Dr. Patrick TURNER has over 25 years working in higher education specializing in the areas of academic affairs, student support services, academic advising, and budget management.  Currently, Patrick serves as the Director- First-Year Experience for the Provost Office at New Mexico State University. As Director of the First-Year Experience, Patrick is responsible for facilitating student transition programming grounded in a deep understanding of student development theory and new students’ lived experiences.  Serving as a bridge between academic and student affairs, Dr. Turner works with partners across the university and draws on national best practices in student transition, retention and engagement. A particular emphasis is on elevating and supporting the faculty role “Pedagogy of Retention” in student success — one of the provost’s strategies for achieving LEADS 2025 Strategic Plan Goal 1 — Student Success.

Additionally Patrick’s role is to provide campus-wide support which includes overseeing a host of comprehensive services such as  Freshman Year Experience (UNIV 150) course, Graduate School Preparation-UNIV300,  Student Development Workshops, Mid-Semester and UNIV Courses, Peer Education (UNIV 350), and other support services. The mission is to integrate research-based methods to support academic achievement and social integration.

Dr. Turner was previously the Acting Director for Black Programs whose mission is to unite students of African-American, Caribbean and African descent by increasing the awareness and appreciation of Black history through educational, cultural, social and academic programs.

2019 Black History Month African Dance Class

Dr. Turner holds a bachelors in Public Administration, masters degree in Human Resource Development and a doctorate in Educational Leadership-Curriculum and Instruction. His qualitative research explores the challenges and assistors (enablers) millennial freshman students encounter during their first year of college. Patrick serves as a proposal reviewer for the National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition and the Journal of College Student Retention: Research, Theory & Practice.


Patrick is also a classically trained ballet dancer. His story was featured on both the Georgia State University and college website. The story examine how the creativity, athleticism and discipline of ballet translate Into the skill set needed in the academic environment. It is important, if not necessary, for students to identify a talent that helps them find their voice which fosters confidence, creates empowerment, cultivates passion, mold character and develop other capacities that lead to academic and social success . The article was entitled,

Lessons in Grit from the World of Ballet”

Patrick Turner kept his passion for ballet a secret for years. Now he uses the lessons he learned from dance to help first-generation college students find their way in the world.

Research Interests:

Instructional Design, Curriculum Development, Educational Policy Studies, Millennial Generation, Men of Color (MOC), First-Year Retention, and Student Engagement