President George W. Bush nominated Patricia K. Cushwa to the United States Parole Commission and the United States Senate confirmed the nomination on November 20, 2004.
Commissioner Cushwa received a B.A. in History and an M.A. in Contemporary Government from Hood College in Frederick, Maryland.
Prior to her appointment to the Parole Commission, Patricia Cushwa served for 12 years on the Maryland Parole Commission, seven of those years as Chair of the Commission. She was the first woman to be named as Chair of Parole in Maryland. She also served as a Maryland State Senator and was an adjunct faculty member of Hagerstown Community College, teaching government and history courses. She was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the College.
Commissioner Cushwa spent over thirty years as a public servant in Maryland, including her election to the Williamsport Town Council, an appointed term on the Maryland Human Relations Commission and a gubernatorial appointment to the Maryland State Board of Education. She was co-founder of Washington County's spouse abuse agency, CASA (Citizens' Assisting and Sheltering the Abused), and in 1977 that agency was named "Model Spouse Agency for the U.S." by the Department of Labor.
Commissioner Cushwa is a member of the Association of Paroling Authorities International and received the President's Award in 2002 for "significant contributions as a trainer for the National Institute of Corrections." She is a member of the American Correctional Association where she was appointed to the Accreditation Committee. During her tenure as Parole Chair in Maryland, the Commission developed its first risk assessment instruments, and she worked with Chief Judge Robert M. Bell in 2002 to start a publication, the Back Bench, to inform the Maryland Judiciary on parole matters.
Commissioner Cushwa resides in Williamsport, in Washington County, Maryland.