Janice Collins

Janice Collins
Assistant Professor of Journalism
810 S. Wright Street
Education
  • PhD in Communications, 2009, Scripps College of Communications, Ohio University-Specializing in Media Management and Critical Cultural Theory
  • Associate Certification in Women's Studies, Ohio University
  • MS in Journalism, 2005, E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, Ohio University
  • BA in Speech Communications and Theatre Arts, Concentration: Communication/Rhetoric, 1986, Wake Forest University
Affiliations
  • Assistant Professor, Journalism Department
  • Affiliate Faculty Member, African Studies Department
  • Global Institute
  • Illinois Leadership Academy​
Course Specialties
  • Inclusive Teaching
  • International Reporting
  • Digital Producing and Distribution
  • Radio Journalism
  • Television Journalism
  • Documentary Story Telling
  • Leadership Development
  • Special In-depth Reporting
Background

Dr. Janice Marie Collins is a multi national award-winning journalist with more than 20 years of experience in the journalism industry and an award-winning professor with 16 years of teaching experience on the university level. During her journalism career, she earned multiple Emmy, Best of Gannett, Associated Press, NABJ, and AABJ awards for writing, producing, reporting, cinematography, and editing and numerous other Emmy awards, as part of a team. Collins has worked in the national network and top-ten market: including ESPN programming and Network NBC News Channel with former NBC News president, Steve Capus. From her beginnings as an anchor, she has worked in almost every position in a newsroom but considers her forte as producing special programs and investigative journalism. Throughout her career, she has covered many national and international events such as the Olympics, Super Bowl, the Susan Smith drownings, Oklahoma City Bombings, Michael Jackson abuse allegations, the Atlanta Bombings, the Gullah Geechee connection and stories on relocating Self throughout the Diaspora. She is extremely effective in management, leadership and collaboration.

In academia, she was selected as one of the Top 50 Journalism Professors in the nation of 2012 by Journalismdegree.org and has received first place in a national competition for her teaching, service, creative endeavor, and research called the Baskett Mosse National Award for Faculty Development AEJMC 2017, “Best in Digital” for her website of inclusion and diversity called Hearmyvoiceonline.com AEJMC 2017, and has, consistently, made the Teachers of Excellence List at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign since 2013. She was also awarded a Faculty of Excellence award by the Department of Minority Affairs at Eastern Illinois University and an Excellence Award for Teaching and Service at Hampton University. College newsrooms she has assisted in as faculty advisor or facilitator, have been award winning including a NABJ, Virginia Chapter award for original news-magazine show at Hampton called "Sound Off," and numerous College Regional Emmy, INBA, SINBA and SPJ awards at Eastern Illinois University.

Collins has a passion for empowering people to reach their optimal potential and “calling” in life. She believes that each individual has a special gift to give to the world and her goal is to assist in finding and developing this gift and making the inside and outside of the classroom, and the world in general, a kinder, safer, more equitable place to thrive and achieve your positive dreams and goals-whatever they may be. Collins' background as a “military brat” heightened and developed her belief in diversity, leadership and adaptability, since she moved almost every year and a half until the age of 13 and lived among diverse people and voices.. She was born in Oklahoma, but weeks later, she moved to Germany (1 of 2 stints) and so on. Despite living in various states, she considers herself an East Coast native of Virginia where she spends as much time as she can fishing, camping, kayaking, eating plenty of seafood and working on one of her ongoing novels and communication poetry. She loves to play chess, camp, ride horses, cook great meals from scratch, listen to great music-especially classical, play the guitar and read non-fiction books.

Research/Creative Endeavor

Dr. Collins’ research focuses mainly on processes of De-Marginalization of each individual and classroom through Storytelling, Self-Empowerment, Self-Agency, Leadership Development and addressing issues of Power along the lines of various identity constructs and intersectionality including race, gender, newsroom and media cultures and learning spaces across disciplines, nations and grade levels. For 2 consecutive years, Collins won first place in the Open Paper Competition at the National Broadcast Educators Association Conference as, both, coauthor, and sole author. Presently, in partnership with her book release, she is producing a web series on Active Centralized Empowerment. This critical pedagogy encompasses flipped, integrative, inclusive and empowering teaching strategies.

