Emily & Ronald

Volunteer Spotlight: Emily


What motivates a young PhD candidate with four part-time jobs to volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House?

Find out from Emily Patch, who is a research coordinator, teaches Statistics at Pima Community College, an online class for NAU and an in-person Psychology class at the UA. Oh – and she’s also completing a PhD in psychology – specifically cognition and neural systems.

She says she volunteers here because she believes in the mission.

“Part of my academic work has involved doing research with moms who have babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). I have seen how difficult it is for them if they live out of town and how important the Ronald McDonald House is.”

She also says that her grandmother, Corky Ronstadt, had a hand in her decision. Corky is part of a group from Our Saviors Lutheran Church, and has been cooking for families at the Ronald McDonald House for the last five years. (Emily says she makes an incredible mac & cheese.)

“My grandmother invited me for a tour and I realized that the Ronald McDonald House is the most amazing, beautiful place. I love volunteering here.”

Emily works every day from 7 am to 7 pm, but carves out time on Tuesday afternoons to help us out. She works at the front desk, answering the phones, advising families and serving as our in-house Spanish translator when necessary. She spent a year in Chile when she was 18 and speaks beautiful Spanish.

When she becomes Dr. Patch, she hopes to find a faculty teaching job – preferably in a city that has a Ronald McDonald House! Until then, you’ll see her here on Tuesdays.

Emily & Ronald