Patterson graduated with a Ph.D. in philosophy from Wayne State University in 2003. His dissertation was on human rights. He joined the Marygrove College faculty in 2004 and was awarded tenure in 2009. He taught, chaired the department of Philosophy and Religious Studies, and was co-director of the Minor Program in Pre Law. He served as Chair of the Division of Letters, Faculty Athletic Representative, and as faculty advisor to the campus chapter of Amnesty International. His current research focuses on the areas of critical thinking and argumentation. In addition to his own articles and presentations, he is very active in these interdisciplinary and international research communities as an editor, organizer, reviewer, and collaborator.