Patricia earned a B.A. in Political Science from Tulane University and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from Rice University. After receiving her terminal degree, Patricia held faculty positions at the University of Houston and Rice University before accepting a faculty appointment in the Department of Political Science at Texas A&M University in 1986, from which she retired in August 2017 with the title professor emerita of political science. She was promoted to the rank of professor in 1994, served as Head of the Department of Political Science for seven years, as Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts for nine years, and represented the College of Liberal Arts on various university committees. Patricia was President of both the Southwestern Political Science Association and the Southwestern Social Science Association and was recognized by the latter organization with a Distinguished Service Award. She held positions on the editorial boards of the American Journal of Political Science, the Journal of Politics, Legislative Studies Quarterly, and Social Science Quarterly, and served on the faculty advisory committee for Texas A&M press. Her research and teaching focused on the linkages between public opinion, campaigns, and elections and institutional response and legislative representation in the American political system. She is the author or coauthor of 30 articles and book chapters on these topics, as well as a book published by Cambridge University Press in 2015.