Mazna Patka, PhD, Assistant Professor, Psychology

  ext. 4380
  Office Location: G379
  Office Hours:

Monday 12:30pm-1:30pm, Tuesday 2:30pm-4:30pm, 

Wednesday 12:30pm-1:30pm

  College: COE

Community psychology is an exciting field that goes beyond the individual level to enhance quality of life through collaborative research and action. Thus, we work with communities to co-create knowledge to transform social structures. Hence, it moves away from traditional psychology by trying to change the unjust structure of society through the ecological perspective. By working with communities, we focus on research and action that is important to communities as opposed to an individual researcher’s aspirations.

I earned my PhD in Applied Psychology with a concentration in Community Psychology and a minor in Research Methods from Portland State University. My BA and MS are from DePaul University.

I am a community psychologist, and ecological theory and action research shape my research agenda to understand and promote the meaningful community integration of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. My current research spans three core areas:

(1)    Culturally grounded meanings of intellectual disability

(2)    Sense of community within inclusive and intentionally segregated spaces

(3)    Health disparities experienced by individuals with intellectual disability and women with intellectual disability 

Working at GSU has provided me with multiple opportunities to actively participate within the university and larger community. Thus far, my most rewarding experience has been as the co-adviser of the D.R.E.A.M. club. As a co-adviser, I have had the opportunity to work with various students as they work to create a safe space for students with disabilities and raise awareness of disability issues at GSU. Furthermore, co-advising the D.R.E.A.M. club with Robin Sweeny has provided me the opportunity to further my understanding of disability issues within the GSU community while creating a partnership to contribute our knowledge and unique strengths to bolster the work of D.R.E.A.M.

Within the larger the community, I spend my time volunteering for and collaborating with disability organizations, including the Special Olympics and disability focused organizations in Pakistan. I have served as a volunteer for the Special Olympics in Portland, Oregon and Nairobi, Kenya). As part of the Special Olympics research delegation, I have traveled to the World Games in Greece and South Korea. Participation in both research delegations allowed me connect and build relationships with intellectual disability researchers and practitioners from around the world while sharing my knowledge of intellectual disability issues.  

 To view Dr. Patka's Research Gate website, click , here.