Spotlight on Patrick Gleason

Feb 01, 2022

Patrick Gleason, MA recently sat down with us to discuss his professional responsibilities at the Shriver Center, and what makes the Shriver Center such a special place to work in a “Q & A” format.  Be on the lookout for similar pieces highlighting other Shriver Center faculty and staff in the coming months.

Q:  Why is working at the Shriver Center meaningful to you, Patrick?

A:  I was diagnosed with cerebral palsy (CP) at birth.  Growing up, it always felt more important to me that I succeed away from the field of disability, perhaps in one of my other passions, like sportscasting. But my uncle, the late Jim Gleason, worked at the Shriver Center for decades and urged me to apply when a position came open.  Now that I see from the inside just how truly dedicated and committed everyone is to improving the lives of individuals with disabilities, their caregivers, and families, it feels like the perfect fit for me.  

Q:  How long have you worked at the Shriver Center?

A:  I first came on board as a consultant in October of 2007, to be the primary writer for an in-house newsletter being discussed at that time, and to assist with database work.  I officially became an employee in March, 2008.

Q:  What is your current job title?

A:  Research Data Specialist

Q:  What does that entail?

A:  I primarily assist Carol Curtin and Jen Brooks by entering and compiling necessary data for our mandated annual reporting to funding agencies, including UCEDD and LEND. The National Information and Reporting System (NIRS) database stores that data, which can range from tracking grant awards to charting publications to identifying the number of attendees at a presentation someone gave, or anything in between.  

Q:  What do you find most rewarding about that job?

A:  Knowing that doing my job accurately and diligently helps secure funding so the Shriver Center can  continue its outstanding work.  It also gives me a window into each person’s specialties and interests.

Q:  Do you have any other responsibilities at Shriver?

A:  Prior to the pandemic, I coordinated emergency preparedness trainings for individuals with disabilities, as part of a team with one of our self-advocate consultants.  I also contribute articles to the Shriver Center website, and am part of a yearly panel to our LEND Fellows on living with a disability.