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J. Patrick Biddix: Father, 90s Hip-Hop Guru, and Board Game Player

A family selfie. Biddix with his wife, Erika, and their children: Jackson, 8, Clare, 7, and Benjamin, 4.

A family selfie. Biddix with his wife, Erika, and their children: Jackson, 8, Clare, 7, and Benjamin, 4.


At UT:
At UT since 2011, J. Patrick Biddix is an associate professor of higher education in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. His areas of expertise include college student involvement outcomes, technology in higher education, and research design. He is an appointed member of UT’s Institutional Review Board and works with the College of Education, Health, and Human Sciences tenure and promotion committee. In 2015, he was a Fulbright Scholar in Montreal.

Why he chose this field: After Biddix graduated from UT in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in classical civilization, he worked as a fraternity consultant for Beta Theta Pi, helping to establish or reintroduce fraternities to campuses across the Southeast. This allowed him to make connections at the University of Mississippi, where he earned a master’s degree in higher education. He then went on to earn his doctorate from the University of Missouri in St. Louis before returning to teach at his alma mater.

“I firmly believe that everyone you meet on a university campus has the job of being an educator,” he said. “Whether you’re a professor, peer, or custodian, everyone has the opportunity to teach one another.”

A family selfie. Biddix with his wife, Erika, and their children: Jackson, 8, Clare, 7, and Benjamin, 4.

Biddix and his son dress up for Halloween in Batman and Robin costumes, handmade by Biddix’s mother.

Outside interests: Family, hip-hop music, and board games are his out-of-work passions.

Being a professor “provides me with the flexibility to spend time with my wife and three young children,” he said, adding that he loves to occasionally have lunch with his son at preschool or pick his children up early from school. “Not missing those special moments in my children’s lives is very important to me.”

Biddix loves ̍90s hip-hop and tries into incorporate it into his research methods classes.

“These classes are so intimidating and sometimes dull that I enjoy the challenge of making them more interesting through music,” he said.

Biddix also participates in a biweekly board game group. His favorite board game is Shadows over Camelot. “I enjoy it because it’s a cooperative game,” he said. “I love collaborating to win the game together rather than competing against other players.”

Favorite music group: “My favorites are Naughty by Nature or A Tribe Called Quest,” Biddix said. Other faves: “Gang Starr, Biggie Smalls, Masta Ace, and OutKast are also very good.”

If I didn’t do this, I’d: Build things. “I enjoy creating so much, but I rarely get to do hands-on building in my field of work. I could see myself as a carpenter, working with wood like on the home improvement and fixer-upper television shows.”

One last thing: Biddix was a triathlete for his high school in Elizabethton, Tennessee. He played football, basketball, and track and field. “I won State Football Player of the Week once,” he said, but my favorite accolade was the regional All-Tough-Guy Team.

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