Dr. Collins is an inorganic chemist and STEM administrator. She began her college career at Highland Park Community College (Highland Park, Mich.), where she earned an associate of science degree in 1990. Dr. Collins later earned a B.A. in chemistry (cum laude) in 1994 from Wayne State University (Detroit, Mich.). She earned her M.S. (1996) and Ph.D. (2000), both in the field of inorganic chemistry, from The Ohio State University under the direction of Professor Bruce Bursten.
As a graduate student at OSU, she received significant training as a photochemist, where she used light to study chemical reactions and photochemically reactive molecules. She later completed a postdoctoral appointment at Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) with Professor Isiah Warner, where she focused on heart disease research.
Between 2003 and 2006, Dr. Collins was an assistant professor of chemistry at Claflin University, an HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Her research efforts at Claflin University focused on the crystal-engineering of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), which have many potential applications as electronic materials. Dr. Collins has also worked as a writer and editor for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Washington, DC.
From May 2006 to May 2008, she served as the Director of Graduate Diversity Recruiting for the University of Washington (Seattle, Wash.). In this role, she focused on building effective partnerships between STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) faculty at minority-serving institutions (MSIs) and the University of Washington.
Dr. Collins served as a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry at The College of Wooster (Wooster, Ohio) from 2008–14. At Wooster, her research focused on developing a detailed understanding of the molecular structures, electronic structures, photophysics and reactivity of a selection of late transition metal complexes and exploit this understanding to design effective anticancer agents. The transition metal complexes contained ruthenium (Ru), rhenium (Re), gold (Au) and copper (Cu) metal centers.
Dr. Collins has mentored 17 undergraduate chemistry students and published peer-reviewed articles in high-impact journals such as Inorganic Chemistry, Acta Crystallographia, Journal of Chemical Education, and the Bulletin for the History of Chemistry.
She most recently served as the Director of Education at The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, which is the leading cultural institution focused on the African American experience. In this new role, she focused on the science education and social studies programming for the Wright Museum.
Dr. Collins is currently the Executive Director of the Marburger STEM Center (MSC) at Lawrence Technological University. The Marburger STEM Center is the intellectual home of campus-wide STEM initiatives at LTU, which promote inclusiveness, excellence, creativity and innovation.