Before everything, I was a reader. Then a writer and a teacher. But always a reader.

I have helped motivate, support, and challenge others for the better part of four decades in the classroom and through the written word. I am a problem-solver—my philosophy is that we can tackle just about anything as long as we have the right tools, which include education and hope. I do my best to supply those.

I am the author of Burn Scars: A Memoir of the Land and Its LossSurviving Triple-Negative Breast Cancer and co-author of The Magazine from Cover to Cover.  At Drake University, I was the E.T. Meredith Distinguished Professor of Journalism, the director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communications, and architect of the university’s magazine journalism program. 

I blog at Psychology Today and I have a breast cancer blog, Positives About Negative, focusing on triple-negative breast cancer. I have written health and lifestyle articles for more than four decades for national publications such as Cure, Better Homes and Gardens, Diabetic Living, and Balanced Living

I like spinning tales so much that when I retired from teaching at Drake University, they created the Patricia Prijatel Storyteller Award for students who create “journalism that informs and inspires.”

I try to help people make sense of things, to encourage them on whatever journey they embark on, and to be a friend.  My last name, by the way, is the Slovenian word for friend. 


Can We Break the Spiral of Silence on Climate Change?

What can ordinary people do to combat the extraordinary problem of climate change? Talk, and keep on talking. Yet, that’s a step some of us are reluctant to take. Read more at Psychology Today.

Burn Scars: A Memoir of the Land and Its Loss

Burn Scars follows Prijatel and her family through six years of living in a changed ecosystem. It’s the story of a love of the land, of hope challenging despair, of climate grief, and the birth of a climate warrior. With searing honesty, Prijatel chronicles an unprecedented transition for America’s natural forests, the life they nurture, and the people witnessing their tragic loss. Her story serves as a love song, a warning, and a glimpse of the future we’ll all navigate as climate change remakes the places we’ve loved. It’s also a call to fight for a priceless treasure we can still preserve—if we act now.

Our Friendly Little Place

My mantra when we were building was, “It’s just a mountain cabin.” So, pretty much, it’s just a mountain cabin, but a beautiful welcoming home and I truly love it. The housing appraiser called it a “friendly little place” and my sister Phyllis says it reminds her of a dollhouse. Watch a video of the cabin that’s the setting of Burn Scars: A Memoir of the Land and Its Loss.

A Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Diet

What to eat to reduce your risk of recurrence of triple-negative and other forms of hormone-negative breast cancer. Read more at Positives About Negative.

Let’s make something together.

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