Catherine Fisher Collins, PhD

Regent, New York State Board of Regents

Catherine Collins.

Dr. Collins earned her master’s in health education from GSE in 1979 and her doctorate in education administration in 1990.

Dr. Collins represents the counties of the 8th Judicial District on the New York State Board of Regents. Appointed in 2015 and reappointed in 2020, she is the first female and the first Black person to serve this district on the board, which oversees the state university system.

She has focused her personal and professional life on health and education, with an emphasis on underserved young people and women.

She has advocated for greater public understanding of related issues as host of the Women’s Health radio show on WWWS-AM and FM since 2011. Professionally, she has been a nursing professor and vice president of the Buffalo School Board. She is author and editor of more than a dozen books, including her latest “Black Girls and Adolescents: Facing the Challenges.

At Erie Community College, she was assistant academic dean for Allied Health Education Programs and chair of the Registered Nursing Program.

Dr. Collins was executive director of the Offices for University Preparatory Programs at UB, where she also did her graduate work, completing the School of Nursing’s Nurse Practitioner program.

She presented her research about Black women in prison at the International Round Table Symposium in Oxford, England and at the University of South Africa’s Law School.

Her honors include the City & State media organization’s 2021 Above & Beyond Award, given to 40 women for their notable contributions to society. State governors have recognized Collins’ work—from the Attica Prison Health Initiative in New York to commendations for public service in Connecticut, Kentucky and New Jersey. In 2015, she received the Arthur O. Eve award from the state Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators for her contributions to public schools and higher education.

We are honored to present you with this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award for your dedication and commitment to GSE.

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