March 27, 2015

Professor and Mentor Catherine Collins Elected to Board of Regents

Elected officials join associate professor Catherine Collins, at center, after her unanimous election to the Board of Regents during the annual joint session of the state Legislature. Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes stands at far left with state Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie, Collins, Assemblyman Sean Ryan and state Sen. Timothy M. Kennedy on the assembly chamber dais. Photo/NY Assembly

Elected officials join Associate Professor Catherine Collins, at center, after her unanimous election to the Board of Regents, during the annual joint session of the state Legislature. Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes stands at far left with state Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie, Collins, Assemblyman Sean Ryan and state Sen. Timothy M. Kennedy on the assembly chamber dais. Photo/NY Assembly

(SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - March 11, 2015) At a joint session of the New York State Assembly and Senate, state legislators unanimously elected SUNY Empire State College Associate Professor and Mentor in Community and Human Services Catherine Collins to serve on the state Board of Regents.

“This is a culmination of all of the knowledge I have gained teaching in various capacities, from my work at the elementary-school level, to junior college, to the university and Empire State College and my service on the Buffalo school board,” said Collins.

Collins was nominated by Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes, (D-Buffalo).

“Dr. Collins is an educator,” said Peoples-Stokes. “She is well published with more than 10 scholarly books and numerous articles over her lifetime. Dr. Collins … is well versed on educational issues. I am excited about her desire to be the kind of leader that is willing to listen. She is an awesome advocate and supporter of children and their education.”

“My congratulations go to Catherine for her willingness to volunteer as a regent and for the unanimous vote by the state Legislature,” said Merodie A. Hancock, president of the college. “Regents have enormous demands on their time and the responsibility for every aspect of education in the state. I am grateful that Catherine will be at the table to discuss state education policy and I appreciate her service to the college, the state and, most importantly, to all students.”

In addition to her role with SUNY Empire as an associate professor, mentor and teacher, Collins is the author of several books concerning black women, on topics such as stress and other social issues.

Her newly released book, “Black Girls and Adolescents: Facing the Challenges,” covers health, the criminal justice system, parenting and education, and was written by a number of academic and other experts. Collins contributed to the book and edited the volume.

Established in 1784, the state Board of Regents sets overall education policy for the state.

The board comprises 17 members elected by the state Legislature to five-year terms. They represent each of the state's 13 judicial districts and four serve at large.

Collins represents the state’s eighth judicial district, which comprises eight counties in Western New York.

Regents are unsalaried and are reimbursed only for travel and related expenses in connection with their official duties.

Collins holds an Ed.D. in educational administration and an M.S. in allied health education from SUNY Buffalo, as well as her R.N., nurse practitioner and bachelor’s.

About SUNY Empire State College

Empire State College, the nontraditional, open college of the SUNY system, educates more than 20,000 students worldwide at eight international sites, more than 35 locations in the state of New York, online, as well as face to face and through a blend of both, at the associate, bachelor’s and master’s levels.

The average age of an undergraduate student at the college is 35 and graduate students’ average age is 40.

Most Empire State College students are working adults. Many are raising families and meeting civic commitments in the communities where they live, while studying part time.

In addition to awarding credit for prior college-level learning, the college pairs each undergraduate student with a faculty mentor who supports that student throughout his or her college career.

Working with their mentors, students design an individual degree program and engage in guided independent study and course work onsite, online, or through a combination of both, which provides the flexibility for students to choose where, when and how to learn.

Students have the opportunity to enroll five times during the year.

The college’s 73,000 alumni are active in their communities as entrepreneurs, politicians, business professionals, artists, nonprofit agency employees, teachers, veterans and active military, union members and more.

The college was first established in 1971 by the SUNY Board of Trustees with the encouragement of the late Ernest L. Boyer, chancellor of the SUNY system from 1970 to 1977.

Boyer also served as United States commissioner of education during the administration of President Jimmy Carter and then as president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

More information about the college is available at www.esc.edu.

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Media contact: David Henahan, director of communications

518-587-2100, ext. 2918

David.Henahan@esc.edu

518-321-7038 (after hours and on weekends)

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