30 in 30 Presents: Dr. Chiquita Collins (Week 15)

Chiquita Collins 30in30

Dr. Chiquita Collins

BA, Sociology, UIC, 1990
PhD, Sociology, University of Michigan, 1996

Current work
Dr. Collins is the Director and Associate Dean for Diversity and Cultural Competence at the School of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland. She is also Assistant Professor of Medicine. She says that a sociology degree prepares you for work in any field because of all the skills students acquire in their training as sociologists. Although Chiquita did not pursue a medical degree, she always wanted to work in the medical field. Dr. Collins’ current position at Johns Hopkins allows her to work in the medical field, using her PhD in Sociology. As an Associate Dean of Diversity, Chiquita brings a different perspective to innovations while diversifying higher education at John Hopkins medical school. As a diversity officer, she assists 33 departments in the School of Medicine. She focuses on diversifying faculty, training, and challenging unconscious biases at work to provide a pipeline for young people.

Dr. Collins’ time at UIC Sociology
Chiquita enjoyed her time at UIC Sociology in large part because of the instructors and mentors she encountered. Dr. Darnell Hawkins and Dr. Richard Barrett, now emeriti faculty, are some of the professors whose mentorship guided her through her undergraduate experience and encouraged her to attend graduate school, a possibility she had not considered prior to her time at UIC. As an undergraduate, she was interested in population studies and demography, and she continued research on migration, mortality, and birth during her graduate studies.

Advice for students of Sociology
Dr. Collins says that everyone has to write their own story. She encourages students to be bold and try new things!

A true Chicagoan at heart
Dr. Collins wore her Cubs gear for a week straight after they claimed victory in the World Series last year. Although she no longer resides in Chicago, she will always be a Cubs fun. Fly the W! When she is home visiting Chicago, Chiquita enjoys visiting with family and eating Harold’s chicken and Chicago-style pizza.

Interviewed by Myia Scott


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