Collins has researched and developed an innovative critical pedagogy, praxis and theory called Active Centralized Empowerment (A.C.E.) over the last 14 years and finds that it allows the voices, talents and skills of each student and professor to be optimized in collaborative settings. She calls it, “teaching without borders,” where no one is left behind or in the margins and each student has an equal opportunity to excel no matter who they are, their skill level, or where they are from. You can read what other students are saying about the Active Centralized Empowerment experience by reading their reflections on the class’ blog website called Off the Shelf and Online or visit the site HearMyVoiceOnline.com or Digital News Illinois to see results of demarginalization in the classroom in news reports, articles, podcasts and television programs. Collins also believes in preparing students to lead in a diverse world, so effective Transformational leadership development and effective communication and collaboration skills are central to her teaching.

Whether she’s teaching video storytelling for broadcast, multimedia, or digital distribution, students learn from intense hands-on activities, management skills engagement on how to exercise their authentic voice with respect for diverse opinions and voices. “It is my belief that each student is special and has something unique and special to offer the world. My job is to assist them on their journey to find just what that “something” is. My approach is to teach the human who happens to be a student and I always look forward to meeting my students each semester and each organization and client.”

Her creative endeavors and research have also been nationally and internationally recognized. Her latest publications include, 250 Years and Still a Slave: Breaking Free with Active Centralized Empowerment, a Critical Cultural perspective book on race relations from a social-psychological platform that prominent educator, Jane Elliott, calls “a Great read!, and this should be required reading for every teacher in the classroom,” an award-winning television broadcast program and web-series called A Taste of Gullah that aired, regionally, on PBS, and won Best Documentary at the International Garifuna Film Festival in Venice, California, a published article on leadership development titled, “Leadership Development in College Newsroom Labs: It’s Transactional,” in Journalism & Mass Communication Educator, and a book chapter on image portrayals in prime-time commercials titled, "Representations of Race/Ethnicity, Gender, Class, and Power in 1,084 Prime-time TV Commercials from 2005," in the book release of the edited collection Feminist Interpretations of Advertising: What’s the Big Idea?, second edition, contracted with Lexington Press. Book 1, Feminists, Feminisms, and Advertising: Some Restrictions Apply has already been released. She also completed a comprehensive, unique, autoethnography series called, “Journey to My Mother’s Land: Extending the Gate’s Effect into Africa,” that chronicles her immersion-trip back to her maternal ancestral land of Sierra Leone, West Africa and the Mende tribe that was picked up by the Nigerian Television Authority, the largest broadcast network in Africa with a audience penetration into the U.S. , U.K., Canada and all of Africa. Collins also hosts a radio/podcast program called "Theoretical Tea and Company," and freelances as a Motivational Speaker, Life Coach, national and international Media Consultant and various Media roles. She is actively writing a book under contract with Cognella Publishing called, Active Centralized Empowerment, Teaching without Borders to share her pedagogy with other professors and teachers who want to create learning spaces of inclusion and Empowerment.

Collins is a Kopenhaver Fellow and was selected one of sixteen participants at the Poynter Diverse Voices workshop in 2017. She earned a leadership certification from Progressive Women Leaders program, a Ph.D. in Mass Communications from the Scripps College of Communications at Ohio University-Specializing in Media Management, Leadership and Critical Cultural Theory and an Associate Certification in Women’s Studies, a Masters of Science in Journalism and a Women’s Studies Certification at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communications and Theatre Arts with a concentration in Communication/Rhetoric at Wake Forest University. While attending Wake Forest University, she was also a standout student-athlete and was recently honored by being inducted into the Women's Basketball ACC Legend Hall of Fame for Wake Forest University.