Patti spent her 40-year career working for social change and continues to be involved with projects that support social equity. Early in her career, she was a founding member of the Fiscal Policy Institute, Hunger Action Network of New York State, and Regional Food Bank of North Eastern New York. She shifted her focus from advocacy to proposal writing in the late 1990s, serving as the Program Development and Policy Director for the Worker Ownership Resource Center (WORC) in Geneva and then Coordinator of Grants and Corporate Fundraising at Northeast Parent & Child Society in Schenectady. The last 15 years of her career was spent as a grant writer at Excelsior College in Albany, where she developed a strong grants team that secured approximately $13 million over this time. The grants made possible such projects as the multimedia Online Writing Lab (OWL), Diagnostic Assessment and Achievement of College Skills, end-of-life care certificate, and courses on diaspora.
Today, she is an adjunct faculty member for Empire State College and an active member on the National OWL Advisory Committee. She continues to look for ways to make higher education affordable and accessible.