August 17, 2021 at 1:05 pm

Meet adviser Rebecca Collins | She’s walking these bricks again

Rebecca Collins, portrait

Rebecca Collins

Rebecca Collins first walked the bricks of Athens as a student, studying sociology-criminology and opening her heart and mind to new experiences and new ideas.

She stayed in Athens to add a master’s degree in sociology with an emphasis in criminology, where teaching her second year of graduate school helped her discover “the joy of working with students.”

Collins must have a love for Ohio University students forever in her heart—because she’s following 12 years as an instructional faculty member with a new role as a success adviser in the College of Arts & Sciences.

Now she’s helping new Bobcats figure out how to navigate the bricks, with an emphasis on finding the experiences and courses that will prepare them for success in life and careers. And she’s still passionate about making the world a better place, one student at a time.

Q. What is the hardest hill most students will have to climb (not counting Jeff Hill) their first year?

A. The hardest hill many students face is often opening their hearts and their minds to different experiences and different life perspectives. The benefit of a liberal arts education is having the opportunity to be exposed to various perspectives, gaining the ability to think critically, and using all these tools to create a better world.

Q: And what tips can you give them for how to overcome challenges or obstacles in their path?

A. Ask for help! There are so many wonderful faculty and staff members on campus that can help you navigate campus and the Athens community.

Q. If you were starting again as a first year, what would you put in your college bucket list?

My advice to first-year students is to find a part-time job. (You would be amazed at how this can help you prioritize your academic, social, and work life.) Get involved in a campus organization. And study abroad.

Q. What is the most common—and avoidable?—misstep that new Bobcats make as they learn to navigate the bricks? (Besides bringing comfortable shoes…)

A. As a former faculty member and now success adviser, the most common misstep that new Bobcats often make is not taking the time to read their syllabi for the classes they are enrolled in and finding an organizational method (planner, schedule app, etc.) that keeps them on track throughout the semester. Taking the time at the beginning of each semester to not only acquaint oneself with the policies, procedures, and important course information for all one’s classes, but also organizing one’s time to commit fully to academic, work and social obligations sets students up for success.

Q. Who were your favorite professors and how did they make an impact on your life? 

A. My favorite professors were Dr. Deborah Thorne (now at the University of Idaho), Dr. Michelle Brown (now at the University of Tennessee), and Dr. Thomas Vander Ven. Dr. Thorne taught me the art of teaching while pursuing my M.A. and helped me to discover the joy of working with students. Dr. Thorne was also an amazing faculty mentor as I began my teaching and advising career in the Sociology & Anthropology Department. Dr. Brown was an excellent professor who furthered my love of criminology and focus on incarceration issues. Dr. Vander Ven encouraged my interests in sociology and criminology. He also served as the chair of my M.A. thesis committee and gave me advice that I still follow to this day. All three of these individuals helped to shape the instructor and now success adviser that I am today.

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