Pat Downey, Alum and Employee, Fighting Cancer

Pat Downey, the Writing Center’s part-time limited administrative assistant, was recently diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. Pat will begin undergoing chemotherapy shortly after the conclusion of the spring semester. However, even with treatment, her illness is likely to be terminal. Her coworkers in the Academic Success and Public Service Division would like to invite members of the A-B Tech community to support Pat and her family during this difficult time by participating in a GoFundMe to help Pat pay for medical and living expenses while she undergoes treatment.

Pat started at A-B Tech as a student, where she immediately became a proud representative of the College. She attended many events for the A-B Tech Foundation as a scholarship awardee and has encouraged numerous people to come back to school at A-B Tech since graduating. She especially goes out of her way to be a source of encouragement and guidance for students returning to school after an extended period of time.

She truly believes in the power of education and in A-B Tech’s ability to change students’ lives. While she was a student, she began working as an administrative assistant in the Writing Center, where she started initiatives to better serve students through the RISE program, which assists students who are struggling with writing skills and assignments. Pat is the “face” of the Writing Center, and her excitement for its mission to help students become stronger writers, communicators, and thinkers is truly contagious.

In her work with students, Pat embodies our college’s RISE initiative by working to make the Writing Center not just an inclusive space, but a truly kind and hospitable resource, where any student, regardless of background, age, or education level feels comfortable, welcome, and supported. Pat has positively impacted innumerable students and staff on this campus and is a beloved member of our community. She would genuinely appreciate your support during this time. Questions or additional inquiries about means of supporting Pat can be made to Emily Smith, the Writing Center Coordinator via email at or via phone at (828) 398-7324.

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