Dr. Y. Kafi Moragne-Patterson

Director of College Success


(312) 319-7228

As the Director of College Success, Dr. Y. Kafi Moragne-Patterson, oversees all programs and supports to manage Scholars’ critical transitions from high school to college and college to career. She is primarily responsible for leading Team Lift, which works to build and sustain Scholar relationships and to advocate for resources to ensure that Scholars persist and complete college in a timely manner. If you have a question related to the college experience, she is the team member to contact.

Prior to joining Chicago Scholars, Dr. Moragne-Patterson was an assistant professor of social work at Dominican University. Although she is no longer in this role, she continues to research and publish around interdisciplinary issues animating studies of urban education, racial and economic stratification, adolescent identity formation, and educational interventions in marginalized communities. She is specifically interested in the college-going processes of academically ambitious students of color, with particular attention to students who make less than optimal postsecondary institutional selections.

Dr. Moragne-Patterson has previously worked in various research and administrative capacities within the University of Chicago’s UChicago Consortium on School Research, Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture, and the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights. 

Dr. Moragne-Patterson graduated from Vassar College with a B.A. in Anthropology and Africana Studies, a M.S.W. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Ph.D. from the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. Dr. Moragne-Patterson’s advice to college students is to remember that you have earned the right to be on your college campus! Therefore, you should feel empowered to pursue every opportunity and take advantage of every resource afforded by the institution.

Outside of work, Dr. Moragne-Patterson enjoys spending time with her family, reading, eating ice cream during Chicago winters, and playing the Sims.