2018 ATHENA Leadership Award Finalist: Dr. Catherine Collins

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is pleased to introduce you to the finalists who have been selected for the 2018 ATHENA® Awards. The awards recognize contributions made by individuals to advance the status of women in the Buffalo Niagara region.

We will bring you profiles of each finalist in the weeks ahead, leading up to the awards ceremony luncheon on Tuesday, June 5, 2018 at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center.

So come back often and learn what it means to be an Athena. And be sure to save the date – June 5 – to attend the awards luncheon.


Meet This Week’s Athena Finalist:

Athena Finalist: Dr. Catherine CollinsDr. Catherine Collins
Member – New York State Board of Regents
Adjunct Professor – Niagara University, Department of Professional Studies Ph.D. Program
Retired Associate Professor – SUNY Empire State College

Dr. Catherine Collins was elected by the New York State Legislature to the Board of Regents in 2015 for a five-year term representing the 8th judicial district. She is also program host for the Women’s Health Radio show – founded by her in 2011 –  that airs on 1400 AM in Buffalo Niagara every other Saturday with a focus on women’s health issues and wellness. Dr. Collins is currently an adjunct professor at Niagara University and was previously an associate professor at Empire State College.

Throughout her career, Dr. Collins has held positions in health care and education administration including school nurse, practical nursing instructor and director of a registered nursing program. She also served as Executive Director of University at Buffalo Offices of Preparatory Programs, and as coordinator/instructor at the Educational Opportunity Center’s certified nursing assistant program. Dr. Collins has written and/or edited 13 books, including academic, self-help books for women. She recently completed her first children’s book, “Bullying Its Elementary: Eve and Jessie”.

First Job Out of School

Dr. Collins’ first job was as a nurse’s aid at Children’s Hospital in Buffalo.

Career Highlights

Dr. Catherine Collins notes that she has had many “firsts” throughout her career. She was the first female and first African American in 234 years to be elected to the New York State Board of Regents representing the 8th Judicial District. Dr. Collins was the first African American woman to host a radio show with a focus on providing health information for urban women.

She was the first nurse to be elected to the Buffalo City School Board and the first nurse to serve on the New York State Commission of Corrections. While she has accomplished much, she says it was not for the glory, but rather was the right thing to do for the love of people.

Best Piece of Advice Given Regarding Her Career

Never give up; stay focused; protect your integrity; and always keep God and family first.

About Being an Athena Finalist

“I am honored and grateful that you believe my accomplishments make me worthy to be named as a finalist. Thank you!”

On Buffalo Niagara

“I grew up in Buffalo. I love my city and that’s why I never left. While growing up, my father and I would walk to the Broadway market; we knew everyone on our block and our neighborhoods were integrated. I hope we return to this as we rebuild our city.”

Added Insights

Guilty Pleasure:           Food

Superpower:                Very organized

Describes Me:             Focused, kind and fair

Most Likely To:            Complete all tasks

Best At:                        Motivating others