Thursday, January 28, 2021
By Claudia Zequeira
Patrick Bartee is a fighter. After surviving two bouts of cancer, the last of which caused him to lose his vocal cords, he is back and ready to fill his position as Faculty Association president, to which he was selected last year.
Patrick, professor, speech, was scheduled to begin in his new role at the start of the 2020-2021 academic year, but his illness delayed his start date. His position was temporarily filled by Professor of Business and Accounting and Faculty Association Past President Stanton Reed Stanton Reed until he recovered.
However, Patrick’s cancer did not hold him down, and he said in a recent interview that he feels optimistic and energized.
“It is very important that Valencia is aware of my cancer and know that I’m a fighter,” he said.
“I want them to know because it may help someone going through an illness and not knowing how to feel. I want them to know that all things are possible if you keep pushing through and fighting to live and make a difference … I am now functioning without vocal cords so I have labeled myself as the speechless speech professor (SMILE). I have found that I am more driven than I could have ever imagined,” he added.
He also stated, with great hope, that he has an implant in his neck that will eventually give him back his voice.
“It will not be the God-given voice I had, but I will speak again,” said Patrick, who was a professional singer prior to his illness. “Until then, Stanton Reed has agreed to be my voice [if needed]. I am so grateful to him for that.”
Patrick holds a bachelor’s degree in television and radio reporting from Bethune-Cookman University and a master’s degree in rhetoric and theory of mass communications from the University of Akron in Ohio. He is also a “proud brother” of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, the first intercollegiate African American Greek-lettered fraternity in the United States.
He joined Valencia in 2002 as an adjunct speech instructor, where he worked on several campuses before making West Campus his home. He earned tenure in 2014.
Before joining Valencia, Patrick was an adjunct professor of speech at the University of Akron. He also held various development director roles at the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), the American Lung Association of Florida, the Central Florida YMCA and the Metropolitan Orlando Urban League
But it’s being a professor at Valencia where Patrick has felt the most at home.
“When all is said and done, being a professor has been rewarding, and I want to make sure that our voices are heard. So here I am, ready to serve and make a difference,” he said.
Although Patrick cannot verbally speak, he is eager to communicate and support fellow faculty members. He has urged his colleagues to email him at email@example.com or text him at 407-529-6595 should they have any questions or need assistance.