education institutions) with public schools, corporate America, and social service organizations such as the Urban League, YMCAʹs and Boys and Girls Clubs. From programs such as Cyber Club, Natureʹs Playground, B.E.S.T., and First String, Inc. Dr. Patterson has been able to demonstrate the significance of educational and social development partnerships to enhance the educational awareness and social responsibility of at‐risk students. Dr. Patterson was instrumental in establishing programs such as the Youth Media Workshop in Illinois Public Media and SPEAK Cafe. Most recently, he launched the Hip Hop Express trailer, and is always seeking new ways to engage the hip hop generation. Dr. Patterson has a PhD in Education from the University of Illinois.

William was featured in Difference Makers 2010: An eBlack Champaign-Urbana Publication.